PageRank (PR) is a term that is tossed around frequently but fully often misunderstood. There is much more involved to calculating a website’s PageRank than the number of links pointing to it. Furthermore, there is much more to International SEM than Google’s PR number.
PageRank is Google’s method of calculating the authority of a particular webpage. Simply because a website has a PR of 7 does not mean it will show up highly in the search engine results pages for any particular phrase, but rather it indicates that there are other authoritative links pointing to the site.
Notice the use of the word “authoritative”. It is oftentimes much better for a website to have a few links coming from pages with a high PR than hundreds from web pages with a small PageRank. PR is calculated on an exponential basis. A rank of 3 is ten times better than a 2, and a rank of 4 is ten times better than one 3, etc.
A little known secret is that all this and much more detail is available free at the United States Patent and Trademark Office Website. Simply conduct a patent search using Google as the assignee and anyone can view the patent pertaining to PageRank and other factors that impact a site’s search engine’s positions.
Obtaining a link from a site with a high PR, does not itself, ensure improving in the gaining a higher position in the SERPS. Relevance is critical here. A link that comes from a site highly relevant to the topic one is marketing may prove extraordinarily valuable.
Take for example a website that sells gift baskets, all else equal, a link coming from a page about cell phone ring tones will be much less valuable than one coming from a page that has information on gift baskets. It is important to keep the relevancy factor in mind when determining the value of a link from any particular website.
Google has a trust ranking systems as well. Even if a page has a high PR a link from it may prove to be virtually worthless.
Remember PageRank is only one of the pieces in a complex puzzle. When all these pieces are fitted together properly, an effective international search engine marketing campaign is the result.
Still, it is important to know about as many pieces of the puzzle as possible. I urge all readers to take the time to perform the research necessary to create an effective links campaign. Read the Google patents and make certain a site is relevant before trying to obtain a link. Keep in mind that this post contains but a few of the many linking considerations to take into account when promoting a website.
Future posts will contain information on a few of the pitfalls and tricks to watch out for when working on a links campaign. For instance, the PageRank displayed in the Google toolbar is not always the actual PR of a site. Webmasters can also employ a variety of other tactics that may prevent a search engine from spidering a link. Stay tuned to our blog for the latest SEM news and strategies. Readers are always welcome to ask me questions about this article or SEM. Please simply ask for Brent in the comments’ section of the contact form.