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Google PageRank and Web Site Backlinks

Aug 17, 2007
One of the most hotly disputed topics in the world of web site promotion is the methods used to increase the PageRank (PR) of a given web site. PageRank is one of the methods Google uses to determine web page relevance and importance for a given search term.

The PageRank of a website or web page is determined by link analysis algorithms that are different for each search engine. Larry Page, one of the co-founders of Google describes a page's PR as "the sum of all things pointing to it" (Vise 2005).

Google PageRank can vary from 0 (the lowest) to 10 (the highest) for a given web page. If you have a Google Toolbar installed in your web browser, you can see the PageRank of each page that you visit. PageRank is almost solely determined by the number and quality of links pointing to and from your web pages. Of course, you can control the choice of pages you link to, but you require links pointing back to your pages from desirable web sites.

Sheer quality of links is not enough. Indeed, receiving too many links from undesirable web sites can decrease the importance of your web pages. While the PR algorithm is very complex, the basic idea is easy to understand.

The PR of a given page is the result of (quantity x PR) of inbound links versus (quantity x PR) of outbound links. Increasing backlinks to your site is the only way to increase PR. The best way of increasing your PR is to decrease the number of outbound links to pages with low PR and to increase the number of inbound links with high PR.

Content is king. If you provide unique, useful content that is updated often, people and website spiders will visit your site often and you may even get some free one-way links. The holy grail of backlinks is unsolicited praise along with a link to your site. This comes by way of blog, review, or website forum. These are great to get, but you don't have a lot of control over who writes what.

SEO experts tout the importance of reciprocal linking. This is a long and arduous process that requires you to find websites with similar content that don't compete with you directly, and then trading links with them to improve your PR (hopefully). This is an established marketing method that requires time and patience, but it works well.

Another great way to increase backlinks to your site is to write and distribute short articles to ezines and article directories. Many of the content publishers are free to submit to, and often have great turnaround time. You can write an article and have it show up in high PR directories in less than a day! Of course you want to submit to categories that are relevant to the content of your website. If you have a website about classic cars and car parts, you could write an article about auto maintenance tips.
While no solution is perfect for everyone, you should experiment with different forms of promotion and search engine optimization. Web site promotion is more important than ever. Increasing the number of quality links to your website is necessary to ensure that your quality content will be found by your target audience.
About the Author
The author is the developer and operator of numerous sites on the web. To receive free content for your website or blog, or to publish your own articles, visit http://www.articopia.com.
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