Just a quick note to let everyone know that Google is in the process of updating PageRank. So I figured now would be a good time to geek out and write about this esoteric feature of search engine optimization. For those of you who want to get right to the meat: As long as you create useful content and don’t try to outwit Google, PageRank will take care of itself.
What’s PageRank anyway?
PageRank is one of the concepts Google uses to determine how sites place in the search engine results. A high PageRank doesn’t necessarily equate to high placement for any keyword you like. PageRank is a measurement of how much Google trusts your page, in general.
How does Google determine PageRank?
While the inner workings of PageRank aren’t made known by the Goog, we do know a little. Mainly that every time someone links to your site Google considers that a sign of trust. So when your SEO consultant is blabbing on and on about “backlinks,” this is part of the reason.
Also, a page has a limited amount of this “trust” to pass on. This “trust” is split up among all the links on that page. So you know those big long blogrolls on the side of many sites? That’s taking a pretty hefty toll on the amount “trust” passed by the pages. The Goog doesn’t like blogrolls. Most blogrolls these days are set up so that they don’t pass any of the “trust.”
You can probably guess what’s coming next. The higher the PageRank of the page linking to your site, the more “trust” gets passed.
So what do I do with this information about PageRank?
There isn’t a ton you can do. The first rule of SEO still applies: create useful content. If you do this, PageRank will take care of itself. Others will find your useful content and link to it, this will help your SEO.
But if you’ve been making useful content and you are ready to try a new skill here are some ways that understanding PageRank might help you make business decisions [Warning: using the following information before you have demonstrated your ability to create useful content could be detrimental to your SEO]:
- Pursue backlinks on pages with higher PageRank
- Pursue backlinks on pages that don’t have a ton of links already
- Consider how you distribute links within your site (pages on your own site also pass “trust” to other pages on your site).