A couple days ago, Dustin’s post on Rain City Guide caused quite a stir amongst Real Estate bloggers (myself included) who became concerned about double-posting their content on more than one blog. I had been updating my ActiveRain blog with posts from this site, which may or may not have affected my standing in Google’s search engine.

Google’s Page Rank is critical to a blogger, or any webmaster for that matter, as it determines how highly your site is placed in any organic search results. Tweaking your site for maximum SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be a complex process, and is one that has spawned an entire cottage industry of consultants and companies that claim they can help you do it.

I won’t dive into the specifics of good SEO techniques, as this is a topic that has been more than ably covered on a number of other blogs – but I will share a couple of tools that I discovered recently that may be able to help you keep an eye on your ranking.

  1. Google’s Site Status Wizard is part of their newly launched Webmaster Central, and allows you to find out whether your site is currently being indexed by Google’s spiders. It also gives you a number of diagnostic and statistics on your placement in Google’s index.
  2. In a similar vein, Yahoo!’s Publisher Network recently rolled out Yahoo! Site Explorer (accessible only with a Publisher account), which allows you to manage how Yahoo Search sees your URI and RSS feed.

Both are incredibly valuable tools, that will only continue to grow even more so over time. Since I have only just set up my site, many of the statistical functions were not live yet for my domain – but I imagine these will be very helpful in tweaking my site in the months to come.

One caveat, Site Status Wizard and Site Explorer both require that you authenticate yourself as the owner of the URI which you submitted. This required uploading a small file or META tag to my domain, so that the search engines could verify I was who I said I was. Bloggers who host their sites on hosted blogging platforms like Blogger or WordPress.com may find they have some trouble doing this however.

So, the next time you have a mild panic attack about your search engine ranking with Google or Yahoo! – don’t worry. Reassure yourself on where you stand using either of these two tools.

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