You may know that appearing at the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is imperative to building your brand and reaching a greater number of customers, but you may not know how those rankings work. One of the many factors that determine where your website link appears in SERPs is called PageRank. In fact, your website’s PageRank score can have significant impact on your Google rankings.
Developed by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, PageRank is a general algorithm which gives each webpage a score based on the number of backlinks that page has. The theory behind the algorithm is that the most important webpages on the Internet will have links leading back to them. When another website or blog links to content in your site, it shows Google that your site contains relevant and valuable content, and therefore is a good resource for internet users. Essentially, each backlink is like a vote for your website, and PageRank is essentially a popularity contest for webpages.
PageRank is measured on a scale of 0 to 10. PageRank 0-2: All new webpages start out with a PageRank of 0. When a site is initially cached by Google, it will receive a PageRank of 0. However, if it gains a sustainable amount of backlinks in the first few months, it can receive a PageRank of up to 2 during the first PageRank update.
PageRank 3-6: Once a website has been around for 10 to 12 months and has received a decent number of backlinks, it can increase in PageRank. Established sites that have provided a lot of informative and rich content and have gained a large network of backlinks from related industry websites will fall into this category.
PageRank 7-10: If a webpage has received a PageRank of 7 or higher, it is considered a leader in that particular industry niche. There are very few sites which actually ever receive a PageRank of 8 or higher, most notably: Google, Yahoo!, eBay, PayPal, and Facebook.
It’s important to remember that PageRank is assigned to each webpage within a website and not to the website as a whole. However, your highest ranking page is generally the landing (or home) page and any backlinks to your site, no matter which page they are linked to, help your ranking in the SERPs.
So how do you check your PageRank? The best way to check your PageRank score is to download Google Toolbar. Every time you visit a site or load a new page, the PageRank score will appear in the toolbar at the top of your internet browser.
In order to increase your PageRank score, you need to create valuable and informative content that people will want to link to. You can work on link building, trade links with other industry leaders, and register with high PageRank website directories (try Dmoz.Org).
To make a long story short, PageRank is essentially a badge of honor, and the more credible and informative your webpages are, the higher they will score. When your PageRank is high, you have a better chance at appearing at the top of SERPs which is extremely important to small local businesses. It’s important to strive for an effective SEO and backlinking campaign, and turn to trusted professionals if you need help setting up or executing the campaign.