Decoding Page Rank

Much has changed from the original usage of Page Rank and its relative importance within the search engine results pages. However, even though Google is fairly transparent regarding its value, many people misinterpret the information or do not maintain a complete understanding of its value as it relates to links, which in reality is one of the most crucial concerns to any company involved in an SEM campaign. Hence why decoding Page Rank is crucial for a site’s webmaster to understand.

First it is important to debunk a myth that is a former truth. Using the rel=”nofollow” tag does not help a site retain the value of its internal links. An example seems appropriate to explain this in further detail. During times of the internet past, webmasters could use this tag to funnel link credit to pages only within their own site; this is no longer the case. If there are two links on a webpage one with the no follow tag and one without then half the Page Rank will pass to the linking page without the tag and half will simply vanish. Not that long ago use of this tag would allow a page following the same structure to pass 100 percent of the link’s value to whichever page it desired.

Why did this change take place? Simply put, the engineers at Google became smarter and modified the appropriate algorithms. SEM companies took advantage of the rel=”nofollow” tag to horde Page Rank and not pass it to legitimate sites. This practice undermines Google’s entire goal of using links as a way of voting since it allowed webmasters to place links to other sites but not count them as votes. SEM companies could exploit this process to keep page rank within their sites and not distribute it to others as Google intended; a primary reason for the change.

Now if a webmaster uses that tag no credit is passed to linked site. That tag simply tells the search engines that that website is not vouching for the credibility of the other. It provides no direct benefit, and can hurt a webmaster if the tag is used inappropriately. The only time one should now use this link is when they are uncertain of the website’s creditability. Typically this should occur in comments or forum postings since if webmasters create the link themselves then generally it is to a credible site who deserves the recognition Google intended the link to provide.

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