Increasing Page Rank

Before we look at how to increase the Page Rank of your web pages, let's first consider what Page Rank actually is.

Page Rank is one of the many calculations that Google perform in determining where to place pages in their search results. It is named after Google founder Larry Page. Other search engines may have an equivalent calculation but they don't call theirs Page Rank as they do not want to name theirs after Larry Page.

There are three things which Google feed into their formula to determine the Page Rank for a web page. These are

Note that the incoming and outgoing Page Rank for a web page are always equal. The Page Rank that a page receives from the links to it is shared equally between the outgoing links (apart from those marked nofollow). Adding links to a page reduces the value assigned to each outgoing link but does not affect the incoming Page Rank (which is the one that you care about).

The other thing that you need to know about Page Rank is that the single digit numbers that some scripts display as the Page Rank of a web page is not the true Page Rank of the page as used by Google. Those single digit numbers are extracted from the Page Rank only once every few months with the highest Page Rank being mapped to a value of 10 and all other pages being mapped on a logarithmic scale to the nearest whole number. This severely limits the amount of information that you can get from that value since you don't know if a page that reports a Page Rank of 2 is one that just missed out on a 3 or is one that is slightly better than a 1. The true Page Rank for a page that just missed out on getting a 3 will be several times the Page Rank of one that is at the other end of the group that mapped to the same value.

Because not all pages grow their incoming links at the same rate the single digit value reported as the Page Rank of your web page can fall even though your true Page Rank has increased (although at a much slower rate than the page with the highest Page Rank).Also because this mapping uses a logarithmic scale the value of the incoming links needs to grow exponentially if you want your Page Rank to appear to grow at a constant rate.

Now that you know what Page Rank is and how the displayed value does not necessarily reflect the true Page Rank of your page, it is time to look at how to actually make your Page Rank grow.

There are two ways of increasing your Page Rank.

The first way is to concentrate on getting more links to your web page. Where these links come from doesn't matter as long as the links don't end up marked as nofollow. Getting links from pages with a higher Page Rank and with fewer outgoing links will be better since those links count more. Doing this will grow your Page Rank at the fastest rate possible but will do little to help people find your page in the search results since it doesn't address any other factors.

The second and better way to increase Page Rank is to concentrate on the more important factors of Search Engine Optimisation. The most important of these factors are the content of your page itself (a clearly defined topic with clear, easy to read information on that topic that people will want to read) and relevant links to the page from relevant pages on related topics (where the people who read those pages are most likely looking for the information on your page as well). Doing this will mean that the people who find your page will be more likely to have found the information that they are actually looking for. This in turn will make it more likely that they will tell others about your page (including linking to your page if they have their own site). This will then lead to more visitors who will tell more people etc. The growing number of links that these people create will have the end result of increasing the Page Rank of your page. This increase will be an indicator of how successful you have been in providing people with useful information.

The Page Rank of your pages may grow more slowly (at first) using the second of these methods but it will eventually overtake the first method in how quickly your Page Rank grows since having thousands of people adding links to your page will result in more links being added than you could possible add yourself. Also in the second case your page is more likely to appear at the top of the search results while even a high Page Rank page may be buried so deep in the results that no one sees it if the links to that page are not from places where people are likely to follow the links and Google can't tell from your page content and the incoming links just what your page is supposed to be about.

Getting a high Page Rank is not an end goal that you should be trying to achieve. The end goal is to get prople to visit your site (and click on the ads or buy your product or whatever it is that you want them to do when they get there). A high Page Rank by itself will not get lots of people visiting your page. It is better to use Page Rank as one of the indicators of the success of your other strategies to get people to visit your page than it is to concentrate on building Page Rank directly.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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