What does PageRank actually mean for your SEO?

page_rankPageRank is one of Google’s best-known algorithms used in determining the importance, relevance and quality of websites. But how much relevance and importance should we be giving to PageRank and how does it affect your SEO?

Named after one of Google’s founders Larry Page, PageRank was developed in the late 90’s in order to analyse the value of inbound and outbound links on websites.

PageRank ultimately reveals the genuine popularity of your website. PageRank evaluates your websites authority and allocates it a number between 0-10 to let you know which rung of the World Wide Web ladder you are really climbing.

Most websites will never achieve a perfect score – not even Google itself has a perfect 10/10 (it’s a 9/10-nearly there. Facebook is 10/10 despite its recent overnight crash dated 20/6/14).

What is Link Juice and its Relationship to Page Rank?

How is this popularity determined you might ask?

Link Juice—No, its not a super green protein power cleansing smoothie.

Link Juice is the drip – fed information transferred between websites that are linked together ie. Quality, relevancy and popularity compounded from one site to another. The higher the web authority, the better the link juice. The better this so called juice, the better your SEO ranking.

In theory, this is the way SEO is meant to work and a powerful factor in the SEO puzzle. However, one must take the relationship between link juice, page rank and SEO with a grain of salt. That is, it is only 1 relevant ranking factor.

Saying that, the more organic and industry related the links are (inbound to your website) the more powerful the link juice is and you should achieve a higher PageRank.

A more local website, that has been around for many years and has a high authority, should generally achieve a score of 5/10 or 6/10.

Google’s rationale behind this algorithm is simple.

Here ‘s a quick analogy to explain: The popular kids will hang out with the other popular kids and in turn they’ll ‘show-off’ how popular and cool all their friends are to make themselves look more popular.

So in order to determine which websites surfers will be searching for, Google needs to know who is popular and who is not – and why or why not.

PageRank is only 1 string in the bow which provides them this capability.  There are other factors, but this blog is focusing primarily on page rank.

So here comes my next point- and it is a point I cannot emphasise enough.

Relevance is the Key to Making Yourself Truly Popular

Relevance is key in all aspects of SEO from your anchor text to your web content, images and links both inbound and outbound.

Withstanding the buzz around PageRank what matters more than anything is the relevance of the links directed at your website. There is nearly no point having links directed at your website if not one of them has anything to do with your Website even if you have 500.  In fact the more link that point to your website that are irrelevant or low quality could in fact be doing damage to your website ranking and brand.

For example; your website is about Imported Coffee Beans From Colombia and the links inbound are from websites about sunglasses, hairdressing and Hollywood movies.

You will generate a fair PageRank however; Google’s 200+ ranking algorithms will clearly see how irrelevant those links are to your site and you won’t rank well – Google can see that you are just buying friends and trying to manipulate and manufacture your online position.

How do you make your website relevant for Google and your target market?

It’s all in the writing.

Whilst writing all the text for your website, keep in mind how it will be perceived by a site user. Ask yourself if it is easy to read or disjointed and uninformative?

Anchor Text

Make sure that the anchor text within the links is as relevant as possible to the matter of your website. More importantly the anchor text should be specific to the landing page. This lets Google know DIRECTLY what your whole website is about but each and every page.

Link Structure

Where you decide to place your links is actually very significant. You might find it very useful to do some structural link analysis and reformation of your web pages to ensure that Google is picking up your strongest links.

Placing your best quality links in the Header or middle of the relevant pages gives you great link advantage. Googlebots will find these links faster in a search query and rank you accordingly.

Does it Fit?

We all know how easily our words can be misinterpreted if taken out of context. Google is freakishly human in this regard.

If the text surrounding your links, anchor text and URL’s does not correlate with the purpose of your website, Google has no way of knowing where to contextualise your website and will therefore mark it as, yes, you guessed it- irrelevant.

Create Authoritative Layers

A sure way to keep your website relevant and ranking is to make sure that what a user initially clicks on when searching is what they will see more of once they’ve entered your website.

Keep URL’s, anchor text, title tags, H1 and H2 headings uniform, informative and useful. This is not repetition but consistency. We all know how important consistency is across the board for the success of any business or industry.

Adhering to this consistency in effect creates layers of authority, relevance and trust for your website in the eyes of Google.

Google Bot Examples

If your website is about Google and you have one page dedicated to Google Bots you should implement the following:

URL: www.googlebot.com/how-Google-Bots-work this should lead to a landing page with a title of : How Google Bots Work. This page should follow through with it’s claim and tell you exactly how Google Bots Work.

If a user were to type the search query: How do Google Bots Work?

A relevant and useful Title Tag should appear along the lines of: How Google Bots Work | Google Bot Nerds

Using these very simple techniques not only lets Google know for certain what your website is about, but reassures users they are not wasting their time and that they will leave your website with their queries answered. Hopefully they will return!

All in all, PageRank is a great indicator to help you understand how much authority your URL has and the quality of inbound links. But when it comes down to who will rank and who won’t a website with a high PR and low relevancy compared to a moderate PR and extreme relevancy-the winner will be the most relevant site.

After all Google’s mission is to “organise the worlds information and make it universally accessible and useful”.