Purportedly named after its creator Larry Page, and the foundations on which Google was built, Page Rank is a way to calculate the authority of a web page, based on links from other web pages…
Blah blah blah…
But what IS page rank? And why do we care?
Page rank is representation of authority by a number between zero and ten in comparison to competitors.
Search Engine Optimizers the world over tell people not to worry about page rank “It doesn’t mean anything” but they are blatantly wrong. These kind of statements come about when people make judgements based on an incomplete picture… things get misinterpreted….
Page Rank is a metric we DO care about – it’s a great indicator of how we are faring against our competition.
Against our competition… I just needed to re-emphasise that little bit.
In some markets page rank appears to be abundant, in others it’s a lot more difficult to attain. In the Internet Marketing field for instance, my site is currently a PR2 with 1500 backlinks, and some damn good backlinks too. However a recipe site of mine achieved a PR5 within 3 months of going live, with fewer than 20 backlinks. How can it be?
Markets behave differently.
While “recipes” is primarily a pure market, internet marketing is the one market where you would expect people to be gaming the system.
So the question is – are Internet Marketing sites given relatively lower page rank because they are about Internet Marketing? Or are Internet marketers as a whole, doing something very wrong?
The first is highly possible – trigger words might bleed page rank.
The second is very possible – consider the official line on “No Follow” links. The single industry where the most Page Rank will be bled is the Internet marketing industry.
So what is page rank?
- A great way to quantify SEO campaigns relative to competition.
- A representation of a websites relative authority within that niche.
- A fickle and unpredictable beast…
In 2009 Page Rank appears to be strongly tied to the freshness of a website. Stop adding content and your page rank may dwindle. The higher your page rank, the more often Google visits your website. Those two things are intrinsically linked.
The Web Site? Or the Web Page?
Each page has its own Page Rank – however the page rank of the home page (or root domain name) does have an affect on all sub pages on that domain name, regardless of the reported page rank. A link from a PR0 page on a PR8 domain name is arguably more valuable than a link from a PR1 page on a PR4 domain name.
What is Page Rank?
Only Google really knows…