Google PageRank - some myths and truths
PageRank (PR) is a trademark of the search engine Google. Basically, PageRank is an algorithm or formula that calculates the importance of a webpage based on the number of links linking to the page, and the PageRank of the linking pages themselves. The Google PageRank is based on a scale of 0 to 10. It is based on logarithmic scale - which means that getting higher PageRank needs significantly large number of backlinks (that is, pages linking to your page). Assuming 10 as the base of the logarithmic scale, you can get PageRank of 1 from 1 backlink, PageRank of 2 from 10 backlinks, PageRank of 3 from 100 backlinks and so on. So you will need 1,000,000,000 backlinks to get a PageRank 10. In practice however, the base is less than 10, and there are other factors too, so you won't need that many links. Some sites with PageRank perfect 10 are such as the home page of Google.com and Adobe.com
Mathematically, PageRank is an iterative or repeated process which determines the final PageRank. Also PageRank is updated continuously by Google so your PageRank of your webpage will change over time.
Let's look at some myths and truths about PageRank.
My website has PageRank 0, I will never get high rank in Google or Yahoo!
That is so wrong. PageRank is NOT the same as search ranking. Your website can rank on the top in search ranking for a search term but still have a PageRank 0. Getting a high PageRank does mean that your site has many backlinks, or that your site is considered important, but it doesn't mean your site will rank well for your target keyword. Sites with good content will have good results in search engines irrespective of the PageRank.
In fact the PageRank doesn't take in account of the keywords at all - it just makes calculation based on the number of backlinks and the PageRank of the backlinks. While PageRank is one of the factors used to determine the search results in Google, it is not the only one. You should be worried if your site is not listed at all, not if you don't have high PageRank.
Also, except Google, other search engines don't understand PageRank at all.
But it says page rank! isn't it the same as website rank?
Not really. Like said, it is a process of calculating importance of a page based on the number of backlinks or so called the "votes" for a page. Whereas ranking on the website is about being seen in search engines when someone searches for search terms (known as keywords). If you have a website related to selling coins, you want your site to appear on top when someone searches for "old coins", or "buy coins". As long as that happens, getting higher PageRank is a secondary subject.
It would be worth noting that PageRank was so termed because it was initiated by one of the founders of the Google - Larry Page. It could so easily have been termed LarryRank!
Isn't PageRank same for all pages in my site?
No. PageRank is based on calculation of value of each page in the world wide web. It is perfectly normal to have different PageRank for different page within the same site. In fact that is how PageRank works.
It is the part of the webmaster or the SEO analyst to organize the pages in the website to get the best results.
My Google toolbar shows a different PageRank!
Google toolbar shows an old value of PageRank rather than the live value. You might want to check PageRank in sites such as www.prchecker.info or http://livepr.ezer.com/ to find your current PageRank.
Also it should be noted that Google shows PageRank from the closest datacenter (server). So if you are checking PageRank from Germany, it may not be same as that from USA or Nepal. You can have different PageRank from different datacenter.
Can I increase my PageRank? How?
Of course you can! Since PageRank depends upon backlinks, the only way is to increase number of backlinks.
For that all you need to do is write good/useful content or articles and promote them. Organize your website. Get good traffic into your site. Submit to search engines and directories. Use social networking sites to spread words about your articles. As other site find your site useful and link to your site, you will get better PageRank. You can use link exchange with other related sites. But never use link reciprocals to get cheap or spam links to your site.
Will my PageRank decrease when I link to other site?
Your site's PageRank will not decrease directly by linking to other site. PageRank depends on backlinks and their PageRank. The outgoing links in your site don't affect PageRank of your site. It is the incoming links or the links to your site that contribute to your PageRank, not the outgoing.
As far as incoming links are concerned, internal linking to your own site also contribute to your site's PageRank. So you have to understand how to build and organize your internal linking well.
However, if you are linking to bad sites on bad purpose, you will be kicked out of the search engines altogether sooner or later. So if you have a good site, don't link to bad sites and check that you don't get linked from bad sites either.
What about PigeonRank? Is it important too?
Ok. This isn't a myth really. Just that Google comes up with something to fool their users every now and then during April Fool's day. On April 1st 2002, Google came up with this wacky idea called PigeonRank™ that was supposed to be the heart of Google's fast search algorithm!
Another April is coming near. So be prepared for surprises from Google!
The bottom line is that PageRank is a methood developed by Google that ranks a webpage based on the number of backlinks it has got. Getting high PageRank is very desirable for getting popularity, but it is not enough to ensure that your website will get listed or rank well for given keyword.