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  • Writer's pictureHalina Biernscki

PageRank is One Piece of The SEO Big Picture

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

Link Building words written on tablet
Link building is related to page rank

PageRank (PR) is a mathematical formula that judges the “value of a page” by looking at the quantity and quality of other pages that link to it. Its purpose is to determine the relative importance of a given web page in a network (i.e., the World Wide Web).

If you want to geek out and get tangled up in the math here's your opportunity to decipher this PageRank algorithm equation … (knock yourself out!)

How is PageRank calculated?

PR(A) = (1 d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + … + PR(Tn)/C(Tn)) = Proposed in 1997 by Google founders, Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page, in their original paper.

Google PageRank meter

In December 2000 the Google PageRank Toolbar meter was introduced. The meter was a visual display on the toolbar and attributed a scale from 0 to 10 for the ranking status of a page. In 2016 this method was retired. Even though visible PageRank was removed from the Google Toolbar, all pages still have PageRank value internally within Google.

Currently, Google takes into account several factors when calculating the PageRank of a web page, which are:

* The quantity and quality of inbound linking pages;

* The number of outbound links on each linking page;

* The PageRank of each linking page.

* Along with employing a number of techniques to improve search quality including anchor text, and proximity information.

The way search engines work is by matching the user search queries with pages available in their index. During the crawling and indexing phase, search engine crawlers visit a webpage. They extract the information they need and add it to their index. They use this information later during the ‘matching’ process (also referred to as the ranking process).

Part of the information they extract is the keywords on a web page that is associated with it. If during this process your website is associated with the wrong keywords, then your chances of appearing high in the results are reduced for the keywords that matter for your website.

* PageRank is closely related to Backlink

PageRank showing connections

Essentially, 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.

This condenses the discussion of how important is 'bad-back-link'; if the backlink is of low quality ... how will that help your ranking? Keep in mind that Google now ranks websites based on topics not just keywords.

And, as we know, backlinks are one of the strongest Google ranking factors. The correlation between referring domains and organic search traffic is based on a study of 920 million web pages. So, as a general rule, the more backlinks a page has, the higher it ranks in the search results.

A word of caution ... do not buy backlinks. Google might penalize your website if these backlinks are irrelevant to your website content/context.

* How Can I Improve My PageRank

Here are a few areas to focus on:

  • Internal links: How you link the pages together on your website affect the flow of “authority” or “link juice” around your site.

  • External links: Both URL Rating (UR) and PageRank effectively share authority between all outbound links on a page. But this doesn’t mean you should delete or “no follow” an external link. (Googlebot will ignore/not index a “no follow” link)

  • Backlinks: They bring so-called “link juice” into your site, which you should carefully preserve.

  • Keep important content as close to your homepage as possible … as expressed in the mantra "Why Page 1 Is important"

  • Don’t get blinded by “authority” context matters too. Backlinks are important, but so is the context of a link.

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