What is PageRank?

NOTICE: This is a very old article. Please visit the home page of our blog or other areas of our site for more up-to-date information.

If you’ve ever wondered what PageRank is, you’ve come to the right place. Micah, one of our SEO experts, provides a brief summary in the post below.

The basics

PageRank was originally named after Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, and was created to help determine the importance of a web page and its positioning in search results. In the earlier days of PageRank, Google used an algorithm to determine keyword density on a web page and to identify how many links were pointed toward that same page.

PageRank is measured on a scale from 0-10, and the difference between rankings is not equal. For example, the difference between a PageRank 3 and a PageRank 4 is not the same as the difference between a PageRank 8 and a PageRank 9. According to an article featured on SEOmoz, the scale is more of a log, similar to their own rank analysis tool mozRank.

Is PageRank really important?

The short answer is yes. Keep in mind, however, that when you are measuring the effectiveness of a website, you want to look at a lot more than just the PageRank of the homepage. Although PageRank is a page-level metric — meaning that it can only tell you about the page that you are viewing and not the entire website — it does offer a decent prediction of other domain-level variables like website traffic.

From a search rankings standpoint, PageRank will give you an idea of how much traffic a website gets every month, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. PageRank does a surprisingly good job of helping you estimate the total number of inbound links recorded by search engines. Think of it as a really great way to judge a site without digging into the real heavy statistics.

What if I’m just getting started? 

If you are new to the SEO or online marketing game, let me start off by welcoming you to the fast-paced world of Search Engine Optimization. You’ve got a lot of fun learning opportunities ahead of you, and the more time you have to dedicate to learning, the quicker you’ll be able to pick things up.

As you get started, remember that learning how to increase a website’s search rankings properly takes a lot of time and effort. Getting a website to rank for the right set of keywords can take several months of work and strategy, and developing your own strategy for SEO can take years. Don’t be discouraged by the overwhelming — and sometimes contradictory — information available about SEO. Take time to find some of the most trusted names in the industry and start following the content that they produce and share. If you have specific questions or are having a hard time improving your rankings, contact an Internet marketing agency that specializes in SEO and ask them to handle your site’s search strategy.