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Google Page Rank Basics

Updated on July 15, 2012

How Search Engine Ranking Works

Google page rank is the rank that is given to every website that is indexed by Google. The page rank numbers indicate how important each site is based on a number between zero and 10. A new site starts with a page rank of zero, and the largest, most important sites on the Internet have a 10. Google itself has a page rank of 10 while Yahoo has a nine.

Search Engine Ranking

Because most Web traffic is directed by searches made through search engines, websites are in competition with each other to gain the top spots in search engine results. A page that has a higher Google page rank will come up high in search results than a website that is ranked lower.

Google and other search engines give sites a search engine ranking to ensure that the most important, helpful and relevant web pages are the ones that come up first. This keeps searchers happy with the results they get from each search and keeps them using that particular search engine.

How Page Rank Is Decided

The exact formula for deciding Google page rank is an industry secret. But, there are a few known variables. The number of times that websites link to a site are taken into consideration. Each link is a vote for the importance of that site. Those incoming links are called backlinks, and they are one of the biggest deciding factors.

What kind of sites are linking to the website is also a consideration. A link from a government website is one of the strongest indicators of a website’s importance. Getting a link from an established, respected website is also an important factor. The higher the page rank of the site, the more their link will do for the site they link to.

Other factors are believed to include the uniqueness of the website. Copied material will not rank as highly as original material. Duplicate content is not considered important content and may hurt the page rank of the site.

Increase Google Page Rank

To increase the page rank of a site, the site needs more backlinks. There are a number of ways that website can get these links, but some can actually cause Google to lower the page rank of a website. So-called link farms are sites that do nothing more than post links to other sites in order to increase page rank for those sites.

Google penalizes website owners who participate in link farms by discounting those backlinks. It also may lower the page rank of websites that link to a known link farm.

To avoid problems, place links on sites that have relevant content. This can be done by using article marketing and placing a link with each article. It can also be done by posting on forums with a signature link and attracting links from other sites by posting quality content.

To get more traffic to a website, post the most relevant, unique content possible. Seek out backlinks by marketing the site with forum posting and article marketing. This will raise the page rank and ensure that more people will see the site when they use a search engine.

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