PageRank

One of the most popular metrics one can use to determine how important a website is to Google, is by their Pagerank. The full details of the PageRank algorithm are not published, however the basic idea is that the number and quality of links Google knows of that point to your website, gives them a rough idea of how important yours is. Your PageRank is a whole number from 0-10, a 10 meaning you’re one of the most important websites on the internet.

You can search for your website’s Google PageRank and a few other metrics by entering your website URL at checkpagerank.net or prchecker.info. The official way to see your PageRank would be to install the Google Toolbar, but if privacy is important to you, that would mean that Google knows the website of every website you go to while you have their toolbar installed.

The logical question to any website owner who has heard of it, is how do you improve your PageRank? Well, in theory this is simple, get all of the highest PageRank’d websites you can, to provide links to you, and you’re set!

There are several other important factors, but if you can make the above happen, you’re well on your way. If you’re a detail oriented person, it’s worth noting that other factors such as the text in the headlines, content of article/post, and the hyperlink to your site also matter, as well as the size of the page, the time since the page was updated, and how many links from that page link to yours.

One way that some organizations approach this, is by buying links from high PageRanked websites. There are also grey or blackhat services that do this, however this is generally frowned upon, and allegedly can result negatively on your website’s rankings if you’re caught. I recommend making sure you have interesting content, as well as an engaging product or service that makes people want to send the links to their friends. Finding high PageRanked forums, blogs, or media outlets to engage with in a productive way, with links to your website, can also help.

About 10 years ago people caught onto this, and began spamdexing, which is sometimes referred to as a blackhat SEO technique where people would fill forums and blogs with links to their websites, just for the hopes of improving SEO. As a result, there is now a “nofollow” option (for the rel attribute of links and anchors) that forum or website owners can use, which tells Google to have PageRank ignore those posts. If you’re the admin of a forum and you’re concerned about this, add:
rel='nofollow'
to all hyperlinks you want ignored.

While PageRank is the one of the most popular metrics for search engine optimization (SEO), it is only one of 200 factors that Google now uses to determine a page’s popularity. I’ll be working through the known factors on this blog, if there are any you’d like to see, don’t hesitate to ask and I’ll add it to the queue! If you have any other tips or tricks for improving your PageRank, I’d love to hear them!