In case you don’t know what Page Rank (PR) is, it is a score that Google gives a web page out of 10. To find out what sort of page rank you have you will have to download the Google toolbar from toolbar.google.com.
Google’s Australian site, google.com.au has a PR of 8/10 whereas google.com itself has a 10/10. Many people think that PR is the main determining factor to getting a web page ranked high in Google. What a load of codswhallop! (I don’t know what that is I just like saying it). Google looks at the information on the page before it looks at anything else, so if you want to get ranked high in Google focus on creating good content before worrying about Page Rank.
An SEO Tie Breaker
Page Rank is really more about being a tie breaker. It’s like that bit of extra training that gets the athlete over the line. When Google sees two pages that are equal in relevancy to a search, the final thing that is considered is Page Rank. The higher the PR then the higher the ranking, providing all other factors are equal.
In my SEO Melbourne based business I have regularly ranked many pages that have a 0PR higher than those with 4/10, 5/10 and even 8/10. The key is to focus on your keywords in places like your page title, article headings and especially text links.
Open another browser window and type in the word ‘Failure’ into Google, then come back here…. Go on… I’ll wait. Funny huh? George W. Bush biography is no.1. Now funnily enough the word “Failure” does not appear anywhere in Dubyah’s bio. The reason he is ranked no.1 is that lots of bloggers linked the word ‘failure’ back to his website. If you look closely you will see some politicians from the left there as well.
Search engines like to see keywords in your anchor text or links. Google thinks that the most important website in the world for the words “click here” is Adobe Acrobat. I guess they are kind of right too, when you consider that there a gazillion web pages linking the words “click here” to download Adobe Acrobat. Once again the words “click here” do not appear on the Adobe page.
These two examples have promoted the idea that the more links you get back to your site the higher you will rank. Once again this is only true if you have done the work on your own web page first.
For instance if I wanted to rank high for “Online Marketing Melbourne” ( I live in Melbourne Australia) then I had better build a page where that phrase is present in the page title and maybe in an article heading and certainly in the body of the article as well as in a link somewhere. I should do this before I go around trying to get thousands of backlinks with online marketing Melbourne in them. That is what I call the lazyboy approach to SEO. Focus on your web pages first before you try and get back links.
Where PR counts.
Let’s just say for instance, that you are in an incredibly competitive space for ranking. Maybe you are trying to rank for a phrase like “Appear on the first page of Google” I have ranked no.1 for that for quite some time. However recently someone knocked me into no.2 spot. I don’t mind really, as the guy that did it, attended one of my SEO workshops . The pages were equal for SEO but his had a higher page rank, so it ranks no.1
So instead of trying to increase your Page Rank you should be increasing quality links back to your site. By quality I mean getting links from similar pages. This does a few things. Firstly it will generate targeted traffic back to your site. Secondly it will provide a path for the search engine bots to find you and thirdly it will increase your Page Rank but this should not be the primary reason to build links.