Every webmaster needs to know the value of the Google PageRank (PR) system. Since Google is the number one search engine in the world, it is the leader in determining which websites are the most relevant for search words and terms. If you run a business website and you want to get noticed by search engines, you should take care to improve your Google PageRank.
What is Google PageRank?
The Google PageRank is a system first developed at Stanford University as a doctoral research project by Larry Page (thus the name “PageRank”), who later co-founded Google Inc. Mr. Page’s doctoral research was based on an exploration on the mathematical properties of the linking system of the World Wide Web. He developed and defined a method that counted and qualified every link on the web, giving each link a vote. Having links from more popular websites carry more weight than less popular sites.
How is PageRank Determined?
A Google PageRank is determined by a proprietary mathematical formula that counts every link to a website as a vote. In essence, your website is put up against every other website with similar content and keywords in a popularity contest. The website with the most links, as well as the most valuable links, wins a higher “rank” in popularity.
Therefore, it is important for your website to acquire backlinks from other websites that are essentially giving a vote of confidence to your site. Every “vote” or link to your site helps determine the value of your site. However, it’s not just the sheer number of links your website gets. Google also takes a good, hard look at the website who offers the link to your site. A backlink from a more important page that is high in popularity itself will count more toward a higher ranking for your website.
PageRank and SEO
The SEO of your website is largely dependent upon how easily and quickly your potential customers can find your site through a search engine query. If your PageRank is high, it is more likely that a customer will find you, as the search results will put your page higher on the list. Therefore time, effort, and care should be given to achieving a high Google PageRank.
How can you strengthen your Google PageRank? As with any business, your website must have a proper marketing strategy. With PageRank, that means you must get noticed not just by paying customers, but by other websites from whom you want a backlink.
With your website already cleaned up and shining with outstanding quality content and internal SEO methods (keywords, meta tags, etc), you should have a strategy to get your website noticed by others. Here are some link building strategies that can be effective in getting a higher Google PageRank:
- List your website on valuable and popular directories like Yahoo, Dmoz, or CitySearch. Avoid “link farms” that offer little or no value to your link.
- Get your website reviewed by a popular and authoritative review site. Unpaid reviews are best since they offer value to customers that are not swayed by cash incentives.
- Research other business websites and encourage them to link to your site. Joint ventures are a good way to exchange links and benefit each other’s business as well.
- Join popular online forums and post valuable comments and discussions with links back to your site. This can get others to do the same if they like what they see.
- Publish articles on popular article submission sites with links to your website. Associated Content and EzineArticles are good examples.
- Write “linkbait” articles that will attract the attention of social networks. These articles can be valuable resources, controversial, or humorous. If one of the articles or blog posts on your websites is picked up by the social networks, you not only enjoy a great backlink, but a significant boost of traffic.
Can PageRank Be Manipulated?
Since Google PageRank is an algorithm based on hyperlinks to a website, many webmasters and dastardly SEO firms may try and sell “high” PageRanks to website owners. For the right price, a webmaster could potentially “buy” a link on an already popular webpage to his website that not only drives traffic, but also can potentially receive a higher rank on Google’s algorithmic ranking system.
Though buying links may be a good marketing strategy, Google is on the lookout and cautions webmasters against attempting to manipulate the PageRank system. The main reason is that manipulation devalues the entire PageRank system. If a webmaster is determined by Google to be buying links to raise the PR, then the website will be devalued on Google’s system or banned entirely. Your PageRank could be stripped to zero, and worse, your website may be “sandboxed,” meaning that it will not show up on any search result list.
There is a legitimate way, however, to buy links for the purpose of marketing, while avoiding the manipulation of the PageRank algorithm. A webmaster merely needs to add a nofollow HTML attribute that lets the Google search engine know that the link is not to influence the ranking in the index. This allows webmasters to sell and purchase advertisement links to help drive traffic without affecting the PageRanking link system.
Getting a high Google PageRank is not automatic. It takes time and effort to ensure that your website continues to provide quality content and acquires links from other quality sites. But with continual effort by legitimate means, your website may just be the one to which Google will send natural customers.
Webmasters need to be aware that links are not one of the main deciding factors in a high Google PageRank anymore. The new updates from Google have been developed to crawl your website just as a human visitor would. The search engine giant is looking for relevancy; ease of use, and of course, quality.
So, if you have taken the time to create a website that visitors can easily find what they are looking for, through information and convenient structure, you are likely to do well in the rankings.
Key points to consider when you are creating a website if you plan to rank high with Google and other major search engines.
Relevancy: Make sure that you supply what you promise to the visitors. If your target keyword or meta title, tags or other indicators say you have the cure for wrinkles, you better make sure the visitor feels they believe you with that one single click to your page. This is where a great landing page comes in handy, as well as a visible and clear call-to-action.
User-Friendly Structure: Many website owners neglect to spend the time analyzing how their page structure actually looks and works for the visitor. A clear nav-menu with specific titles makes it easy for visitors to find what they need once on your site. Do not overpower the page with too many titles, use drop-down boxes in specific categories instead. Make sure your visitors know where to find what they need, and of course, make it simple for them to get back where they started.
Quality: The standard for quality has been increased rapidly over the last few years. As Google continues its journey for the perfect user experience on their own site, you have to strive to keep up. Of course, you will never reach the perfection that Google suggests, but coming close will get you that number one position in their searches. Quality content is one of the biggest hits for the new updates. If you have outdated, irrelevant or low quality content on your site, remove it! The days of hiring freelancers to create hundreds of small keyword-stuffed articles are over. Now, you could have much less content on your site to rank high, as long as it is new, relevant and high quality content.
Google does not expect you to meet all of their standards, but they do expect you to at least try your very best. The days of blackhat and grey hat SEO strategies are over. The new day had brought a clearer picture of what people really want. Google has no problem telling you what you need to do to compete for their top ranking spots, just read their guide and do your best to follow through with their recommendations.
If you feel you need help with the planning of your website or the writing of its content, there is no shame in asking for help. There are experts everywhere that will help create the top-ranking website you need with content that your visitors can appreciate.