PageRank | Insites that SEO Marketers Must Know and Apply

What is PageRank?

PageRank is a link analysis algorithm patented and used by Google to measure and rank webpages in its index according to the relative importance each webpage has.

PageRank tends to be presented in two distinct instances, namely Real PageRank used by Google (backdoors), and Toolbar PageRank with values from 0 to 10.

Real PageRank has the same building principle as toolbar PR but its much higher, as a numerical figure (going up to milions), than the PageRank Toolbar scale of 0 to 10.

Basically, Google takes all the real PageRank values of every page in its index and separates them into these eleven different ranges.

Note that if a webpage has a toolbar PageRank of 2 it doesn’t mean that it has twice as less real PageRank compared to a webpage with toolbar PageRank of 4. In reality the difference in PageRank between the two webpages is much higher. Nobody knows the actual real PageRank base that Google uses to express the values in its PR Toolbar.

For your SEO estimates, here’s what you need to consider:

• Google ranks WebPages not WebSites.

• Each value displayed on the PageRank Toolbar corresponds to a wide range of real PageRank. In other words even if two webpages have similar or the same toolbar PageRank value (say, 1 and 2) their real PageRank can differ greatly or be close values.

• Multiple links from the same domain name only counts as 1 vote in the PageRank equation. This is why you need to focus on domain diversity. quick tip: 50+ backlinks from unique (authoritative) domains can be obtained by submitting articles to the best article directories. From there you could expand on lower quality sites, this time distributing through an article submission software.

• Every webpage has an initial, small PageRank refered to as (1-d), where d is a variable determined by Google named “damping factor” and when was first released it had a value of 0.85. This gives the initial real PageRank of every page a 0.15 value.

• Each value displayed on the PageRank Toolbar is exponentially greater than one below. Although it could be pretty easy to obtain an initial PageRank of 1 on the toolbar, progressing to the top of this scale requires a number of inbound links that surpasses the link necessary for obtaining the previous toolbar PR value.

• The values presented in the PageRank Toolbar are updated once every three months. However Google is constantly updating the real PageRank for its ranking purposes. This explains why some webpages with low toolbar values have good positions in the SERPs.

• PageRank is designed to evaluate webpages on their linking structure which is a measurement of the relative importance on the web. Simply put, Google compiles a list of most important to less important webpages and behind this list stands a system of votes expressed by inbound links or backlinks that each page receives (internally and externally).

How PageRank is calculated?

Although PageRank was subject to major adjustments since it was first launched back in the late 1990s, its backbone stands in the following raw equation:

PR(A) = (1-d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + … + PR(Tn)/C(Tn))

A mouthful, I know…

Roughly said () with a big enfasis on “roughly”), this is what the formula means to tell you:

PageRank of webpage A = initial PageRank of webpage(A) + the sum of PageRank from all the other webpages that link to page A.

There are some advanced issues concerning the damping factor “d” and why it is multiplied with the total PageRank accumulated from all the inbound links pointing to webpage A (as shown in the original equation), but there is no benefit in getting into techy stuff.

Still, Note the sequence “PR(T1)/C(T1)”. This indicates how a webpage can supply consistent PR the to the target webpage (in our case, page A), respectively: increasing the PageRank of the source webpage or decreasing the number of outbound links leaving from it.

Principles of PageRank Dynamics:

• A webpage gains PageRank by receiving inbound links from other pages;

• A webpage gives PageRank by linking to other pages;

• Link Power – it doesn’t matter if a link comes from within the site or from different domains as long as the linking pages have the same PR;

• Webpages don’t lose PageRank by linking to other pages they just pass it on. The more important a linking page is the more weight its outbound links carry;

• The value of passed PageRank is divided by the number of existing outbound links on the linking webpage;

• Due to the damping factor, the amount of PageRank a page receives from an inbound link is limited to 85% of the total value that leaves the linking webpage.

pagerank distribution

How to optimize PageRank distribution on your website

Increasing PageRank with inbound links from different domains is the primary source on PR juice you might be thinking about for increasing your webpage’s buoyancy in the SERPS.

Before searching backlink oportunities on the world wide web, consider setting up a coherent linking structure throughout your website.

Even if the results aren’t rapidly reflected in PR Toolbar, the strategy is encouraged by Google.

The amount of PageRank a website has, discounting external links, equals the total number of webpages in that website; with the condition that all webpages are properly interlinked. Flaws in the linking structure will generate a decrease in PageRank value flowing through your system.

For a maximum system PageRank be sure that all pages in your domain are interlinked.

Of course, your linking strategy should be directed towards ensuring exposure for your most valuable pages, which contain targeted content optimized with money keywords.

For channeling the PR juice generated in your website to your landing pages, employ these 4 tactics:

• Increase the number of links pointing to your targeted webpages (landing pages). Note that others will witness a decrease in PR;

• Remove links from unimportant pages (supporting pages); this will generate an increase in PR for the landing pages.

• Create new pages for your website. Each additional page published provides a PageRank value of 1 for your website. Keep in mind to provide valuable, unique and indexable content for Google to crawl and index your webpage.

• Remove pages from your website. Even though the page you intend to discard from your website has a PR higher than 1 (which is the standard value that each page contributes with to the overall PR), this PR is recycled among the remaining pages that you decided to optimize.

As a last recommendation for ensuring a smooth flow of PageRank across your website make sure you establish a silo structured website (organizing webpages by topical categories) and you are utilizing relevant anchor texts in the static content.

Also very important is to ensure that every page, especially your money keywords pages, are reachable after a one or two clicks because, due to the damping factor, the pages’s PR is decreasing by 15% after each click from the homepage.

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19 Comments For This Post

  1. Pamela Says:

    I really enjoy all your posts. You get to the heart of the subject with “real” information and not just filler. Thanks so much.


  2. Cristian Says:

    Hey Pamela!
    Thanks for the positive reply. If you plan on reading this blog constantly, be sure to grab a gravatar from Changes the look ‘n feel of this site. Plus it’s yours to use in any blogs you read and comment.

  3. Fazreen Says:

    Your info about how PR was calculated is very clear. Other than that I already know but I lost my PR last update.

  4. Blogger Jakarta Says:

    Thanx for info..

  5. PocketSquareZcom Says:

    Great help. I think it is working. www PocketSquareZ com

  6. Lisa Pecunia Says:


    Thanks for this post, it was really helpful to me as I am just starting to plan my SEO strategy for my new website, This came at the perfect time.

    I have noticed that a lot of articles about SEO use more conventional websites as examples, such as corporate brochures and blogs. My site is essentially a Drupal-driven CMS site, and I have been assuming the principles work the same way, is that correct?

    Thanks again.


  7. Bradon Says:

    you have given very nice informaion..

  8. Zulfikar Says:

    Since we all know about the toolbar PR is there a way to check the “Real Page Rank” of a given website/blog?

    If so am sure we would all appreciate a link to such resources – thanks in advance!

  9. Sharp Toner Cartridge Says:

    For an ecommerce site like ours, we have many links to different product pages.

    Do you think we should no follow them?

  10. Cristian Says:

    @Sharp Toner Cartridge

    I see that the majority of links are to internal webpages. There is no point in restraining the link juice to flow freely within your own site. Of course there are some useless areas like Terms of Serives, Disclaimer (though not your case) that dilute the PageRank with no added benefit what so ever.

    So, NO nofollow tag links in your site. Focus on directing PageRank from external surces instead and let your product pages as they are. PageRank sculpting is indicated when you whant to divert some of the link juice to very important pages on your site – generally those with high (at least above average) conversion rates.

  11. Cristian Says:


    Nope, this info is for Google internal and exclusive use only.
    And this is the reason for all those ambiguous PR estimates that float around the IM community

  12. Cristian Says:

    In my opinion, blogging platforms are the best CMS to launch new sites, especially for private projects.

    They are extremely cheap to maintain as compared to static sites (that require qualified personnel to update). They provide fast indexing and easy customization.
    Drupal is a great choice! Well Done!

    ..and Thanks for the positive feedback. Glad I could help!

  13. Ruben Zevallos Jr. Says:

    Thank you for the info… now I think I understand about it… thanks

  14. Fred Says:

    Very well written post, and spot on the money with accuracy!

  15. ranking pralek Says:

    This is great material. Keep it up it is helping us all.

  16. Internet SEO Says:

    Thank you for sharing, great information indeed! Hope to read more of these.

  17. dofollow forum Says:

    Find out dofollow blogs and forums on internet, start posting on them. This will create quality backlinks and increase your PR

  18. Guaranteed SEO Services Google Ranking Top 10 Says:

    Good post again from a top man

  19. cheap flights to sri lanka Says:

    Thank you mate for the information, I wanted to ask even when we add an image to the website do we have to follow this. Because with the image the website comes automatically.

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