What is PageRank?
Google uses PageRank of just PR to define the importance of a page. It’s wrong to think that PageRank is the main factor in page ranking i.e. positions defining in search results. But understanding the principles of its forming may help to understand the logic of search engines when defining the ‘weight’ of this or that page. Besides PageRank has one interesting property: it’s too hard to operate it. That’s why if you reach high PageRank level your rivals will be hard to compete with you.
Google logic is next: if one page links to another, this one is important for the first one. It seems to be quite an obvious statement. It would be easy but every link has its ‘weight’ and it directly depends on the PageRank of a page it’s located on. Imagine an example: Our site is linked to by the Microsoft and John Smith homepage. Obviously the Microsoft’s link will be more valuable in our understanding and in any search engine logic.
Where can I see a page’s PageRank and how to operate it?
The PageRank you want to know can be seen after installing the toolbar to the Internet Explorer. If you hold a cursor over it you’ll see a number from 0 to 10. But it’s not the PageRank used for Google accounting. So you should know that the information from the toolbar is correct but it’s very approximate because the real PageRank is changing in wide ranges. For instance the 9-th PageRank level suits the real ‘weight’ between 390626 and 1953152 (Think about it – these numbers have different order!) In spite such a rough approximation the toolbar is the only way to know the information about the weight of this or that page.
How is PageRank calculated?
The PageRank calculation formula is not a secret and it was published many times in different sources. I won’t present it here. I’ll only stress that it’s a row of weight ratios of pages linked to a certain page to the total amount of links on them. I mean if a page with a weight of 5 is linked to you and it has 10 outbound links, its contribution to your page will be 0.5 and if a page with PageRank level 1 is linked to you and it has no other links, its contribution will be 1. A rather rough example because there is also a damper index in the real formula that is 0.85 but you’ve got the point. The main principle of PageRank forming is this and it depends on the weights of the linked pages and the total amount of links on them.
A simple situation: Page A has a link to page B and B has a link to A. According to the formula the weight of A depends on B and vice versa. This is back-linking. One of the most powerful ways of PageRank raise is based on it. It’s better to study the influence of these links in practice, trying some schemes with 3-4 pages. Remember that this allows get your site up to 30% of weight.
Weight loss and the ways to keep it
As you know the amount of links on a page defines the weight of every link. The less links there are the greater value they have. That’s why it’s wise to “take care” of the internal pages and use their links only to reorganize the weight within your site and to organize backlinks. It means that every outbound link ‘steals’ from your site.
What should we do when we can’t avoid outbound links? There are some ways. Firstly: The outbound links may be put in scripts that are not readable by search engines. Secondly: The outbound links may be isolated. Thirdly (take it as a rule): If you put a link to another site on your page try to put there as many links to your pages as you can. The perfect option – a review page. The third way may not solve the problem of weight loss but it’s minimized by the small weight of an external link.
The perfect way to minimize the PageRank loss because of external links is making site reviews. You should place the reviews on a separate page providing the links to these reviews together with every hyperlink to an external resource. Make sure that the review page links to your front page or to any other valuable page of your site. So we minimize the weight loss and focus the backlink at the important page of our site.
What is the use of a sitemap?
Just think about it, a sitemap has as many backlinks as many pages there are on your site! And you can… no, you must focus these links to your front page. A simple solution allowing to raise your site weight easily. To fight the PPageRank loss it’s good to divide your map into sections with pages containing outbound links in the sections where there are many pages and the most important pages should be isolated in a separate section avoiding the weight loss.
Google is the most popular search engine in the World. PageRank is the method used by this system to form the pages’ weight. Thus PageRank is not the main ranking factor it’s paid much attention and it’s supposed to be the most difficult to operate. That’s why when you reach a high PageRank level you will overcome your rival when all the other factors are equal and they won’t find anything to compete. Now at the time of hard fight for the positions in search results chart this factor can be often decisive.