How to Increase Your Google Page Ranking
By Andrew Broadbent
The most common question webmasters have in relation to Google is: “How do I improve [or increase] my PageRank? Before we go into answering this question, it is important to take into consideration what PageRank is, how it is calculated, and what it means for your site.
First of all, Vab Media would like to stress PageRank is not a metric that business owners should worry about or obsess over to much. Targeting relevant Long tail Phrases is Much More Useful.
Google PageRank, based on a scale of 0 to 10, is the means by which Google ranks the worth of particular site. There is something that we like to make clear to business owners about what PageRank we are actually writing about in this article.
One thing that can confuse a lot of people is that while Google uses Toolbar indications of PageRank to tell people what the PageRank is of their pages, it’s a little different than the real PageRank for those pages from Google only updates what the toolbar is showing usually 3-4 times a year, and maybe even less time this past year, where I think they may have updated it in February and then again in November or December ” – Bill Slawski, SEO by the Sea.
We will be discussing the real PageRank in this blog. Theoretically, a site with a PageRank of 8 is generally of more use to the average visitor than a site with a PageRank of “3”. Accordingly, sites with a higher PageRank rank higher in the Google search results for a given keyword than those with a lower PageRank. The goal of google’s search results is to provide the user with the most trustworthy sites that include the particular keyword phrase they have entered into the search field. However, this is not always the case. Here is an incognito chrome browser screenshot of the search phrase “Low competition Keywords“, where we are outranking Neil Patel’s website Quicksprout which clearly has a higher PageRank value and more inbound links than us. So it is not always true. Focus on the long tails.
PageRank is calculated based almost entirely upon two factors: how many other sites link to your site, and the PageRank of those sites that link to you. Ideally, you want a lot of sites with a high PageRank to link to your site. Only Google engineers themselves fully understand how the real Page Rank algorithm really works ( not the out of date tool bar one that is currently being updated a lot less frequently). If you want to learn more, search algorithm patent expert Bill Slawski, wrote a post in 2011 called the original PageRank Patent application, which gives a very detailed technical analysis of it. Another interesting resource on the subject was written a few years ago by Danny Sullivan owner of Search Engine Land.
It’s called PageRank not Website Rank.
PageRank is a page specific metric instead of site specific, so a site might have a certain PageRank for its home page, and a different PageRank for the page it links to you from. Getting many low or zero PageRank sites to link to your site won’t do you much good. In fact, there is some evidence that Google penalizes sites that have an abnormally high number of low PageRank sites linking to them. This situation is usually indicative of someone trying to cheat the system by simply adding links to useless pages in so-called “link farms.” So, in a sense, Google is capable of recognizing whether your site hangs out with a good crowd or a bad crowd by what kind of sites link to yours.
It is much better to get a few sites (preferably a. ORG or.EDU) with a high PageRank to link to yours (especially those with PageRanks higher than your own) than a bunch of sites with low or zero PageRank. PageRank is believed to be calculated on a logarithmic scale. What this roughly means is that the difference between PR4 and PR5 is likely 5-10 times than the difference between PR3 and PR4.
So, there are likely over a 100 times as many web pages with a PageRank of 2 than there are with a PageRank of 4. This means that if you get to a PageRank of 6 or so, you’re likely well into the top 0.1% of all websites out there. If most of your peer group is straggling around with a PR2 or PR3, you’re way ahead of the game. Currently our website is a PageRank 4. The higher up you get into the numbers the harder it is to move up. Meaning it is easier to go from a PR1 to PR2 than it is to from a PR5 to a PR6.
PageRank is crucially important because it determines, in part, in what order your website will show up in Google’s results. Besides the PageRank, the other factor is largely website content – i.e. What your site actually contains, what keyword and keyword phrases are present in your text and how often they appear. If two sites have basically the same content, cover the same topic, and have the same keyword saturation (the percentage of keywords in the entire text), then the one with the higher PageRank will almost always come out on top. Okay, now for ways to improve your PageRank, legally and fairly:
1. Build quality websites. If you construct a website that is useful to your visitors and has something original to contribute, other webmasters will recognize this and will want to link to your site. Some of the best websites out there that are meaningful with lots of useful and original content also have thousands upon thousands of good inbound links. No one wants to link to a site that is poorly constructed, or fails to offer any original or useful information/service. Simply put, the better your site is, the more links you will get, the more visitors will visit your site, and the higher the PageRank you will receive (which will, in turn, bring you more visitors, and the cycle continues).
2. Actively seek out healthy link partnerships. It usually isn’t enough simply to build a good site and wait around for someone to notice. Contacting certain business owners with similar websites in an attempt to partner and link to each other is a good idea – if you do it right. When we say partnerships we actually mean real partnerships. We can give an example from one of Vab Media’s partnership’s that gives us a few quality links. We have a partnership with a Portland Web Design company Broadbenterprise, that made sense for us to team up on most projects because they have exceptional photoshop and graphic design skills and our company is good at seo and content marketing. We link to them in our footer and they link to us with 2 anchor text links in their services page which you can see on this screenshot.
Another company that does this is Moz.com, which partners refers business and links to Distilled. When looking to partner your site with other relevant, high-quality companies that can complement or be mutually beneficial for business to each other, preferably those with a PageRank equal to or greater than your own. Since Google calculates PageRank based upon the PageRank of the sites page linking to yours, this is of significant consequence to your site. And, of course, if your site is truly useful and professional, and if you consistently provide good content on your blog, respond to comments in a positive manner, then some people might create links in their blog rolls to your site, we have had this happen on several occasions. This can be hard work, but, we believe that it is indeed a worthwhile endeavor for those serious about improving their PageRank. Focus on quality not quantity.
3. Stay clear of “link farms,” fake SEO gimmicks, and low-ranking websites. If you pay some company to submit your site to 1000 FFA (free-for-all) pages, don’t expect to get your money’s worth. Getting a link to your site on thousands of low quality, low-ranking websites can actually decrease your PageRank, and overall standing with Google. Google’s ranking mechanism will be able to detect that your site is listed on so many of these undesirable pages. In many cases, this is seen as an attempt to inflate your PageRank unfairly, and sites may be penalized as a result. Instead, spend your time submitting to credible directories and exchanging links with other relevant sites. The process can be time-consuming, but it is the only way to generate safe, site-specific traffic.
4. Likewise, refrain from using such illegal practices as “cloaking” in order to artificially inflate your PageRank. Google defines cloaking as “[a term] used to describe a website that returns altered webpages to search engines crawling the site. In other words, the webserver is programmed to return different content to Google than it returns to regular users, usually in an attempt to distort search engine rankings. This can mislead users about what they’ll find when they click on a search result.” Using cloaking or other illegal tricks can – and almost certainly will – result in the penalization of your site, or removal from the Google index altogether.
5. Become an expert in your industry. You should know your business better than anyone else. Hire professional content writers that work with over the long term to figure out what your potential customers problems or issues are. Create content that answers these pain points in some way or another, usually blogs are a great place to not be overly salesy or promotional, but instead this can be helpful tips that add value others online. Embrace using social networks like Linkedin and Google+ to engage with others. A good example of this we helped one of our clients Lock-box.com a secure cloud storage company figure out and target specific business verticals that could use their software by creating content that spoke to their concerns or problems. For targeting a landing page for the legal industry that spoke to lawyers 2 main concerns: keeping their firms/clients information a %100 confidential and private. This screenshot of the top of the page addresses the concerns and provides cost effective solutions.
Google files for new patents and makes launches to their very complex search algorithm over 665 times a year currently, and this will probably continue to increase over time. Business owners online marketing and SEO are not a project, they are a full time job and must be treated with respect. We realize that these suggestions and strategies offer no silver bullet to increasing your Google PageRank. However, they are time-tested methods of truly increasing your PageRank over time. If you are committed to the task, and have created a useful website, there is no reason why you cannot significantly raise the PageRank of your site. Visit our blog for information.