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Posted August 16, 2009

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Google Page Rank

What Is Page Rank ?

what is my google page rankYour PageRank is NOT the position your page holds on Google's Search Engine Results Pages.

Google gages a website's importance and/or relevance by a mathematical formula (see formula below in "Google PageRank - Some History") that assigns it a PageRank. If Google has indexed the pages on your Website you will have been assigned a PageRank of some number between 0 and 10. New sites that don't have a lot of links on other Websites that point to them will be ranked 0 or 1. Older more established sites that a lot of other sites link to will have a higher PageRank. PageRank was named for Larry Page, co-inventer of Google, who came up with the concept of ranking Web pages by their importance. It's a pretty simple concept. "The more links pointing to a site, the more important that site must be." But it's a little more complicated than that.

Scoroncocolo TechPages Google PageRank

What is Google PageRank

If a Website with a Google PageRank of 1 links to a site with a PageRank of 6, Google takes very little if any note. On the other hand, if a site that has a Google PageRank of 6 links to a site with a PageRank of 1, Google does notice. And chances are, depending on other factors like the quality of content, the site that was ranked #1 may be bumped up a notch or two.

Let me clarify something. I've been misleading you. Google doesn't PageRank Websites. Google gives PageRank to individual Web pages within a Website. Various pages within a Website can, and very often will, have different PageRanks. I believe that then Google assigns a PageRank to the entire site that PageRank will be the PageRank of the highest ranking page on the site.

There's a lot of misconceptions and misinformation on the Web about PageRank and trading links. "If I have a PageRank of 2 and I link to a page with a PageRank of 0, my Google PageRank may go down." That's false! Even Google says that is a myth and Google is careful not to say much about PageRank. Outgoing links have no effect on your PageRank unless you link to a page that is being penalized by Google. So be careful not to do that. Another myth is: "The more links I have pointing to my site, the higher my rank will be." That's not necessarily true. You could have a hundred sites with PageRank 0 or 1 linking to your site and while you may get a lot of hits from these links, you're not going to gain PageRank. Google considers a link from site A to site B as a vote for site B but there's nothing democratic about the way Google tallies the vote. It's like a board of directors meeting. If you own a lot of shares (have a high PageRank) your vote means something. For those of us who have one or two shares, our votes are almost meaningless. But hold on! That's not to say that we should discourage low ranking sites to link us. The more links you have pointing to your site the better regardless of their PageRank. Incoming links to your site will have no effect on your Google PageRank unless, as we've already talked about, those sites linking to you have more PageRank than you and in that case you profit. Besides, one or more of the little guys that link to you could go viral. Suddenly, they could have a Google pageRank of 6 or even 8 and if they're still linking to you - Wow! So the bottom line on trading links is - linking out and linking in is a good thing. After all, that's what the Web is all about anyway and no one understands that and has profited from that more than Google. Two caveats though, stay away from link farms and be very cautious about buying links. The best approach to gaining PageRank is to put up good content and then advertise it sociably and try to exchange links with reputable sites that are in your genre. If you're writing about Trout Fishing, let's say, don't go looking for links from sites selling Lenoliem Flooring - duh!

How To Increase Your Google PageRank

There are many factors that determine a Webpages's PageRank. I've mentioned the importance of obtaining links from other sites within your genre and particularly links that have high PR themselves. One important fact to keep in mind about soliciting outside links or back links, as they're called, is this: If you manage to obtain a back link from a site that has a higher PR than you, you will benefit only if the site linking to you has few links going out to sites that have lower PR than they do. Let me put it another way.

Scoroncocolo TechPages How to Increase PageRank

How To Increase PageRank

If a Website with a PR of 6 links to a site with a PR of one, the PageRank of the PR 2 site will go up. But the more lesser PR sites the PR 6 site links to, the less influence it has to share. So try to link to sites that don't make a habit of linking to a lot of PR 1 and PR 2 sites.

There are other factors beside back links that work to determine your PR. The frequency of updates to your site, for instance, has an effect on your Ranking. Pages that lie dormant for long periods of time will probably leak PageRank while frequent addition of content will have a positive effect on the pages within the site that the new content links to and the Website as a whole.

The number of pages on your site and the length of time your site has been up and active will have some baring on your PageRank. So putting up new pages on your site is a good way to work toward increasing your PR. But be careful not to put up pages that are identical or nearly identical to pages that are already on your site. Pages like this are called "cooky-cutters" and Google considers them to be spam and could penalize you.

Internal linking is important in working toward increasing PR. Make sure that if you put up another page that your homepage links to that page. Make sure that your new page is not a "dead end". In other words, make certain that the new page links to some (preferably a lot) of other pages on your site including your homepage. If you have a site map and you should have both an xml site map and a html site map, make sure that all of your pages are included on both maps and that all pages on the site link to the html site map. All of this attention to internal linking helps Google "spider" your site more effectively and this increases your chances of gaining PageRank.

How to Find Your Page Rank

The simplest way to determine your PageRank or the PageRank of any Website is to install Google's Toolbar on your browser or browsers. I have Google's Toolbar installed on the two main browsers I use - Firefox and Internet Explorer. the Google Toolbar on both of those browsers will tell me the PageRank or (PR) of any Webpage I'm on. Once you've installed Google's Toolbar on your preferred browser you may have to hunt for the PageRank checker tool. If you don't see it, click the wrench symbol and look for it in the options presented there. You may have to click the option More but it will be there somewhere.

Another good way to determine the PageRank of a Webpage is to install SEOQuake's toolbar on your copy of Firefox. The chances of anyone reading this page not having Mozilla's Firefox browser are slim to none but if you need to download a copy of Firefox, look on the right-hand side of this page for a link to the Get Firefox Page. The SEOQuake toolbar will not only tell you the PageRank of the page you are on, it will tell you a variety of things about the page - like how many links are pointing to the page and from where.

There are any number of PageRank checking sites on the Web. A good one is Smart PageRank. There you can type in a URL to any site and quickly determine its PageRank. Not only will the tool render the PR of a site but it will tell you how long a site has been up and how much traffic it receives per day on average. It will even place a monetary value on the site. If you check Yahoo in Smart PageRank, you'll see that Yahoo has a PR of 9. It was registered on January 18, 1995. It gets approximately 10 million visitors per day and it's worth about 2.5 billion dollars.

You can use the little tool below to check the PageRank of any Web page. Just type the page's URL (address) into the box and click Check PR. Before you're shown the results, you must prove you are not an automated device.

Check Page Rank of any web site pages instantly:
This free page rank checking tool is powered by Page Rank Checker service

Google PageRank - Some History

On December 12, 1998 Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page, a couple of students at Stanford University in California, published a fascinating Abstract on the World Wide Web called The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine in which Brin and Page spell out their ideas for creating a new type of search engine. The first sentence begins with the words: "In this paper, we present Google..."

In section 2.1 of the Abstract, Brin and Page introduce a feature of their search engine call PageRank and for the first and last time share with the world the mathematical formula for determining it. The formula is/was PR(A) = (1-d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + ... + PR(Tn)/C(Tn))
    PR(A) is the PageRank of page A,
    PR(Ti) is the PageRank of pages Ti which link to page A,
    C(Ti) is the number of outbound links on page Ti and
    d is a damping factor which can be set between 0 and 1.

If you're interested in learning more about the formula - finding out what the "damping factor" is, for instance, click the above link and read section 2.1 of the original Abstract.

It's anybody's guess as to whether this exact formula is still in use at Google today. Very recently Google engineer, Matt Cutts, suggested that it is.

Is Google PageRank Loosing Relevancy

Google PageRank is not as an important determining factor in ranking high on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) as it once was.

Is google pagerank dead?

PageRank Is Alive and Well

Google, in it's Official Google Blog says as much although somewhat obliquely. They are saying that PageRank is only one of more than 200 criteria being used to rank sites for queries typed into Google. You'll notice, if you follow this link, they don't say anything about the other 199 factors that Google uses to determine a page's relevancy. I've written about what is obviously a few of those other 199 factors in my Techpage post called What Is SEO - SEO Do's and Don'ts and in my more recent TechPage post about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) entitled Long Tail SEO.

what is my google page rankToday, PageRank has less influence on placement in Search Engine Results Pages than it once did.

Google is notoriously tight-lipped about how their algorithms work. When a Google engineer speaks publicly about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and related matters, it often sounds like they are speaking in Alan Greenspan-like code. However, very recently WebProNews interviewed Matt Cutts, one of Google's top engineers. They ask him point blank, "Is PageRank dead?" Here's what Cutts had to say about the modern day relevancy of PageRank: "I'm not sure I would say ranking is dead but it's not as important as it used to be." He went on to clarify that PageRank has less influence on placement on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) than it once did.

Even though Page Rank may have decreased in importance when it comes to determining how high up your site, or a page on your site, lands on Google's SERPs, it is still very important in some ways. Of primary importance is the fact that Google will "spider" your site more often if you have a high PageRank. That is a fact! It may spend more time "crawling" your site and index it more carefully, if you have a high PageRank. That is speculation but most SEO experts believe it to be true.

My Website is relative new and has only 40-something pages on it and not many links pointing to it and therefore my PageRank is somewhat low. That said, I have a list of over 50 keyword phrases (things people type into Google) that I am number one on the first page of Google's SERPs for. Almost all of the sites beneath me on the first page of Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) have a higher PR than I have. That fact convinces me that PageRank has little to do with where a page will rank in Google's SERPs. However, I suspect my number one ranking for these search terms will soon begin to slip and will do so far more dramatically than those sites currently beneath me that have much higher PageRank.

So contrary to what many bloggers and Websites are saying, Google PageRank is far from dead. It's alive and well and still serving some important and useful purposes.

Thanks For Visiting the Tech Pages

use seo to get more hitsQuestions? Comments? Did I get something wrong? Email me at and I WILL get back to you.

Please add this page, or better yet my entire site, to your Favorites and keep checking back. This page is a work in progress. long tail seoI intend to edit it and add to it from time to time. I've learned a lot about PageRank and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) while researching for this post. I intend to learn even more about Pagerank and SEO in the near future. And soon I'll be sharing some more insights on these subjects with you. In the meantime, if you have any ideas about how I could enhance the content of this page, please email me about it.

If you see anything in this post that needs to be corrected, email me about that, as well. I'll make the changes and make sure you get credit for spotting my mistakes. If you have any questions or comments about anything in this post or any other posts on the Tech Pages, email me at and I will get back to you.

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