What you know about Google's PageRank  

Posted by FRIS in , ,

In the world of Search Engine Optimization, Ranking plays such a vital part, that it is crucial to understand how it works if you want to achieve the highest rankings for your own websites.

There are many different facets to ranking, and it is important to remember that different search engines use different ranking methods, however, lets just focus our attention on Google's page ranking system.

Google's PageRank technology is in fact the very heart of the Google algorithm, and because it determines page ranking based on popularity, it can be likened to a giant electronic voting system. Using that terminology, It stands to reason that the page with the most votes achieves the highest PageRank on a scale of 0-10.

However, it is not just about attaining the most votes. Notice how Google explains PageRank voting:

"PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B..."

"Google looks at considerably more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; for example, it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important." Using these and other factors, Google provides its views on pages' relative importance."
It appears then, that not all "votes" are viewed in the same way. A page that already has many votes will carry more weight than one that only has a few.

So PageRank is determined not just by link quantity, but also by link source importance. So in order to increase your PageRank, you need to get as many links as possible from other websites into yours, especially sites with the higher PageRanks, as they can have an amazing impact on your rank. For example, just one link from a PR10 page would normally be enough to increase your websites rank to PR8, but to get to that same rank from a PR3 page would probably require somewhere in the region of about 350,000 links.

The way PageRank functions across the entire web is by means of a logarithmic pattern, where there are very few pages with a PR10 (PageRank 10, the highest you can get), but hundreds of thousands with a PR0 (the lowest). In order for the average to stay at 1, any increase in the PR of one page is offset by a very small reduction in the PR of every other page.

However, there other factors involved as well, such as the location of keywords on your web page. Now you may wonder what the relevance is regarding where your keywords are placed, does it really matter? With Google's PageRank, it does.

It would appear that the higher the particular keyword appears on the page, the higher the ranking, and this applies to your title tag as well. For example, if you had a website that sells laptops, which would be one of your keywords, but you didn't use the word "laptops" in your title tag, then your ranking would be lower than a website that did. This is because keyword placement is a fundamental aspect to search engine optimization and is something that Google's PageRank analyzes.

The frequency of keywords also plays a factor in PageRank. A page about laptops which uses that word 5 or 6 times, may receive a higher ranking than if you used that word only 2 or 3 times. Of course one must be carefully not to overdo it as that could be viewed as keyword stuffing, resulting in your ranking dropping like a tank falling from the sky, or worse, being banned altogether.

By Steven Chappell.

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 9:45 AM and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .