What is PageRank and what is it for?

PageRank What Is That
PageRank What Is That

PageRank (PR) is an SEO metric launched in 1999 by the founders of Google (Larry Page and Sergey Brin) in order to measure the quality of a website.

In its day, it was a revolution for search engines, positioning Google as the search engine search engine. And, causing many of us who are dedicated to web positioning, to lose sleep more than once for it.

There are few SEO experts and consultants who at some point have said that PageRank is dead.

But what is the truth in it? Do you want to know what PageRank is? Do you wonder what it is for and how to improve it? Are you looking for alternative SEO metrics to assess the quality of a site?

What is page rank?

It is a ranking system, ranging from 0 to 10, created by Google in order to measure the authority of a website.

Its value is directly related to the quantity and quality of the links on a site. So, it is easier to increase it if you get backlinks from web pages with a good PageRank.

Since March 2016, Google has not shown PageRank publicly through any tool.

However, PageRank is still alive and well.

That because? Because the internal PageRank that Google uses as one more factor of its algorithm continues to add up. 

So, although you can no longer measure it like years ago and take it as a reference, if you are starting in the world of SEO, it makes sense to ask yourself what PageRank is, what it is for and how to increase it.

Google PageRank: Why It Matters

As I just told you, Google PageRank is one of the factors that determine where you will appear in the SERPs, and therefore, it fully affects your visibility.

’cause as they say: The best place to hide a corpse is the second page of Google.

In the first positions, you will have more chances of getting organic traffic, which, working with a good strategy, can help you generate leads, and in the best case, conversions.

According to the theory about calculating PageRank, each link is interpreted as a vote of confidence for a page. And, the more votes, the higher PageRank and authority, which favors a better positioning.

It is clear that this is a basic explanation to better understand what PageRank is and what it means, because in practice, Google takes into account many other factors such as:

  • The authority of the domain from which the link originates.
  • The relevance, depending on the subject, of the web that links you. That is, if it is related to the topics you address on your website and the content you generate.
  • The position of the back link on the source page. A link within a blog article, for example, does not give you the same strength as in the footer.
  • The anchor text or anchor text they use to link to you.

Despite the importance of PageRank, it is not everything.

It is essential to take it into account as a relative value, since a website with a lower PR can position above another with a higher PR, if beyond its SEO Off Page, the On Page is much better.

Calculate PageRank: Formula and Relevant Concepts

The truth is that, today, it is impossible to calculate PageRank.

It is calculated from algorithms that analyze the pages indexed by the Google robot, and that give it a number that represents its importance with respect to the rest of the indexed pages.

The algorithm that is in charge of calculating the PageRank is based on mathematical formulas developed by the search engine and that are currently totally unknown.

We only know what was the initial formula (see it below), which evolved over time. And that, in addition, as you can see, is only available to those who have a good mathematical basis, or who investigate in depth on the subject.

According to our friend Wikipedia, the original PageRank formula can be found in the document where its creators presented the Google prototype: “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine”. And it is the following:

PR (A) = (1 – d) + dx Σ (PR (i) / C (i))

  • PR (A):  PageRank of page A.
  • d:  is a damping factor whose value is between 0 and 1. It directly influences whether a user continues browsing within the same site by clicking on a link. Therefore, the probability that a user stops clicking links and navigates to another random website is (1 – d).
  • PR (i):  this is the individual PageRank of each of the pages “i” that link to “A”.
  • C (i): total outgoing links from “i”, both from interlinking and external.

The introduction of the damping factor in the PageRank formula takes some weight off all internet web pages, but above all, it causes those that do not have links to other pages to suffer.

That because? Easy: if a user enters a website without links, they will navigate to any other page. Or what is the same, under this assumption, somehow we can understand that a page without links has links to all web pages on the internet.

But take it easy! Beyond knowing how is (or rather, what was) the PageRank inside, what really interests you is knowing how to improve it.

How to increase PageRank

At this point, I guess you already have an idea of ​​how to improve PageRank, right?

The answer is clear: with links.

For simplicity: the more backlinks (internal and external) a page has, the higher PageRank it will have.

But remember: quality is equal to or even more important than quantity.

Normally, being the main one, the home page is the strongest page on a website. And, from there, the PageRank is distributed to the rest of the pages, reinforcing, at least the most strategic ones to position, with internal links or in important sites, which convey authority to you.

Let’s go with some quick tips! If you want to increase PageRank:

  1. Create a brutal content marketing strategy, with which you are able to generate interest in quality pages, to increase the chances of being linked and shared on their social networks, giving you a good boost of relevance, authority and visibility.
  2. If it makes sense for your brand, take advantage of the pull of influencer marketing in your industry to reach your audience recommended by those they revere.
  3. Put interest and active search for collaborations with other projects that represent a win-win in “on mode”.
  4. And, of course, what could not be missing to improve PageRank: designing a good link building and link baiting strategy.

SEO metrics alternatives to PageRank

Beyond the famous PageRank, there are currently a multitude of alternative formulas and SEO metrics provided by tools to know the evolution and quality of a website.

Do we see some?

Ahrefs Domain Rating (DR) and URL Rating (UR)

The DR reflects the authority of a page based on the number of links that point to a website.

While, for its part, the UR determines the force that a page transmits for each link, to the linked pages.

These two metrics range from 0 to 100 .

Majestic Trust Flow (TF) and Citation Flow (CF)

Trust Flow is an SEO metric that assesses the quality of incoming links, based on the principle of transfer of authority.

To put it simply, the TF counts the number of clicks that separates the page we are analyzing from other trusted pages (which are known and controlled).

The Citation Flow is very similar to the previous one, but what it measures is the number of links that point to a web page.

If we wanted to translate them into Spanish, they would be:

  • TF: trust flow.
  • CF: flow of mentions.

In general, a page with a good link profile would have a balance between the TF and CF values. Or, in the best case scenario, you would have a TF greater than your CF.

Their scale also go from 0 to 100 .

Moz Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA)

The DA, which is calculated mainly based on the links that point to a website, is responsible for assigning a value to a domain according to its authority.

The PA values ​​the authority of a specific page of a site.

Come on, we can consider the DA as the domain authority and the PA as the authority of the page in question.

Like the previous ones, both values range from 0 to 100 .

In conclusion:

As I said: PageRank, despite being no longer public, has not died .

Although it is mission impossible to calculate the current PageRank, it is still equally important to know the relevance and authority of a website to optimize its positioning.

In this post I have told you about some SEO tools to analyze these factors. However, there are many more.

My recomendation? Always be up to date with trends in digital marketing and SEO that help you climb positions and gain visibility for your brand.