Google’s PageRank

By: Mark Nenadic


Google is by far the most highly used search engine around the world. Besides its ease of use and high performance abilities, an extremely important part of Google’s popularity is its high quality search results when compared with other search engines. This quality can be attributed to Google’s PageRank; it’s unique and complex index ranking method.

There have been many studies and debates among web designers with regards to how to cater specifically to PageRank’s indexing techniques in order to obtain the best rank for desired keywords used by searchers. Google has been extremely tight lipped about the actual elements making up the ranking system, and the way in which those elements are weighed for ranking. This secrecy is necessary in order to ensure the most accurate search results. Further to their efforts to keep their searches of the highest quality, PageRank is continually updating, changing, adjusting, and modifying the way in which its ranking is achieved. Though this is extremely good news for people who use Google as their primary search engine, it does present a challenge to web designers who wish to create a web design and content that is conducive to the highest rank results on Google.

To understand how to properly create a search engine optimized web design, it’s important that you first understand PageRank itself.

Ever since the world wide web was first created, search engines have each developed their own ways in which to rank web pages. Until just recently, such ranking was based upon a search phrase which occurs as a primary factor within a web site’s content. This has been the basis of every search engine’s ranking system. Therefore, until recently, all a web designer needed to do to achieve a high search engine rank is to make sure that the desired keyword – that is, the term the web designer feels is most likely to be used by users of a search engine in order to find their type of site – is used in a document of adequate length, and with enough density within the rest of the text. This technique could be accent with the use of certain additional HTML tags.

However, to create better search results, and to avoid automatically generated web pages, link popularity became a factor in search engine ranking. This was based upon the analysis of different ranking criteria of doorway pages.

Soon, another element was added. This was the number of inbound links to a website from other sites that were unrelated to the domain. This helped to measure the general importance of the website and so the higher the importance, the better the ranking.

However, it has been noted that the concepts of link popularity and inbound links from other websites hurt perfectly useful websites that just don’t happen to have a following as of yet. Furthermore, many webmasters learned to elude this hurdle by creating masses of inbound links for doorway pages from a whole swath of equally insignificant web pages.

Therefore, PageRank is not based wholly on the total number of inbound links or the popularity of a site. It is a complex balance of several factors which are not weighted equally.

So if you want your website to score well with PageRank, then make sure that it is well balanced in as many of the factors considered by PageRank as possible. Make sure the keywords are well used in your content. Write content that is long enough to “count”. Exchange links or add your site to the link lists of many other sites – especially others that have good ranking or that you feel are on their way to good ranking. As your popularity as a site grows, as will your page rank. This will allow your web design to grow at a manageable and profitable rate.

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Mark Nenadic Mark is the director and face behind FifteenDegrees-North, where you will find articles and resources to help with SEO, marketing and Web design.

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