Why Page Rank Still Matters & How to Boost Yours
Do you roll your eyes when you see some type of news about page rank (so do most SEO experts)? It’s understandable if you think this metric isn’t worth your time anymore because after all, Google killed its Toolbar PageRank years ago.
You might be surprised to learn that Google does indeed still take page rank into consideration when deciding where sites should end up in its SERPs. As you know, page rank is a way for Google to rank web pages according to importance, using the number and quality of a page’s inbound links to determine it.
Even though Google won’t disclose how it uses the page rank metric to rank pages, a top employee at Google named Gary Illyes has stated publicly, more than once, that page rank is still a part of Google’s algorithm, even though the Toolbar PageRank is dead and gone.
How Page Rank Works
To understand how page rank works, it’s first important to learn what it is. Google’s page rank or PR as it’s often called, is a mathematical formula designed to judge the value of a page by looking at the quantity and quality of other pages that link to it. This formula works to determine the relative importance of a given page in the network of the world wide web.
As far as how it works, page rank is determined by taking into account three factors of a web page:
- The number and quality of inbound linking pages
- The number of outbound links on each linking page
- The page rank of each linking page
How to Maintain & Improve Your Page Rank
Even though it’s not possible to see your page rank score or measure it directly, there are some steps you can take to maintain & increase your website’s page rank.
Build Quality Backlinks
Backlinks come to your site from other sites that link to you. To Google, backlinks are a major ranking factor. Google says that the more authoritative sites that link to you, the better rankings and organic traffic you’ll get.
You can get high quality backlinks in a number of ways including:
- Offering to replace broken links on other relevant websites with your own
- Creating amazing, shareable infographics for your site that you can distribute to infographic directories
- Writing guest articles for relevant sites
- Writing testimonials for websites you frequent in exchange for links
Use the Right Internal Linking Structure: Internal links are links that go from one page on your site to a different page on your site. Google uses these links to determine the information hierarchy on your site, which means the right internal linking strategy can boost your SEO.
When you have the right internal links on your website, Google will understand the relevance of your pages, the relationship between your pages, and the value of your pages. The key to developing a strong structure for your internal links involves a few basic steps including:
- Using internal links often
- Linking to a wide variety of internal pages
- Linking to your most important content first
- Keeping your links and anchor text relevant
Fix Broken Pages
A backlink amps up the authority of your web page it points to, and it even boosts all the internally-linked pages on your site. This is because page rank flows from page to page via internal links. If you have any backlinks pointing to a broken page, that page is wasting link juice because there’s no place for it to go from there. This is why you need to fix those broken pages with 404 errors.
There are many tools out there to use that can check for broken pages including Google’s own Search Console. To find 404 pages in Search Console, log into your account, click on “crawl errors’ under diagnostics and then on “not found”. There you will see a list of all the links resulting in the 404 error. Then it’s just a matter of clicking on any URL to find all the pages where the broken link is linked to so you can edit those links and let Google recrawl your site.
Conclusion: Don’t be misled by what you may have read about Page Rank being dead. It is still a metric Google uses to determine where your site will end up in the search result pages.