What’s The Big Deal About Page Rank?

Date Posted: Friday, July 8th, 2011
by michelleann

What is page rank?

Page rank is what Google uses as a link analysis algorithm for a website that measures its overall value based on the quality of the site’s inbound link graph.

How to Calculate Google Page Rank

There is a much more detailed illustration of how a page rank is being calculated by Google, but it doesn’t really matter. What Google is getting at is how important and strong a site can be on the web. Google figures that when one page links to another page, it is casting a vote for the other page. Multiple votes to one link from the same page cost as much as a single vote. The more votes a page has, the more important the page must be. For example, if Site B has a lot of incoming links, Google perceives the site as important. If a higher ranking site, Site A, has those links to site B, it increases Site B’s relevance on the web even more.

So does page rank matter?

Well, it still does matter, but to some degree. People actually whether they take it as a misconception or a fact that page rank is a big deal would still look at it when they’re looking to exchanging web links because it indicates the site’s reliability, aside from looking at the site’s visitor rates and Alexa traffic rankings.

How much will it affect my site’s ranking in the search engines?

Page rank is an important factor Google uses to rank your site so it may help in your site’s ranking but it’s not really the number one or the only ranking factor. It’s not also 100% guaranteed that your site will rank well or will always be on top of search engine results because it has a high page rank. In fact there are sites that have a page rank of 3 or 2 but outranking their competitors that have a page rank of 6 or 7.  Or the ones with high page rank truly outrank the sites of low page rank value.

We ran some usual test to see how much page rank matters in search engine positioning.

Page Rank Positioning Test

Here are the results. The first 5 sites that topped the SE results for the keyword above:

Page Rank Positioning Test Results

If you notice, printable-cards.gotfreecards.com which has a page rank of 3 ranks 3rd and outranked americangreetings.com that has a page rank of 6. This test though doesn’t conclude that page rank doesn’t matter at all. It still does and counts towards your keyword rankings or helps in optimizing your site for search engines however, there are several more components beyond page rank of a site that can make your site land on the top pages in Google. This is just one occurrence (your site’s search engine positioning) when you don’t really need to worry about your page rank, even Google said this officially.

When does page rank matter?

Page rank is a website quality indicator. How reputable and well-perceived a site is. The measure is determined based on the links created to and from the site that comes from or goes to trusted and popular websites. Google does not only look at how many websites are pointing to your site but also validates its quality, relevance and its page rank as well. So if your site has a higher page rank, people would likely buy from you and link to you than a competitor whose page rank is 0 to 1 .

What’s with the green toolbar pagerank?

It’s also called the “pagerank meter” which shows a visited site page’s pagerank as a whole number between 0 and 10, being 10 as the highest (which means most popular). This is not 100% reflective though of the way Google judges the internal or overall value of a site which they use as part of its ranking algorithm.

Relevance and Irrelevance of Google Page Rank

Matt Cutts even said that “Google’s internal PageRank computations have many more degrees of resolution than the 0-10 values shown in the toolbar” in his blog mattcuts.com. Then again, from our own experience, the PageRank Toolbar still serves as good indicator of your site’s overall relevance within Google, otherwise it’ll just be a little harder to determine if this is discarded.

Where to get the pagerank status toolbar

If you’re using Chrome as your browser, you can install the extension from the Chrome Web Store.

If you would like to simply just check a site’s pagerank without the toolbar, there are online pagerank checker tools like PRChecker or SEOMoves’ Page Rank Checker.

Our Conclusion?

High page rank doesn’t mean high search ranking, but can help improve your SE ranking to some extent. That being said, we would rather focus more on building high quality backlinks and your site’s page rank will take care of itself. For basic tips, you can submit or request listing for your site in trusted directories like Dmoz.org, Yahoo Local Directory; or local directory like Thumbtack where we ourselves have our website and web design services listed.  Or, rather than getting so obsessed about it, take it to your advantage to create well-structured sites with great quality unique content pages that are well optimized with better navigation, layout and formatting. These factors will help your site’s page rank go up eventually.

So, yes – it’s not quite a big deal but it still matters.


Categories: SEO/SEM