What is page rank”? Understanding how Google works

page rank

page rank

You may have heard of “Page Rank” , but if you don’t have a solid understanding of SEO , you probably don’t have much of an idea of ??what exactly I’m talking about.

Well, it is one of those things that, if you want to be able to say that you understand minimally what SEO is, you must be very clear .

In any case, I anticipate that it  is a very simple concept to understand and that it will give you  a broader vision of how Google works today , something that is really very useful, especially if you have an online business or a blog.

On the Internet you can find a lot of information about this concept, from the first patents of Larry Page and Sergey Brin to the algorithm of Page Rank itself “deciphered” by many SEO scholars.

But what I am interested in transmitting to you is a practical and useful vision  that you can apply from now on in your niches or websites, and in the event that you are not a webmaster, that you at least learn one new and interesting thing that has a practical application within of your digital project.

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What is page rank?

That a certain page or URL is in the first, fifth or tenth position for a certain keyword , search or query, is due to the ordering criteria followed by the Google algorithm.

The algorithm consists of the grouping of different formulas that analyze factors to assign that ranking,  for example: the content of your website, loading speed, usability, among many other SEO positioning factors.

But one of the most important, since the Google search engine was created, is the famous Page Rank.

What is page rank?

Basically (and explained in a very elementary way for all audiences) Page Rank is a mathematical formula that measures the value of a page in relation to the quantity and quality of the pages that link to it.

In other words, Google gives value to those URLs or pages that have incoming links from other URLs.

Imagine that each URL is a drop of water and that each URL that links to you is giving you a little water so that your drop gets fatter and fatter. Another widely used simile is that of votes, each link would be like a vote in favor of the linked page.

In this way we can visually imagine how  Page Rank influences the authority of a web page  and a specific URL.

The fatter the drop of water, the more likely it is to appear on the first page of Google’s SERPS (search results).

This is the concept for dummies, since today no one knows what the formula of the algorithm is and how it works exactly , what SEOs do know from experience is that any type of incoming link to our website is not worth it.

But I’ll talk about that next.

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Any incoming link does not produce the same effect on our Page Rank

SEOs and webmasters enjoyed a golden age in which Google was very easily fooled by any type of link, the strategy long ago was based on quantity: the more links (whatever type) you would get to your page or to any of its internal URLs in particular higher Page Rank and with it higher positioning.

Any incoming link does not produce the same effect on our Page R ank

This is already part of the past of SEO.

That added to the fact that we had a bar that told us on a scale of 1 to 10 the official PageRank of each page, gave us at the time a drawing about the backlinks and the Page Rank that until now we have not managed to match again .

Not even the most advanced SEO tools, since the most we can aspire to is to know the “internal” PageRank of our page (which is not little) but the “external” PageRank is only known by Google, since it is constantly modified for the links that our page receives.

The Spanish-speaking SEO sector has within its community both people who are strong advocates of  “links or backlinks” as the basic and fundamental positioning factor, as well as other exponents who think otherwise.

Although they recognize a certain relevance of the links, they think that each time (and each new Google update) they lose strength in favor of other modern SEO factors, but they all agree on one thing: PageRank no longer works as before and we cannot measure accurately.

Therefore, we are going to summarize some fundamental aspects to take into account when evaluating the links that point to our website:

  • Quality : that the website is reliable and real, no pages that frequently sell links to anyone (link farms).
  • Semantic relationship : that the content that links us is related to the destination URL of our website that is linking.
  • Naturalness : Let’s not play tricks on Google by creating patterns or forcing artificial link profiles (such as receiving too many equal links with the same anchor text or anchor text).
  • Finally, do not forget that the internal links of your page transmit PageRank exactly in the same way as the external links that you receive from other websites with the difference in your favor that the internal links are controlled by you, therefore put the focus and the attention on them.

As we said before, today  we can get to know the ” internal PageRank   of our pages, through the original application of the PageRank formula that was published by Google many years ago, applying it through different SEO tools (although we will talk about these a little further down).

However, the “global PageRank” is made up of internal PageRank + external PageRank.

The external one, as we mentioned before, is much more complicated to calculate, because it depends in turn  “in a chain” on all the pages that link to you and in turn how many pages link to them… and (again) their Once how many link to these and so on in a really long loop, which is how Google behaves, when it comes to tracking the WWW (Internet) today.

To give you an idea: there is a pool of internal PageRank and a sea of ??external PageRank.

That is, the pool would be all the URLs within your own domain, be it a blog or an ecommerce.

While the sea would be all the URLs of all the pages that exist (or at least those that Google knows exist).

In this case we are talking about all the URLs that exist on the Internet.

Understanding the Page Rank Formula

Having mentioned the formula from before, we are going to delve a little deeper into it to achieve a deeper PageRank understanding exercise.

Once again we will explain it in a way that everyone can understand. No need for technical SEO knowledge.

The (again) official formula is as follows:

Where the PR of a page A, is equal to 1 minus the  damping factor (take note for the explanation of the damping factor that I will tell you next) + the damping factor multiplied by the sum of the Page Rank received from other pages.

Damping Factor

The  damping factor , or damping factor,  represents the natural behavior of a user surfing the web , usually represented with a number of 0.85

This number refers to the probability that the user who enters the web through a certain URL clicks on a link that links us and therefore lands on our page.

The algorithm tries to simulate a real person who clicks on some links and after seeing a certain number of websites gets bored , does a search, goes to Facebook or goes to prepare a sandwich. In short, even when you get bored of searching for whatever reason and finish browsing.

In other words, the damping factor softens the results and gives the formula a naturalness, that is its mission.

What is the purpose of measuring internal PageRank?

Within your own pool of URLs you will also find some drops that are fatter than others, that is, within any website there are specific internal pages that receive more internal links.

Many times we become obsessed with backlinks (incoming links), it is an error that I see a lot in newbies or in marketing profiles that are not specialized in SEO.

They believe that there is nothing wrong with the web and that the only thing they need to take off is to get external links.

The reality is that there is still much to be optimized in  SEO on page that can generate a faster impact and with a minimum investment, proof of this is the optimization of internal PageRank,  a strategy that you can start applying right now and that We will comment below.

In short, measuring your internal PageRank helps you to see if your most important internal pages (either because they are the ones that produce the most sales or because they are the ones that, for whatever reason, you are most interested in positioning in Google) are receiving more strength. or not.

Notice how this looks very clear and fast in a very visual way in the following drawing:

We can see this graph within the SEO DinoRANK tool , through its internal PageRank module.

In the case of the aforementioned image, let’s consider how the little ball on which I have put the cursor, which represents a post called  “how to increase your visits”  will hardly be able to position well in Google under its keyword.

Reason?

Well, as you can see,  “the little ball” that represents the amount of PageRank that reaches this URL is small and in this case it is 2 levels deep in clicks from the home page.

If we wanted to have more possibilities to rank this content in Google, we would have to take more internal links from other posts of my blog that had more PageRank (in turn represented by larger “balls” ) and worry that in turn Maybe that little ball was closer to the home plate (which is represented by the black ball).

How does PageRank work on my website?

A very practical example is the Home page, it is the URL that normally receives the most incoming links, since in most cases, we have a menu that is displayed in all the URLs or internal pages of your website with a link that points towards home plate

On the other hand, we can also find internal pages that barely have a few incoming links, that is the case of the blog posts that you published 3 years ago, for example.

If we imagine each link as a transfer of power, we can easily conclude that  those URLs that receive the most links are the most powerful URLs and the ones that Google will take more into account  to show in its search engine results.

But, how can I know which are the most powerful?

There are several tools that allow you to see the number of internal links and external links of the URLs of your page.

One of the most popular among SEO consultants is Screaming Frog, a tool that analyzes all the pages and links on your domain.

The problem with this tool is that its use is not suitable for people who are not professional consultants within the SEO sector, since both its use and its interface are quite complex.

This problem does not occur with DinoRANK, which, on the other hand, is designed to be an easy  tool both to understand and to handle for any type of public  with a minimum interest in SEO, even if it is not professional.

In addition, its support as well as the tutorials to learn how to use the tool are in Spanish, which makes things much easier when it comes to understanding and analyzing Page Rank.

How the Page Rank came about and my final conclusions

As a curiosity and conclusion I am going to comment on the most important details of the history of Page Rank, I think that as entrepreneurs, it gives us a very important lesson in business vision, and as SEOs we can predict the next steps that the google algorithm will take .

It emerged in 1998 when Larry Page and Sergeuí Brin published a research analysis at Stanford University .

They presented in that report a solution to the typical problems in the search engines that were used at that time, such as Yahoo or AOL whose searches were not successful at all, or others such as  terra  that simply made lists of categories and pages.

They were based on the system to catalog and search for scientific publications, the Science Citation Index, which gave higher scores to those documents that were duly cited in the documents of other scientists.

What they proposed was a search engine: Backrub (now Google), “designed to crawl and index the Web efficiently and  produce much more satisfactory search results than existing systems .”

It is surprising to know that Google’s mission and vision remain the same, the advances they have made in the algorithm have always been in this direction, and as SEO it is very good to take into account what “our worst enemy” is looking for .

Beyond seeking to deceive Google,  we should play in its favor and offer satisfactory results , always taking into account the operation of its spiders and crawling and indexing systems, in this way our satisfactory result does not go unnoticed either.

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