One of the major factors in how well your website performs in search results is based on something that few people know about and even less understand. This trade secret is called “PageRank”. I don’t profess to being an expert in the area of SEO, but I am in the top percentile when it comes to SEO knowledge and even I don’t truly understand the real details behind how it works. I guess only a few people who work for Google do. Despite this I will try to explain what this mystical website talisman is and how you can harness its power.
Firstly, PageRank (the lack of a space between the words is intentional) does NOT simply mean the position of your website in search results. It does ultimately influence this, but to boil it down to such a simplistic analogy is like trying to describe the size of the universe as “really, really big”.
Why is it called PageRank? Well the “Page” part comes from its creator’s surname, Larry Page (one of the co-founders of Google), who created the algorithm/formula in 1998. It would not be an exaggeration to say that it is the cornerstone of how the Google search engine ranks websites against each other.
So what is PageRank, or PR for short? It’s a score from 0 to 10, given to a website by Google. Realistically most SME businesses should never expect to achieve higher than 6. Only large multi-national corporate brands are able to achieve higher and only the rare few are given 10 out of 10 (two of those being Facebook and Twitter). So as a small or medium sized business owner you should expect to score anywhere from 0 to 6.
PageRank was created to solve an issue of trust in search results. Prior to Google, search engines used different methods to rank results and some even took payments to prioritise rankings. This made web surfers mistrustful of the results they saw. Larry Page’s approach provided a better way of delivering ranked results by using this element of trust in his formula.
PageRank uses many factors to build up this 0 to 10 “trust” rating for each website. It uses a number of factors to basically build up a picture, or profile, of the site in question. The more factors that apply to your website the more trust Google has in your site and the higher the score. The factors include the following (this is just a summary, click the link to read the full What Is PageRank SEO Article):
- The number of websites that link to the site (especially other high PageRank sites that link to it)
- The quality and relevance of the content on the site
- The overall age of the domain
- The volume of traffic to your website
- The number of pages
- The quality of the SEO (search engine optimisation)
In summary, PageRank is a reflection of the effort you put into a website and conversely a high PR score delivers better results in searches. After all this you might be wondering how you can check the PR score of your website. It’s quite easy. You can either visit a PR checker site such as this PageRank Checker site and type in your website address. It will then return the PR score. Alternatively you can add a PR tool directly into your browser:
For Google Chrome visit this page
For Internet Explorer & Firefox visit this page
Click the link to read the full What Is PageRank SEO Article