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What is Your Website's PageRank™ (PR)?

Larry James

Google, the search engine that has evolved into the focus of all search engine optimization professionals, has introduced the PageRank™ feature.

What is PageRank™? For those who are not familiar with Google's Page Rank, which is commonly known as PR, is Google's calculation or score of a web page based on external and internal linking of a site, as well as on-page criteria of the web page being linked to as well as the web page being linked from.

PageRank™ is a numeric value that represents how important a page is on the web. In short PageRank™ is a "vote", by all the other pages on the Web, about how important a page is. A link to a page counts as a vote of support. If there is no link there is no support (but it's an abstention from voting rather than a vote against the page).

Google figures that when one page links to another page, it is effectively casting a vote for the other page. The more votes that are cast for a page, the more important the page must be. Also, the importance of the page that is casting the vote determines how important the vote itself is. Google calculates a page's importance from the votes cast for it. How important each vote is is taken into account when a page's PageRank™ is calculated.

The PageRank™ of a given page in a web is a measure of the chance that someone randomly selecting links between pages will find that page. This means that high PageRank™s get assigned to pages with many incoming links, especially from pages with high PageRank™s themselves.

PageRank™ relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important."

Of course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don't match your query. So, Google combines PageRank™ with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search. Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines dozens of aspects of the page's content (and the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if it's a good match for your query.

PageRank™ is Google's way of deciding a page's importance. It matters because it is one of the factors that determines a page's ranking in the search results. It isn't the only factor that Google uses to rank pages, but it is an important one.

Not all links are counted by Google. For instance, they filter out links from known link farms. Some links can cause a site to be penalized by Google. Google recognizes that a webmaster has no control over other sites linking into a site, and so sites are not penalized because of where the links come from. Outbound links are a drain on a site's total PageRank™. They leak PageRank™.

To counter the drain, try to ensure that the links are reciprocated. Because of the PageRank™ of the pages at each end of an external link, and the number of links out from those pages, reciprocal links can gain or lose PageRank™. You need to take care when choosing where to exchange links.

The maximum amount of PageRank™ in a site increases as the number of pages in the site increases. The more pages that a site has, the more PageRank™ it has. Bear in mind that the only pages that count are the ones that Google knows about.

By linking poorly, it is possible to fail to reach the site's maximum PageRank™, but it is not possible to exceed it. Poor internal linkages can cause a site to fall short of its maximum but no kind of internal link structure can cause a site to exceed it. The only way to increase the maximum is to add more inbound links and/or increase the number of pages in the site.

Caution: While I thoroughly recommend creating and adding new pages to increase a site's total PageRank™ so that it can be channeled to specific pages, there are certain types of pages that should not be added. These are pages that are all identical or very nearly identical and are known as cookie-cutters. Google considers them to be SPAM and they can trigger an alarm that causes the pages, and possibly the entire site, to be penalized.

Pages full of good content are a must! Relevant content is King!

Inbound links (links into the site from the outside) are one way to increase a site's total PageRank™. The other is to add more pages. Where the links come from doesn't matter. Links into a site cannot harm the site, but links from a site can be harmful if they link to penalized sites. So be careful which sites you link to. If a site has PR-0 (PageRank™ of zero), it is usually a penalty, and it would be unwise to link to it.

Use the PageRank™ tools below to check the PageRank™ of the site you are considering a link to. A PageRank™ of 4 or above will help you the most.

Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank™, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search. Of course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don't match your query. So, Google combines PageRank™ with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search.

Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines all aspects of the page's content (and the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if it's a good match for your query.

We can't know the exact details of the scale because, the maximum PR of all pages on the web changes every month when Google does its re-indexing.

Frequently Asked PageRank™ Questions.

Understanding and Building Google PageRank™ - A highly technical article. You may want to have your Webmaster read this.

Getting your site listed in DMOZ (also known as The Open Diretory Project - ODP) is very important and often frustrating. Read more. For instruction about adding your site to the Open Directoy Project, click here.

You can use the PageRank™ links below or you can download the Google Toolbar. The Google Toolbar is a browser plug-in for Microsoft Internet Explorer which can be downloaded from the Google web site. The Google Toolbar provides some features for searching Google more comfortably.

The Google Toolbar displays PageRank™ on a scale from 0 to 10. First of all, the PageRank™ of an actually visited page can be estimated by the width of the green bar within the display. If the user holds his mouse over the display, the Toolbar also shows the PageRank™ value.

Caution: The PageRank™ display is one of the advanced features of the Google Toolbar. And if those advanced features are enabled, Google collects usage data. Additionally, the Toolbar is self-updating and the user is not informed about updates. So, Google has access to the user's hard drive. Download with this caution in mind! I do not use the Google Tool Bar, but rather use the following two FREE PageRank™ Tools.

PageRank™ Tool - This tool gives you a Google PageRank™ Value Report and will return the Google PageRank™ values for a list of urls you enter into this form. Very handy if you will be selling advertising on your site and the advertiser wants to know your PageRank™. Also valuable when exchanging links.

Check your position in Google(tm) with Googlerankings
Check the PageRank™ of your website or the Page Rank of individual web pages in Google™. A "FREE" Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tool.

Click here!


Check Page Rank of any web site pages instantly:


Want to know more about the PageRank™ world, read

The Google Pagerank Algorithm and How It Works,

Google Page Rank Explained? (from or

Google's PageRank Explained and How to Make the Most of It.

PageRank™ is a Trademark of


Copyright © - Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, "How to Really Love the One You're With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship," "LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing" and "Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers." Larry James also offers "Author & Speaker" coaching. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. -


NOTE: This article is available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own website. Click here to obtain permission and for details.

  If you would like to talk one-on-one with Larry James about issues related to this article, you are invited to arrange for a private coaching session by telephone. Go to Author & Speaker Coaching for specific details and fees.

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