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Monday, October 6, 2008

RTJ Post 1

Hello and welcome to the MSU Neuroscience Program student blog. The goals of this blog are relatively simple:

  1. To provide an output for short examples of student writing and to encourage such writing.
  2. To provide an outlet for students to voice their thoughts and opinions on a wide range of academic topics.
  3. To serve as an active and frequently updated gateway into the formal NSP website.

One misconception about how this blog might benefit the NSP is that a regularly updated NSP blog will increase the NSP’s search rankings. Unfortunately, the frequency of updates does not play a part in the Google search algorithms rankings. Below is an explanation of Google’s indexing algorithm:

We assume page A has pages T1...Tn which point to it (i.e., are citations). The parameter d is a damping factor which can be set between 0 and 1. We usually set d to 0.85. There are more details about d in the next section. Also C(A) is defined as the number of links going out of page A. The PageRank of a page A is given as follows:

PR(A) = (1-d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + ... + PR(Tn)/C(Tn))


Thus, in order to increase NSP visibility we must increase the number of sites that link to the NSP main page (a blog would do this) and have these links be from pages that have many other links to them. However, the most efficient way to increase the visibility of the NSP in Google search results is to purchase sponsorships through Google.

Even though it may not increase traffic simply due to increased updating, the student blog may increase traffic as students, friends of students, and friends of friends of students link to it, due to its (hopefully) interesting and thought provoking content.