What is Google PageRank and how to increase your PR

I recently wrote about What a NoFollow Link is and why you should use it when publishing sponsored content. In that post I briefly mentioned Google PageRank and how it works so I thought I’d go into a little more details about it here.

What is Pagerank?

PageRank is a measure from 0-10 that Google gives to each website in order to know how popular that site is online. It is one of the things that Google uses to calculate a websites relevance, influence, authority and importance. They do this to determine if a site will rank well on the results page and the order that the results will appear in.

Every new site starts as being unranked. Once your site has been crawled and indexed it will typically be on PR0 or PR1. Overtime your rank will slowly increase and multiple factors influence it. I say slowly because Google doesn’t publically update PageRank very often.

Everytime somebody links to your website, they are giving you a recommendation. Backlinks from high-ranking, reputable and popular websites are higher in quality and therefore have more weight and influence. Basically you want to get linked to by trustworthy sites that produce great content with a similar topic who are already really well-known and have a high PageRank. Sounds pretty impossible but we’ll get to that further down in this post. I recommend reading the previous post I mentioned to understand what kind of links help with PageRank.

Google killed off PageRank from the Google Toolbar, so you can’t check your score, but they do seem to still be using PageRank internally – Gary Illyes confirmed via Twitter.

Why you want a higher PageRank?

A higher PageRank means a higher chance of your site showing up on the first page in the search results. A site with a PageRank of 5 will show before another site with a PageRank of 2. As mentioned, PageRank is just 1 of 200 ranking factors! Other things that contribute to the ranking in search results include titles, social shares, traffic, domain age and registration length, keywords and other SEO methods that I’ve talked through previously.

How to get a higher PageRank?

So back to the impossible task of getting “linked to by trustworthy sites producing great content with a similar topic that are already really well-known and have a high PageRank”. As with everything, it takes time. To increase your PageRank and improve your search engine rankings, you need to build quality backlinks overtime. The best way to do this is create content that people want to share. This is one of the reasons blogging is so popular, because people knew that to increase traffic to their website or sales page they needed to create unique content on a regular basis.

My advice when it comes to SEO and PageRank is – don’t think about it too much. Create great content, share great content, connect with other bloggers and be active on social media. The quality of your backlinks will increase as your audience grows.

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8 comments

  1. El on

    Helpful article! I got N/A when I checked my PR in the tool your provided. I remember doing this when I first started my blog last yr and it was NA then too. I’m pretty sure I’m indexed by google. So it’s probably that I still just need to work on getting backlinks?

    Reply
  2. Sarah Thomas on

    They’re actually not updating the public one from now on, in an effort to stop people buying links! So it doesn’t really matter any more. The fact that it’s only been updated publically once in the past two years (and even then, it was supposedly an accident!) has been a pretty good warning that they were planning other things.

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    • Elaine M on

      Ahh, that makes sense. I don’t really pay much attention to it really, once you’re appearing in the search results and getting visitors I don’t think it makes much of a difference. Better to grow organically than trying to trick search engines.

      Reply