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When you first began studying search engine optimization, you undoubtedly came across a term you may not have recognized. Page Rank – what does it really mean? To understand page rank, we should go back to when Google, the largest search engine, first began. Back then, every web page was measured against the same scale. The search engines merely had to look for keywords and analyze meta tags in order to rank various web pages accordingly. Soon, people began to game the system. Keyword stuffing and other shenanigans enabled people to dominate the SERPs, but it also meddled up the Internet with a lot of useless content. Google’s solution, to gauge every web page against its Page Rank, revolutionized the way we know and use search engines today. Page rank is another term for an authority rank and you should focus on making sure your site’s PR is outstanding if you hope to dominate your competitors.
What Is Page Rank?
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Page rank is a number between 0 and 10, with ten being the most authoritative. Google needed a way to determine a site’s authority so it looked for prominent sites, such as CNN.com. Google figured that if CNN.com wanted to link to another website, then that linked site must also have some authority. Thus, Google enabled CNN to pass a little ‘Page Rank’ to the new site. If the new site linked to another site, that site would receive a little page rank and so on.
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This system allowed authority websites to pass that authority down to smaller sites. Of course, it didn’t take long for SEO masters to learn how to game this system, resulting in the page rank system becoming much more complicated.
How To Determine Your Site’s Page Rank
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To determine the page rank of a particular web page, look for SEO plugins for your Internet browser. The SEO plugin for the Firefox browser is a good one. It allows you to see how your web pages rank against competing web pages by showing the page rank right in the search results. This can enable you to see how your PR is progressing over time.
Is Page Rank Important For SEO?
Page rank was crucial to the game of search engine optimization when Google first started to change things around. Once people learned how to artificially inflate their page rank number, Google and the other search engines changed things again and page rank became slightly less important.
The PR of a page has continued to decline over the years, but it’s still important. Consider what would happen if your website and a competitor’s website were neck and neck for the top spot. Both sites have terrific graphics, content and everything else, only the other site has better page rank. Which site do you think will grab the pinnacle spot in Google? The one with the higher page rank, most likely.
The lesson is to make sure your page rank, along with the rest of your campaigns, is always on point.
What Determines Page Rank?
The only way to gain page rank is to get a backlink from a prominent site. Some prominent sites that can leak great page rank authority to your site include the Better Business Bureau, your town’s Chamber of Commerce or your local news site.
Your page rank is only one small aspect of your overall search engine optimization strategy, however. Keep getting backlinks from prominent sites, but focus on becoming the authority in your niche so that you can maximize your chances for top spot rankings.
Again, think authority. The more professional your site’s appearance and content, the more people will turn to you when they need whatever you’re offering. That’s how you establish your authority in your niche. Once that happens, prominent sites will have no problem linking to your site, thus increasing your page rank, hopefully to the number ten position.
So you see that page rank still matters when it comes to search engine optimization. All things being equal, it may be your page rank that determines your ultimate ranking in the search engine results pages. Knowing that, you should always be looking for backlinks from prominent sites.
Using toolbar plugins listed by Bluehat Marketing, look for sites that are five, six or even page rank ten and see if you can get links from them. Either get a link from the BBB or contact an authority blogger in your niche and ask if you can get a backlink from his or her site.
Don’t focus solely on page rank in your search engine optimization efforts, but make sure your PR is at least a nigh enough number so that your SEO rankings don’t suffer because of it.