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The Facts on Google Page Rank

Aug 17, 2007
"Page Rank" is a number Google gives to a web page that represents how important Google thinks that page is on the web. It's that simple. How Google calculates page rank is another thing.

When one page links to another, Google considers it to be effectively casting a vote for the other page. The more votes for a page across the whole web, the more important that page must be.

The importance of the page that is casting the vote determines how important the vote itself really is, meaning in Google calculations a page's importance comes from the votes cast for it. These votes are then taken into account when the page is ranked.

As a general rule of thumb, Google Page Ranks along with Alexa ratings are the best indicators of how well your SEO work is. The more relevant one way links that you have pointing at your site, the better off you are. That's a basic rule that will apply throughout your SEO operations. These must be quality, related links. Avoid "link farms." These are sites that link to hundreds of unrelated sites in
link exhanges.

Page Rank matters because it's one of the most influential factors that determine a page's ranking in Google's search results. The best way to increase your page rank is to contact people with relevant and complementary content. This means content that does not compete with your own but that enhances it. These links are most likely to last and they will not only increase your Google Page Rank but they will also provide relevant hits via the links themselves.

How is PageRank Calculated?

Google calculates the PageRank PR of all pages it indexes, taking into account all the links to and from each site. When a page 'votes' for other pages by linking to them, it shares out some of its PageRank value amongst these pages.

This algorithm means that a link to your site from a page with PR4 (i.e. a Page Rank of 4) and five outbound links would be worth more than a link from a page with PR8 and a hundred outbound links. It's not just the Page Rank of the page that's important, but also the number of links it has.

The more links there are on a page, the less Page Rank value your page receives from them. You should also remember that it takes progressively more Page Rank to move up a level. It is generally pretty easy to achieve a Page Rank of three. Once you achieve a Page Rank of four, your site is getting formidable. Increasing past this mark may prove difficult and will require very important content. Reaching 8+ is very difficult. These ranks are usually reserved
for sites that are crucial for the functionality of the internet.

Google repeats its PageRank calculatons many times at each update, and each time the calculation is made it gets more likely to be accurate. Total accuracy can never be achieved, however, because one site's PageRank is entirely relative to the others'. You should understand that the results searchers end up with can really only be properly worked out by Google, because they're the only ones with access to the whole index.
About the Author
Joyce Jackson consults on search engine optimization techniques for webmasters. For more information see Net Home Profits.
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