Google Algorithm


Glossary  |  2 mins

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PageRank is a system of ranking web pages based on the volume and quality of its citations  and links. PageRank is also used to refer to a score determining the authority and value of a given link or piece of content, where a higher PageRank for a link or page assigns greater authority to that content.

PageRank was first developed by the original founders of Google at Stanford University, and has served as a foundation to all future changes to Google’s ranking algorithm. Though future algorithm updates have made Google’s algorithm more complex and nuanced, PageRank on Google is still an important factor to understand how the search engine ranks pages based on user-generated signals.

How Google PageRank Works

When PageRank was first incepted, it was based on the idea that a link to a webpage acts as a vote of confidence for the target content, and a mark of authority and trust. In simple terms, PageRank works off an understanding that the more links a webpage has pointing to it, the more it should be trusted, and the higher it should be ranked on a SERP.

Aside from looking at the simple quantity of links pointing to a given page, PageRank also looks at the PageRank score of the pages links are coming from to determine the overall value of the links. Therefore, if Page B has 5 links pointing to it and Page C has 2 links, a link going from Page B to Page A will have a greater effect on Page A’s PageRank compared to a link from Page C.

In order to help your SEO efforts align with the PageRank Google ranking factor, SEOs must ensure that backlinks and internal links are optimised to pass on the maximum possible PageRank to the pages that you want to rank.

To achieve this, SEOs pay close attention to a variety of factors, including how relevant and accurate link anchor text is, how likely a link is to be clicked in the context of the wider content, and whether or not the link has a nofollow attribute. It’s also important to use a good internal linking structure to help PageRank flow through your site.

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PageRank FAQs

What is Google PageRank?

Google PageRank is a system Google uses to rank web pages based on the quantity and quality of the links pointing to it. It’s also used to determine the authority of a given link based on the links pointing to its referring page and domain.

Questions to ask your link builder