Thursday, 7 July 2011

Google PageRank and Its Effect on Search Engine Optimization

PageRank or PR is a link analysis algorithm used by the world’s biggest search engine, Google. PR assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, which in Google’s case refers to the internet. It does so in order to assess the relative importance of each element.

Because of this, PR has become significant in the field of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, and companies work diligently to improve their PR in the hope of laying claim to a coveted place at the top of first page Google search results.

PageRank is scored from 0 to 10. A PR of 0 to 3 usually pertains to small to mid-size companies and a PR of 4-6 refers to large and worldwide companies. PR of 7 or above is reserved only for internet institutions which dwarf other sites in both size as well as scope (such as YouTube and Amazon).

But while a high page range might improve your site’s SEO success, it is by no means the one and only deciding factor, regarding which position you find yourself within the search results. It is in fact just one part of the ranking algorithm and only within one search engine at that (albeit that one search engine happens to eclipse all others).

With successful SEO, taking into account a variety of proven methods, a website with a lower PR is able to land higher within search result listings than a site with higher PR. After all, the search engine is designed to provide the most relevant as well as appropriate results to the user and with comprehensive keyword or key phrase inclusion; the smaller website may appear to be more valid to the terms of the search.

In short, when it comes to SEO, there is no point losing any sleep over your site’s PR. But don’t take our word for it. Google says “We have been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it’s the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true”.

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