Google sneaked in a couple new lines in the Webmaster Guidelines. Make sure you check out all the new pages over at the Webmaster Guidelines – great information straight from Google.

Have other relevant sites link to yours.
Submit a sitemap as part of our Google Sitemaps (Beta) project. Google Sitemaps uses your sitemap to learn about the structure of your site and to increase our coverage of your webpages.
Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites.

PageRank is a measure of global popularity, since it measures how many pages in the entire index is linking back to you. PageRank by itself does not consider any other information, like the relevancy of anchor text or the topic of the original page.

But here, Google is telling us that they are focusing on the value of relevant topical links, which sounds like local popularity to me. Bye Bye PageRank, Hello LocalRank?

Update: Forgot to mention that Google has always been using some sort of local popularity analysis for its rankings. I’m thinking they are placing a bigger public emphasis on it now.

Update #2: Gary Price at SEW notices a couple more additions. Google explains what to do when moving a web site to a new IP and what the differences are between the supplemental index and the main index. Make sure you read the section on returning pages for a specific country. Great information.

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