Websites can be confusing enough without thinking about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Throw that into the equation and most business owners start getting overwhelmed. You know you want your website to show up in Google, and there are a lot of folks out there who charge a lot of money to make that happen. If you want to get traffic to your site, you need to show up in Google search results. You can worry about pay-per-click advertising later, best to start with a strong, organic foundation.
One thing that can be confusing at first is the PageRank system used by Google. Obviously, you would like for your site to be in first place when someone searches for keywords related to your products or services. So, a PageRank of 1 sounds pretty nice doesn’t it. Well, it isn’t.
The PageRank system works on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best. Actually, it works on a much more complicated scale, but the details are a trade secret, as are exact PageRank scores. Google is kind enough to give us a rounded off version of our PageRank. Every page on your website may be assigned a PageRank. It is basically a rating of how authoritative your site is in the eyes of Google. There aren’t a whole lot of sites with a PageRank of 10. Not long ago www.apple.com and www.whitehouse.gov were both PageRank 10, but have both fallen to 9. Google is constantly refining the equations used to calculate PageRank, so there are shifts from time to time.
Okay, so you get what it is, but how does it affect you? Think about it this way: If two webpages have the same relevancy (that is, they both match the searched terms equally) the one with the higher PageRank will show up first in Google search results.
How do you know what a webpage’s PageRank is? Well, the Google Toolbar will tell you, as will many fine Firefox Extensions. Those links will open in a new window.
Don’t set your aim at a high PageRank just because it’s high. You’ll do best to look at the scores of your competitors and aim to beat them, or at least keep pace.
So how do you increase your PageRank? Links. Get links. It’s not just a matter of quantity though. You’ll need quality links to effectively grow your PageRank. The best links are from high PageRank pages that are relevant to your own site. If you sell jewelry you want to get links from sites about jewelry, gemstones, precious metals, or weddings– assuming you sell engagement rings.
Want to know how to get these kinds of quality links? Well that’s a topic for another day. Why not subscribe to my RSS feed, or monthly eNewsletter to make sure you stay informed!