Google & # 39; s PageRank is one of the statistics that started it all. It was present in that very first research paper, which laid the foundation for the entire Google ranking system.
PageRank calculates the importance, credibility and "weight" of a webpage based on the type of backlinks that the webpage receives. It is a system that is analogous to academic quotes. So the more robust your backlink profile is, the more suitable and authoritative backlinks you receive, the higher your chances of ranking.
We all know very well how important good backlinks are. The weight assigned to the page due to the backlink profile can create or break the ranking. And from the moment that PageRank was first used, the SEO community started to optimize for it. So it goes, they adopt, and we adjust.
During its long history as a crucial factor in the ranking, PageRank was surrounded by a multitude of misconceptions. In this article I will cover some of the most common ones.
1. PageRank if a given is too old to matter
PageRank will no longer be accessible in 2016. Before that was the last available update in 2013. And the original algorithm was already presented in 1999.
On the internet, not only statistics, but entire tools can become obsolete in a few weeks. So talking about a 1999 instrument might seem like a bad idea to some.
And most of the time I agree. But not in this case.
First of all, PageRank is in many ways one of the cornerstones of Google's entire ranking system. PageRank (PR) was originally created with a specific purpose in mind – to help users avoid unwanted results in their searches. And it has been fulfilling that function beautifully for years.
Second, it is not exactly the same value. The PageRank formula has been drastically updated (you can read a more in-depth overview of the algorithm changes here). And that is done to reflect the changes in the internet landscape.
And there is also news that the PageRank patent is being extended by Google. So it's pretty clear that PageRank is still alive and a measure of the weight of a page.
Closely connected to the first is the second misconception.
2. Google does not use the PageRank tool because they have no longer publicly updated it
Firstly, PageRank was never officially stopped. It is no longer publicly available, certainly. And Google has not updated the publicly available version for years, yes.
However, keep in mind that Google simply declares that this is the case still with PageRank after all those years.
This misconception stems from the fact that Google no longer shows public PR scores.
In the beginning, PageRank was an easily and easily accessible statistic. By using Google Toolbar, you can easily click and see the value of one to ten for every page you visit.
This led to the overwhelming use of link spam by malicious SEO agencies to extract juice from authoritative blogs and websites.
That had to be stopped, so Google (along with a few other search engines) introduced a & # 39; nofollow & # 39; tag. That is a feature that you can use to prevent PR from taking into account certain links, so that you do not lose your authority through link spam.
But even after that, an entire economy grew out of SEO agencies and companies that optimized exclusively and purely for PR. It came to a point where it started hurting real users, at which point Google put down its foot.
3. There is no way to measure the weight of a page
Since PR is no longer public, there is no way to measure the weight of a page.
This is a difficult one because it is based on a very real, indisputable fact. Since PageRank was closed to the public, we can no longer see that statistic. That is just about the end of the story.
No company, no development team, can even claim to know exactly what PageRank says about each page.
But there are actually alternatives to PageRank that are certainly useful to look at. These are the tools such as the InLink Rank of SEO PowerSuite, the Page Authority of Moz and the URL Rank of Ahrefs.
They are all built with the purpose of replacing PageRank in mind. They try to give their users an easy way to understand the relative weight of a page because of the number and quality of the backlinks.
All those alternative statistics use specific algorithms to get closer to the actual PageRank of a page.
(Note, full disclosure: I am a creator of SEO PowerSuite and can only vouch for that specific software. I encourage any interested reader to view the work of other teams.)
4. PageRank lost its weight
PageRank lost its weight compared to hundreds of other statistics that Google uses to determine the rankings.
The big question is, does it even matter that these alternative statistics are available? Since there are hundreds, literally hundreds of statistics that Google uses, can we actually say that backlinks are just as important as before?
To find out, we have conducted internal research. And we found a strong correlation between InLink Rank scores and Google SERP positions.
We found that the correlation between Domain InLink Rank and SERP rank is high enough: 0.128482487. This means that the backlink profile of a page plays an important role in the placement of a page in the rankings.
Backlinks therefore absolutely still play a major role in the ranking of pages. For our part, we routinely carry out this type of research, constantly looking for how important this statistic is for ranking. It is now up to the webmasters and site managers to keep a close eye on their backlinks, using the available alternatives to PR.
5. You cannot influence your PageRank score
It is clear that, even if you get that PR score, the question is: to what extent can webmasters really influence it? How much can be done to improve your score?
Of course we cannot really know how we can increase PR. But we can definitely talk about some things that you should avoid in order not to lose them.
Perform a backlink analysis
We have already established that backlinks are still important for rankings. By using software to perform backlink analysis, you can see the type of backlinks that you get. Then you can manage your profile much easier.
Keep your content close to your homepage
It is a truth that a user can never make more than three clicks from your home page. Make sure the important pages remain close to those of a high PageRank and make sure there are breadcrumbs for easier user navigation.
Use anchor text with relevant keywords
Create anchor text with the right keywords (but do not enter it at all costs). This achieves two things:
a) This allows your users to focus much more on your content.
b) It will help you with optimization.
Organically placed relevant keywords are a perfect way to inform the search engines about the actual content of your page.
Place your links careful
Always know what kind of weight is supported by what kind of link. Links that you place in your content are more valuable to PageRank than navigation links. Keep the number of links outside your pages reasonable, do not overdo it and inadvertently damage your PR score.
Shape your internal PageRank stream
Use "nofollow" tags and correctly placed internal links to determine which pages get the highest ranking. First open an auditor tool to see which pages get the most rankings. You will see a handy one in WebSite Auditor visualization with each of the subdomains of your website classified according to their InLink Rank score.
Based on this, you can easily give a little boost to the pages that do not rank enough by linking to your most important pages.
Perform a technical audit
By performing a technical audit, you can see the internal link structure and eliminate the dead links, 4xx pages & more, all of which affect your PR score.
Additional – Maximize your linkless entries
Google starts looking at your brand listings and uses the information found to evaluate domain authority. As we know, the algorithms used by Google nowadays rely more and more on the intentions of users. So the simple links will give way to linkless entries, implicit links. Growing linkless listings is clearly much easier than performing backlinks.
Use a social monitoring tool for this. Ideally, the person who has his own web crawler instead of relying on third-party databases (Awario is strongly recommended). By viewing your brand listings via social media and millions of web pages, you can manage your branding so much more successfully.
PageRank is still strong as a statistic used by Google for ranking. It has been around since 1999 and it is still one of the cornerstones of Google's ranking of pages.
Fortunately, thanks to a large number of tools available on the market, you can see the status of your backlink profile and influence it to grow your pages and your domain. In 2019, it would be foolish to ignore any metrics that affect growth. And it is twice as true for a statistic as important and fundamental as PageRank.
Aleh is the founder and CMO of SEO PowerSuite and Awario. You can find it on Twitter at.
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