Page Rank

Understanding the
Basics of Page Rank

By Paul Marshall (c) 2010 Strategic Web Marketing Net

Featured Video: Web Page Copy Writing - Content Optimization

You've just built your website and you want to show up on the search
engines. You start reading about SEO and one of the first things that
jumps out at you is something called "Google PageRank." You know about
the big dog of the search engines, but what is PageRank and why is it
important in what you're trying to do?

Any good marketing coach can explain that easily. If your site is
placing high in free (organic) search results, you're getting free
advertising. Notice the word "free." That's always a good thing.
Building a strong PageRank (PR) by getting good quality links coming
in to your site takes time, but it isn't going to eat a hole in your

You want to work on raising your site's PR to get "authority" with the
search engines. A site with "authority" gets better visibility in
search results. Really understanding the algorithm behind your site's
PR will likely have you reaching for a bottle of aspirin. In the
beginning, just concentrate on understanding the basics and how they
relate to your efforts to promote your site.

How Is PR Defined?

Google says PR is all about the "uniquely democratic nature of the
web" and "using its vast link structure as an indicator of an
individual page's value." Basically, a link from one page to another
is a vote for that page. However, not all votes in this democracy are
equal. Some votes come from higher-quality pages and are weighed more
heavily. (Other factors in determining PR include the relevance of
search phrases on a page and actual traffic to the page.)

How Is PageRank Expressed?

PR values are expressed on a scale of 0 to 10. Sites from 0 to 2 are
probably pretty new to the Web and have few incoming links. Sites that
have made it to PR3 to PR5 are fairly well established; PR6 and above
are really popular and have a lot of high-quality links. There are
very few sites that make it to the PR7 to PR10 range.

The ones that are ranked that high are usually owned by big
corporations or major media outlets like the Wall Street Journal
(PR8). Improving your site's PR by getting relevant, high-quality,
incoming links is one of the most affordable SEO methods at your
disposal. Rather than trying to get to a specific number, just
concentrate on improving your number.

Is My Site's Homepage The Only Page With PR?

No, each page in your site will be assigned a PR, something that is
emphasized in marketing coaching as a valuable tool. You can use
relevant interlinking to distribute PR throughout all your pages.

Huh? Well, just hang on to that thought for a minute. For right now,
just understand the concept that some pages in your site may earn a
higher PR than others, and that you can use that to your advantage.

PageRank Passes From One Page To Another

Here's how it works. A page with a high PR passes some of its value to
a low PR page over a link. You can use this to promote your site in a
couple of ways. When your site's pages are interlinked in a relevant
way, PR gets distributed more evenly throughout the site. Also, you
can "court" relevant sites that belong to other people through your
link-building campaign. This is really how your site starts to gain

Start By Building Your Index Page's PR

Generally, marketing coaches will tell you to begin by working on your
home page's PR. This can be time-consuming, and not just because
you'll be building relationships with other site owners. You have to
do your time in what's popularly called the Google "sandbox." This
just means that new sites like yours probably won't get any PR at all
for the first few months you're on the Web.

How Do I Check My PR?

There are a number of free, online tools for checking PR including
PRChecker and SearchStatus. At PRChecker you type in a page's URL to
see its PR. SearchStatus is a FireFox extension that shows a site's PR
at the bottom of your browser. (It also shows your site's Alexa
rating, another method to measure online "importance.") You can also
install the Google Toolbar for Firefox or Internet Explorer and enable
the PageRank function.

Is Building My PR All I Need To Do?

A marketing coach will tell you that having a strong PR is only one
part of your SEO campaign. For instance, say you're looking around for
a site to link to yours. You find one with a high PR, but it's a site
that sells links. Move on. Their high PR number doesn't do you any
good because a link from that site to yours will have a lower quality
and will pass less authority to you.

Understanding the basics of PageRank is essential in putting together
a high-quality link-building campaign for your site, but don't get
fixated on the PR number and ignore other important facts. Just gain a
basic understanding of what PR is and how it functions and use that to
your advantage in building a reputation of authority for your site.

About The Author
Marketing online since 2004, Paul Marshall can help you market on a
realistic budget. You can learn about his professional Internet
Marketing Coaching and Consulting Services on his home page:


  © Blogger templates ProBlogger Template by 2008

Back to TOP