I’m starting to pick up a real sense of anticipation in the blogosphere on the forthcoming Google PageRank update. For those new to the blogosphere you might wonder why this is causing such a buzz, or for some what PageRank actually is. So I’ll try to explain:
What is PageRank aka PR?
The definition on Wikipedia states that:
PageRank is a link analysis algorithm that assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, such as the World Wide Web, with the purpose of “measuring” its relative importance within the set.
In other words, PR rates a websites importance based on the number of links it shares with other sites, both inbound and outbound. It considers each inbound link to be a vote cast on the importance of that site, where one way links score more heavily than two way links. Not only that but it also rates the importance of the inbound link based on the originating page’s value. Therefore a link from the BBC impacts more highly than a link from a recently started blog.
The result of this analysis is the PR score which ranges from 0-10 (0 = lowest, 10 = highest). As far as I can tell very few sites have achieved the pinnacle of a 10/10 PR score. I’d be keen to hear of any examples, even the mighty BBC only scores 9/10.
The easiest way to view the PR scores of the pages you view is to download and install the Google tool bar or for Firefox there are various add-ons you can install that will display the PR score, such as the Live PageRank widget. It’s worth noting that these scores are only updated about every 3-4 months whereas Google’s ‘real’ internal PR score is constantly updated.
Why is it important?
Wikipedia suggests PR is a pretty fundamental element of how websites rank in Google’s search results. The higher your PR, the higher up the organic search results you will appear. If that’s true then surely every internet marketer, webmaster, blogger or online marketer should take note and do what they can to improve the score for their sites. In addition a site with a higher PR will be visited more frequently by Google, therefore new content will be indexed more quickly.
Aside from the search results there are other benefits to a higher PR score. When you start out in blogging or Internet marketing it can be difficult to setup joint ventures, build your presence online, establish credibility etc. A higher PR score will certainly help you in all of these areas. Not only that, if you plan to sell add space on your blog, participate in ReviewMe, Payperpost and other monetizing tactics you will need a higher PR score.
Of course there is also the added sense of achievement from having your site / blog recognised by Google – the undisputed king of the internet.
What can you do to improve your PageRank?
There are lots of link building strategies you can employ to increase your PR score. Here are 10 ideas for your to get started with:
1. exchange blog rolls with carefully selected blogs,
2. participate in the Do Follow Movement,
3. join in one of the many blog carnivals,
4. post articles on ezinearticles and ensure you include a link to your site with appropriate anchor text,
5. score a guest blogging spot with a high ranking blog and include links to your site in each post,
6. link to other pages, articles or posts within your own site,
7. ensure you have good keyword rich anchor text on inbound links as far as possible,
8. write controversial content in your blog that will attract lots of comments and trackbacks i.e. link bait. Google is a good subject I understand..,
9. add content to high scoring sites, such as comments reviews on Amazon with a link to your site,
10. take part in link trains such as Carl Ocab’s
How can you check your Google PR Score?
There are various places you can check your PageRank alongside of course the toolbar mentioned earlier.
You can visit livepageranks which will review your PR score but also your Alexa rank at the same time. If you want to get a prediction for what your PageRank will be at the next update you could also try the tool at iWebtools which I understand has been fairly accurate in the past. I certainly hope so, it’s putting this blog at PR4 which would be nice.
All that’s left to say is I hope you get all you want and deserve in the next Google PR update. The buzz seems to indicate it’s coming some time in mid August.