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Improving Your Business Website Google PageRank

Google’s top secret! Google ranks pages for web relevance or importance on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the top. To see the PageRank for your site, or any other, you must download and install Google Toolbar from the URL listed for PageRank information in the list of Google resource links below

The PageRank appears in both graphical and text form when you hover the mouse over the PageRank index on the Google Toolbar, as shown in the following illustration. Google and the U.S. federal government portal are two of the few sites ranked as 10. The rankings aren’t linear, however: Every point is roughly ten times as “relevant” as the number below it — like earthquakes!

Google Toolbar shows PageRank in both graphics and text. Ranking is by page, not by site. [Credit:
Credit: Courtesy of Google, Inc.
Google Toolbar shows PageRank in both graphics and text. Ranking is by page, not by site.

If your site rank seems either unusually high or low or it suddenly falls to zero, click the Reload button on your browser or check again in a few hours. Google PageRank sometimes varies erratically from day to day, or even from hour to hour.

The PageRank algorithm, which involves more than 200 variables, is a closely held secret. More than the simple link popularity, the Google PageRank appears to be affected by the following criteria, among others. These factors generate extra value:

  • Links from related sites with a high Google PageRank.

  • Links from .edu, .gov, and .org websites.

  • Links from blogs and press releases.

  • Relevant text surrounding inbound links; this favors annotated or contextual links and pages with fewer than 60 links per page.

  • Outbound links to other highly ranked, relevant sites (sites that share at least one other search term).

  • The size and complexity of your site. Information-intensive sites seem to do better, though Google doesn’t index the “deep web” (information in databases) content of academic or trade journals, phone books, or other databases.

  • A Google site map, though badly structured sites might diminish PageRank.

  • Sites that have been around longer than newer ones, so be patient.

  • Sites with newer content tend to have higher rankings.

  • Sites that appear within the top ten results for local (map) searches.

  • Visible title and ALT tags with search terms versus other meta tags.

  • Contents of surrounding pages, if they’re related.

  • Using search terms in subheads, navigation, and links because Google analyzes the difference in font size, style, color, and placement.

  • Site traffic, number of visitors, and page views.

And the following factors diminish PageRank:

  • Links from link farms and other poor, inbound link sources.

  • Unethical black hat techniques. The sites might be not only diminished in rank but also banished.

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