Understanding and Building Google PageRank

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For those who are not familiar with Google's Page Rank, which is
commonly known as PR, it is Google's calculation or score of a web
page based on external and internal linking of a site, as well as on-
page criteria of the web page being linked to as well as the web page
being linked from. The Page Rank calculation is much more detailed and
complex, and we go into the calculation in more detail later in the
tutorial, as well point out other places that you can read up on how
Google calculates a web page's PR.

Before you can begin to develop or increase the PageRank of your
website and individual web pages, you will need to evaluate what the
PageRank of your site's pages is currently. To view the PR of your
site you will need to download the Google Toolbar.

PageRank is in some ways related to link popularity, but the
calculation is dependant on the quality and strength of the links, not
just the number of links. So, how does one go about building and
increasing their Page Rank. It is not as difficult as some may think.

Internal linking
Internal linking also plays a factor in the Page Rank of the pages
within a site. It is most common to see the homepage, index.htm, to
have the highest PR of the website.

The linking structure within the site should follow the themed
approach to internal linking, which stresses importance on minimizing
linking between 2nd and 3rd level directories and pages.

Let's run through an example. The homepage of your site has a PageRank
of 6. This usually means that there are a good number of other
websites that link to your homepage that also have a PR of 5,6, and
above. You link your homepage that has a PR of 6, to your second level
pages, which will in turn have a PR of 5. You link all of these second
level pages to each other, which will not affect the PageRank of the
pages. Now, you link all of the secondary pages that have a PR of 5 to
the tertiary pages that will in turn have a PR of 4. If you have
quarternary pages, you would link the tertiary pages that have a PR of
4 to the quarternary pages that would in turn have a PR of 3.

Why does this PR reduction take place when digging deeper into the
structure of your website? There have been many discussions, theories,
and speculations among the search engine optimization professionals in
the industry as to why this takes place. Some think that Google does
this as a result of the deep structure as it does not prefer it.
Others think that this PR reduction takes place as a result of the
smaller amount of internal linking that takes place. Instead, why not
consider all of the factors? The tertiary and quarternary pages have
several different characteristics than the primary and secondary
pages. These pages with the lower PR are deeper in the site structure,
have less internal linking, and in most cases less external linking.
What can be done to make sure that these important pages that are
deeper in the site increase their PageRank?

Since the internal linking of your site plays a factor, not in
increasing PR, but in sharing the PR of the site, and the dilution of
your keyword strength and theme, it is important to review the
internal linking structure of your site. If your linking structure
follows the example above, then there are modifications that could be
made to improve the site's internal linking. Follow this checklist of
internal linking questions and comments:

Make sure that your primary page(s), the index.htm page, links to your
secondary pages or secondary levels.
Make sure that your secondary pages link to each other
Link your secondary pages to the third level pages within their sub-
directory, sub-domain, or level
Link the third level pages within each specific sub-directory or sub-
domain to each other.
Link the third level pages back to the secondary page that it was
linked from
Make sure that the there is not heavy linking between third level
Link to pages, regardless of level, that are relevant
Link to pages, regardless of level, where the text on the page being
linked from is keyword specific to the page that you are linking to
If there are fourth level pages, follow the same linking structure
that has been laid out in this checklist

Other reminders:

Only link pages within your site that are relevant to each other
Use keyword specific link text when linking between pages
Use standard HREFs in links that are easy for the search engine
These tertiary and quartenary pages are the most important pages as
they are the web pages that are targeting the refined keywords within
your keyword set. In some cases it would be detrimental to the ranking
of these pages if they have a PR of 3 or 4, and not the 5 or 6 that
the top-level pages enjoy. In other cases it is possible for a page
with a PR of 3 or 4 to rank very well, but this depends on a number of
other variables. A good Page Rank is the icing on the cake for the web
page that has been fully optimized. When attempting to increase the PR
of a web page through the influence of external linking, it is
necessary to work on the PageRank of each web page separately and as
if the pages are a site in-of-themselves.

External Linking
External linking is the largest factor in determining PageRank, and is
the place where you have the least control. There is no way to force
another web master to link to your site, especially when they already
have a high PageRank. For this reason and many more, increasing your
PageRank is difficult, but important nonetheless. In this section we
will discuss why external linking is important to the PageRank of your
web pages, what the correct way to link is, who to request links from
and why these links have such importance.

The actual amount of effect that Google's PageRank has on the ranking
of a website or web pages is debated, and it is probably safe to say
that Google will not be letting us know anytime soon. What we do know
is that a web page's PR does play a role in Google's indexing and
Google's ranking. The higher a web page's PageRank, the more
frequently it will be crawled and refreshed. While in most cases, a
higher PR will accompany a higher-ranking site; it is not always the
case. As we mentioned earlier, a high PR can sometimes be the icing on
the cake, or what gives a strong hold on a good ranking.

PageRank is a pretty complex mathematical calculation, but can be
broken down into a simple version. PageRank is Google's scoring of
Page A. This scoring is based on the external links that point to Page
A, and certain variables within the pages that the links come from. A
link from Page B is held as a vote for Page A, and if Page B has a
high PageRank, this will is taken into account and will have a
positive effect when calculating the PR of Page A. If Page B, C, and
D, all link to Page A, but Page B, C, and D all have a PR of 2, then
this will be taken into account when calculating the web page's
PageRank. In the second situation, the pages with low PageRank's that
link to Page A will not affect Page A's PR in a negative effect, but
will also not affect it in a positive way.

Another very important part of the PageRank calculation is the use of
on page criteria and title tags by Google when determining PageRank.
When Google is determining the PR of Page A by evaluating the votes,
or links, from Page B and others, it will also take into account the
on page criteria and title tags of Page B and other links that are
pointing to Page A. If Page A's target keywords and theme are
"widgets" then this is what Google will look for in the external links
that are pointing to your site. If Page B, C, and D all have a high PR
(above 6), and all have the keyword "widgets" in the on page criteria
and title tag, Google will notice this and use these links when
determining Page A's Page Rank. What does this mean?

This means that when contacting other websites to link to your site in
the attempt to build and increase your Page Rank, these web pages that
you are requesting a link from should be relevant and of the same
theme and market of the page that you are requesting they link to.
Perform a search for your target keyword in Google, ODP, and Yahoo to
start, and check the top 40 ranking sites. Can you find a place where
they would place a link to your web page? If so, contact them and
request that they link to your site. Be prepared for them to ask for a
reciprocal link. Dig through your category and related categories in
the Google directory, and contact sites that are listed high within
each category. Google's directory will show you the PageRank of each
site listed in the category, which help you to determine which site's
are of the highest value to contact.

Another important part of the external linking campaign is the actual
links and the way that they are formatted. Following the same example
that we have been using, let's assume that you are attempting to
improve the ranking for a web page that targets "widgets". Still
following the example above, you would contact other websites with a
high PageRank that target "widgets" and ask them to link to your
"widgets" page. To maximize results from these links, you would want
the link text pointing to your site to read "widgets", or other link
text that is keyword rich and descriptive.

To continue upon the external linking development for your website,
there is another point that must be made that will be crucial to the
successful building of PageRank. One common mistake when building
PageRank is that webmasters or search engine optimization
professionals will contact other webmasters and request that they only
link to the homepage or the top level of a section. This can have two
effects, which will be explained shortly, but the pages that are below
these pages linked to will not encounter the full effects of being
linked to.

If you request a link to a top-level page or the homepage of your
site, this will have a positive effect on this page. If the PageRank
of this page increases, then the page below it will increase (if the
internal linking structure is correct), but it will still be one
PageRank number below the page above it that was linked to. If you
have quality content pages that are deep in your site structure, you
will have to go further than this to increase the PageRank for those

Let's follow an example. Your site's main topic is "flowers", with one
of the next sub-directories being "roses". Within the sub-directory
"roses", you have 4 different sub-directories: "yellow roses", "red
roses", "pink roses", and "white roses". Within these 4 sub-
directories, you have a number of pages dealing with each type of
flower. The way that this site is set up follows the themed approach.

Now let's suppose that your site is of decent stature and Google gives
the homepage a PageRank of 6. (A PageRank of 6 is good, but it is not
good enough that you wouldn't want to increase it.) With the home page
at 6, the second level, "roses", would have a PR of 5, each sub-
category, "yellow roses" for example, would have a PR of 4, and the
pages below that would have a PR of 3. These sub-categories and pages
that are below are the niche keywords and the ones that are going to
bring you the targeted traffic that is easily converted.

To increase the PageRank of these pages and sub-categories, first you
need to follow the internal linking structure that was outlined and
illustrated earlier in this tutorial. Next you need to work on the
external linking, or link popularity, for each page and sub-category
page. Following the example above, you should start with the homepage
and work your way down. Since the theme of the homepage is "flowers",
search for pages and sites with a high PR that have the same theme of
"flowers" and request that they link to your homepage. The second
level is "roses", so you would want to search for web pages and
websites that have the theme or main topic "roses" and request that
they link to your "roses" section. (If you have them link to the
homepage, this will not work) See the pattern forming here?

One problem that you may encounter is finding sites or pages with a
high PR that match your theme. For example, it may be difficult to
find sites that are dedicated to simply "white roses", and not just
"roses" or "flowers". Instead of the desired linking pages having a PR
of 6 or 7, they have a mere 3 or 4. If this is the case, you should
ask for the links from these pages with a mediocre PageRank, and then
continue your search. Seek out more of these sites to make up for the
low PageRank. Once you have contacted these sites within your theme or
main topic, you should contact some of the sites from the level above
and request that they link to these pages.

Your site and pages within your site must meet certain criteria for
this to work, with one piece being the most important: the site and
pages within your site must be quality content that people will
actually want to link up to. This is one of the basic points of
PageRank: Google can tell which pages and sites are authorities as
they have a large number of high quality links pointing them. If your
site is full of spam, or otherwise undesired content, it may be
difficult to get the quality links, whether internal or external, that
you need for a high PR.

top web host

Re: Understanding and Building Google PageRank

top web host wrote:
<post of copyrighted article with no attribution deleted>

The poor guy actually believes stealing someone else's material and
posting it on usenet as his own will help him.  Especially material that
is over 5 years old... ROFLMAO!


I wonder why someone doesn't nail him for copyright violations.

Would you buy from a guy like this?

Remove the "x" from my email address
Jerry Stuckle
JDS Computer Training Corp.

Re: Understanding and Building Google PageRank

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Wrong, too:

"Why does this PR reduction take place when digging deeper into the
structure of your website?"

Like you say, five years ago.  I now have pages in subdirectories with
higher PR than the home page.

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