Google PageRank’s name is slightly misleading. many people erroneously believe it has to do with ranking a page-. However, it is actually a reference to its creator and founding member of Google Larry Page.
PageRank is a measure of how much authority a page has in Google’s eyes.
PageRank is often just abbreviated to “PR”.
Although Matt Cutts has said on many occasions that PageRank is not much of a ranking factor any more we can basically discount this as we have already established that Google is very liberal with the truth when it comes to explaining how the Google ranking algorithm works!
How PageRank Works
PageRank is basically a measure of how popular your website is online.
It involves many factors, most of which Google engineers keep very close to their chests. However, as a rule of thumb we can view PageRank as a big green bar that represents how popular our site is among other popular sites.
A general misconception about a site’s popularity is that the more backlinks a site has the more popular it is and the better will be its PageRank.
Although the quantity of backlinks is an important factor is PagePrank it is also the quality of the links that point to your site that matter.
Being linked to by thousands of PR 0 or PR N/A sites will have little effect on your site’s PR score.
However just 1 good link from a PR 7 page is enough to get the linked page on your site a PR 5!
If you need further clarification here is a great fun visual representation of PageRank.
Does PageRank Help a Site Rank?
You just have to look at the SERPs to see that PageRank is not a factor when it comes to ranking a site.
Many PR0 sits outrank PR 4 sites for competitive terms and this had lead many marketers to falsely believe that PR has no effect on rankings.
The simple truth is that if PageRank no longer mattered Google would no longer invest resources into using it!
PageRank is still a big rankingf actor however not in the way most people think.
The PageRank of the page being ranked does not matter that much and carries no weight as a ranking factor. But, as Google still relies heavily on backlinks to determine relevance, trust and authority it is the PageRank of the backlinking site that point to the ranking site that carry the weight!
PageRank is Important In Backlinks
Google looks at the PR of a page that is linking to your site to determine how authoritative that links is.
Think of it this way:
John is an out-of-work car mechanic who is also an aspiring actor wanting to make it big in Hollywood.
He plasters posters of his face with a list of his many acting skills and acting experience. He places these posters all over Los Angeles in an attempt to grab the attention of some bigwig Hollywood producers and directors.
Eventually he gathers some momentum and gains the interest from several amateur drama groups who begin talking about him in their circles.
He tries to use his new found fame in the amateur acting community as leverage in some auditions but his growing amateur acting fans are not enough to impress the Hollywood elite.
Then one day, quite by chance, he is driving in the Hollywood hills when John ventures upon a stranded Brad Pitt looking flustered by the roadside beside a broken-down car and holding a cell phone with a dead battery.
Being a mechanic John offers to fix Brad’s car in exchange for the promise that he will watch the DVD of your latest auditions that you luckily has with him.
John fixes Brad’s car and they both go their separate ways, John believing that he now has an interesting cocktail party.
However, later in the week John gets a phone call from a friend telling him to switch on the Jay Leno show. When he doe she is astounded to hear Brad Pitt recounting the story of his broken down car and the good Samaritan that helped him.
At the end of the story Brad adds “and what surprised me is that this guy John is actually a very good actor…I’m sorry I never got his phone number”.
After this small event John started getting more auditions and getting more acting work. All because one big Hollywood star gave him an endorsement.
The same is true for ranking on Google.
A high PageRank link to your site is the equivalent of an endorsement from someone a Brad Pitt which is worth more than hundreds or thousands of links from PageRank zero or PageRank n/a sites (like endorsements from thousands of amateur actors).
PageRank Links Build Authority
Getting a high PageRank links to your homepage root domain is the bets way to build some authority to your site quickly.
Pointing a few PageRank 6 links to your site and using a silo structure is enough to send link juice flowing through your site to help all your pages rank.
This is why you can have low PR pages ranking in the SERPs because they may not have enough direct link juice to force their own PageRank higher but they do have enough to help them rank well.
When you start getting links from pages that are relevant to your page and that have high PageRank you can really start seeing some high rankings in Google.