Saturday, 4 February 2012

All About PageRank

This chapter deals largely with theory. However, because of the misunderstanding of
Google PageRank (PR), it is important that you understand how PR works under the
hood and what role it plays in influencing rankings.

Many people obsess and over-hype the importance PageRank and therefore
introduce worry and confusion that is not warranted.

There are PR = 8 sites that you cannot find in Google unless you search for them by
company name, while there are PR = 4 sites that are in the top 2 or 3 search results
for relevant keyword phrases.

PageRank vs. Search Result Ranking

People tend to confuse PageRank with their page’s ranking for a certain search
result for a certain keyword. PR is just one factor that is used to determine your
page’s actual rank on a search results page for a given search query.

It is not uncommon to see a page with a lower PageRank that is positioned higher on
a search results page than a page with a higher PageRank. This shows that
PageRank is not the most important factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. A properly
keyword-optimized page with a lower PageRank can outrank a non-optimized page
with a higher PageRank.

This is a common scenario for large corporate sites. The corporate site may have a
high PageRank as a result of the large number of other business partner sites that
link to it, but they may end up being outranked due to their lack of keyword
optimization for their pages.

Toolbar PageRank vs. Actual PageRank

The Google Toolbar allows you to see a crude approximation of PageRank value for
any page in its index. Download and install the Google Toolbar at

Most people don’t realize that the PageRank values shown in the Google Toolbar are
not the actual PageRank values that Google uses to rank web pages. The Google
Toolbar is divided up into 10 equal linear ranges from 0 - 10. These linear divisions
correspond to a logarithmic scale that Google uses. The actual scale is estimated to
be between log base 5 and log base 10. The public Toolbar PR value is however
what people talk and agonize about.

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