I’m both a web master and an IMVU content developer, or as we say on IMVU, simply a “Dev”. I just giggled to myself as I was checking the Google page rank of the sites I manage when I realized that I was feeling the same anticipation as I do when the new IMVU Dev Tiers are updated at the beginning of every month.
Google’s PR is a measurement of a site’s “relevance” within it’s search results for the keywords assigned to each site. Google uses a mysterious “algorithm” in the spiders it sends out to crawl the sites it finds on the web. The way I present a web site through design and content is always geared toward making sure the Google spiders, and other similar Internet “Robots” find a lot of relevant content to index. This involves a lot of research and analysis, as the factors used in calculations (the algorithm) are ever changing, to deter the unscrupulous from “gaming the system”. It’s very important to watch the trends in ranking, if you want to compete. (My own personal, and very simplified summary, minus the “tech-speak”.)
As a web designer, I’ve been analyzing the Google PR of my sites as a regular activity. Search Engine Optimization is something I’m constantly working on within ALL the sites I design and manage, and the Google PR is only one of the gauges I use to measure my progress.
On IMVU, the Tier Levels are a measurement of your activity in the community, and your percentage of sales in comparison to the other developers. Reviews of your products, the amount of new items you’ve submitted, and the total number of items within your catalog are also factors in the Tier calculation. Since, much like the PR calculation, your progress depends heavily on the comparison between you and your competitor’s activity… you’re dealing with variables that change every month. There is much debate within the Dev community as to what, if anything, IMVU does to deter “gaming the system”.
As an IMVU developer, I find myself less concerned with what my competitors are doing in regards to the factors involved in the Tier calculations. I suppose it’s the difference between obvious monetary benefit, and artistic expression. I design and manage web sites as a web master as my main income, whereas I develop content for IMVU as an artistic outlet. While there is potential to turn my IMVU catalog into an additional stream of income, I’m still new to the site and have yet to see enough success to consider that a viable notion… for now. Of course, enjoying that additional income in the near future is a current goal of mine. *smirk*
Overall, there is very little difference between Google PR and IMVU Tiers from my perspective. Monitoring my progress in both is how I remain focused on my goals, both short term, and big picture. It’s interesting to me upon reflection that I watch these trends and monitor all the factors involved as a matter of habit without even realizing it.
What are your goals, and how do you monitor your progress? Something I must remember to ask all of my clients. I look forward to hearing your thoughts so remember to leave a comment! *smile*