When our ‘PR and new media’ class began on 31 January, I knew I would have to allow a good three months for our student bloggers to find their feet and have some chance of achieving wider recognition. What I didn’t know was how accurate my prediction would be. (Google indexing has been getting even quicker, but PageRank has become a cruder measure according to commentators). Yesterday, 30 April, Google registered some of these blogs (scroll to end) with a PageRank of 3/10. Only 30%? That’s poor in university assessment terms, but not bad for novice bloggers.
PageRank may not be recalculated for another three months by which time I fear that most of these blogs will be untended. But here’s another prediction: a few will keep going, and may creep up to 4/10 or 5/10 (this blog’s modest PageRank). The scale is logarithmic so each step up the scale requires something like a doubling of inbound links.
Does any of this matter? Well, I’m assessing the blogs in another two weeks and I’ve decided to use a mix of hard and soft measures. PageRank is just one of these ‘hard’ measures; numbers of posts, numbers of comments, inbound and outbound links are others.
More important, student blogs are living CVs (resumes). If you want to provide PR or marketing on a commercial basis, then practise promoting and protecting your personal brand first. We know employers are searching.