Deep Inside Google Pagerank

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Deep Inside Google Pagerank Powered By Docstoc
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                                                  Deep Inside Google Pagerank
                                                           By Danny Wirken

    PageRank is Google’s way of determining a website’s worth based on the number of incoming links
it has. Essentially, Google counts the number of links pointing to the site and interprets it as confidence
votes. Simply put, the more votes for a site, the worthier the site is in the eyes of Google.

Website Ranking

During the years that the web was emerging, numerous sites that have industry-specific content were
continuously being added to the web daily. Web surfers or searchers had very few tools to locate these
sites which they knew existed but had no idea on how they can be accessed. The birth of Yahoo
provided some relief as it organized its directory listing by classifying each site it discovered and
likewise embedded a search engine in its site. This started the use of keywords existing in the
database for site searching. Other search engines followed suit with the search trend and relied heavily
on Meta tags to classify the relevance of a website based on keywords found in the tags.

Everything seemed to work out just fine until site owners and webmasters realized the potential of
embedding industry specific keyword phrases in their Meta tags and other site codes to manipulate
higher rankings in search results. Search engines started getting cluttered with sites that spammed
their content with the abuse of relevant keywords. Most had the keywords but had poor content. The
credibility and relevance of search engines were being challenged so they had to think of a way to offer
a more refined output to users.

Google saw the problem which conventional search engines had to face in this situation. It recognized
the fact that as long as the control of relevance remained with webmasters, the ranking results would
continue to be contaminated with the presence of high ranking sites that artificially inflate their keyword
relevance. By the very nature of the web, it is accepted that the web is based on hyperlinks where a
site is largely measured by its linkage to prominent sites and the number of links it has. There is the
assumption that a site is good and important if more sites link to it.

The Google founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page took this logic further when they formulated a
search engine algorithm that shifted the ranking weight to off-page factors. They came up with a
formula called the PageRank where the algorithm would count the number of sites that link to a page
and assign it an importance score on a scale of 1-10. The Google scale is not linear but rather

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exponential in nature.

The PageRank algorithm which was named after its founder, Larry Page, was deployed with the launch
of Google in 1998. The successful result enabled Google to surpass its competition due to the superior
and relevant results it was able to serve using their formula that was difficult to manipulate. The new
algorithm helped in providing authentic and quality information while presenting a challenge to site
owners and webmasters who cheat their way to top rank. Google’s PageRank is considered one of the
primary off-page factors that influence a page’s ranking in the search engine result pages. The
PageRank value of any page can be checked by downloading the Google Toolbar.

Google’s PageRank

PageRank is explained by Google in the following manner:

“PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an
indicator of an individual page value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a
vote by page A for page B. But Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes or links a page
receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves
“important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important”. Important, high-quality sites
receive a higher PageRank which Google remembers each time it conducts a search. Of course,
important pages mean nothing to you if they don’t match your query. So Google combines PageRank
with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your
search. Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines all
aspects of the page’s content (and the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if it’s a good
match for your query.”

The exact algorithm of each search engine is a confidential matter. However, search engine analysts
believe that ranking is a product of a combination of page relevance and PageRank. The search
results of Google search are admittedly high in terms of relevance. This is largely responsible for the
resounding success it is experiencing. Other major search engines have adapted this logic in some
form with variations on the assigned importance of this value.

The Google Toolbar is downloaded for free and can be installed in the user’s Internet Explorer within
minutes. It facilitates the display of the PageRank of each web page visited on a scale of 1-10. It does
not display the PageRank of web pages that it has not indexed. The PageRank displayed by the
Toolbar refers to individual pages and not to the site as a whole.

Most search engines place significant importance on link popularity in evaluating the importance of
web pages ranking and indexing purposes. The system of Link Popularity is based on the number and
quality of links connected to a website page. This is used in conjunction with the quality of sites that are
linked to the website, the quality of content and the industry relevance to the site.

A webpage that links to one site passes a portion of its own PageRank value in the process. The
higher the PageRank of the linking page, the higher the value passed. PageRank is divided over the
total outgoing links of the linking page. In essence, a link from a PR10 webpage with 20 outgoing links
represents more value than a link with a page of the same PageRank that has 100 outgoing links.
Pursuing links from higher PR web pages with lesser number of total outgoing links should be

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One of the more critical aspects of search engine marketing is the building of link popularity. The
manipulation of PageRank is neither easy nor recommended but PageRank can be enhanced by
improving link popularity. A long term link building campaign should be undertaken to boost a site’s
PageRank and consequently achieve a significant improvement in site ranking. Off-page factors
continue to gain importance in ranking websites thus it has become necessary to actively boost such
factors to favor the website. Exchanging links with sites falling under the same industry segment has
become more open as webmasters finally realize the importance of link popularity and PageRank.

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                                            Five FAQ About Google PageRank
                                                        By Patrick Carlow

Five FAQ About Google PageRank
 by: Patrick Carlow

Five FAQ about Google PageRank

1. What is PageRank and why should I care about it?

PageRank is a formula that assigns a value to every page in the Google index. Google displays search
results based on an algorithm which includes the value of PageRank. So the higher your site's
PageRank, the more likely it is that you will receive a top listing on the search result page when
someone types in the keywords for your site.

2. How can I view the PageRank of my own or other websites?

It's very simple to see anyone's PageRank. Just download and install the Google toolbar. It's a very
quick and easy install. Just be sure to choose the Advanced option during the install so the PageRank
of each site you visit will be displayed on the toolbar.

3. How is PageRank calculated?

I've seen a formula for PageRank posted on Internet websites and forums but have failed to see
anyone give a satisfactory explanation of the formula. The formula appears so complex you would
probably have to be a mathematician to even have a chance to decipher it anyway. It looks something
like this:

PR(A) = (1-d) + d(PR(t1)/C(t1) + ... + PR(tn)/C(tn))

I will attempt to explain it for you in plain English. Basically it works like this. The more links that point
to your website the higher your PageRank will be. The higher the PageRank of the referring page that
has your link on it, the more PageRank you receive from Google. For every outgoing link that a page
has, the value of those links drop. So for example, a link from a page with a PageRank of 4, and only 3
other links, is worth more than a page with a PageRank of 5 and 100 links. It is also believed that
Google assigns more value to a link that comes from a site with similar content. So as you can see,
there are many variables when calculating PageRank.

4. How do I increase my PageRank?

Again, PageRank can be increased by the number of incoming links to your website from other sites on
the Internet. In addition, it requires anywhere from five to seven times more to get from one level of
PageRank to the next.

So for example, (and this is not a true formula) if 100 PageRank 3 sites with a link to your page give
you a PageRank of 4, then it would take around 500 more PageRank 3 sites to link to you before you
became PageRank 5. However if you had 1 link from a PageRank 8 site, that might be enough to give

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a higher PageRank all by its self. It's really all relative and trying to figure it out will simply drive you
mad, so don't bother. :) The best thing you can do is obtain as many quality incoming links from other
sites with similar content as you possibly can.

Another important factor is the number of pages on your site. The more pages on your site, the higher
potential you have to gain in PageRank. More pages doesn't mean you will get a higher PageRank
only that you won't hit a ceiling. Apparently Google has a cut off point somewhere on the highest
PageRank it will give to sites with a low number of pages.

5. When will my PageRank be updated or change?

According to the Google website, they update the index about once a month. However if you spend
any amount of time reading search engine forums, you will find that results vary for every webmaster.
PageRank may not update or may change drastically for a long period of time which is often times
unexplainable. Usually as long as you follow good web site optimization techniques and maintain
enough quality incoming links, the index will eventually assign your website PageRank and adjust any
changes which may have been made in error.

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                                          Presented by Daniel Toriola

Related eBooks:

Five FAQ About Google PageRank
Increase Your PageRank on Google
Find google pagerank fast and boost your ranking
Is Pagerank That Important
A Tip for Finding Willing, Quality Links

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Patricia Johnson Patricia Johnson Management Consultant
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