At some point, I'm sure you've heard of Google Pagerank (or PR). What you may not understand is why it matters to your website.
Google is, of course, the leading search engine on the internet. As a result, once your website or blog is indexed, it will more than likely become the largest source of "natural" traffic. At least, if you play the game correctly.
Pagerank is Google's "grade" of your website, ranging from zero to ten. The higher the number, the better your PR. Google's algorithms compute this score using a variety of measures, but general consensus is that backlinks are the most important part. The more sites that link to you, the higher your PR, and sites that have a higher PR than you pass along more "link juice", boosting your PR more than a link on a site with lower (or no) PR.
Believe it or not, that's the simplified version.
Pagerank isn't updated in real-time; Google performs an update every few months, with no set schedule. (The last PR update was at the start of January 2008, so the next one will probably not happen before March or April 2008)
The question most people ask when discovering PR is "Does it matter to me?" Opinions vary on that question, but here's my answer: For the most part, no. (I would like to take this opportunity to ask Google to please not destroy me.)
PR can be a good indicator of the success of your marketing efforts, since the higher your pagerank is, the more relevant and well-known Google considers your site to be on its subject.
However, I disagree with those that feel that PR is a measure of your website's worth. For example, let's compare two hypothetical sites:
- Site A has regular traffic and generates an average of $1000 per month in revenue, but only has a PR of 3.
- Site B is a blog, has quite a bit of traffic, a PR of 6, but has generated a grand total of $100 in revenue since it launched a year ago.
Which one is more valuable?
If you go strictly by PR, the blog is twice as valuable as Site A. However, if your goal is revenue, then it's a fairly obvious choice. However, I'm not
saying you shouldn't try to grow your pagerank, and here's why:
The steps you should take to increase your Google PR are the steps you should already be taking to grow your website.
- Fill your site with original quality content
- Network your site with other websites
- Market your website
- Make sure your site is SEO optimized, to give you better placement in search engine results
If you do these things, your online business will succeed, and your PR will go up as well...even if you never know it.