Getting a high Google rating – a good page rank number – is a critical part of bringing in free search traffic.
What is a page rank?
A page rank is Google’s way of expressing the value and popularity of your page. Each page has a page ranking. It’s not a site ranking, per se, although your site rank is usually considered the page rank of the top page.
The basic definition of page rank assumes that zero is low, and 10 is the highest possible rank. 5 is a decent page rank for any site. 7 and 8 are extremely popular sites. Google is one of the few at 10.
Search traffic is traffic resulting from someone entering search words into Google, and Google giving them a list of URLs which includes yours. And ideally, you want your site’s URL on one of Google’s first few result pages.
How do you know what your rating is?
It’s easy to measure the page rank of your own site or any other site, if you install the free Google Bar. Go to Google and click on “more”. One of the options is Google Tool Bar. Then just follow the installation instructions.
When you have your Google tool bar, you’ll see a small white rectangle in that tool bar that is a bar graph. It shows the page rank of the site you’re looking at. If it’s all white, then that site has a rank of zero. If it’s gray, then it’s unranked. If it has a page rank above zero, you’ll see a red bar extending across the rectangle in proportion to the page rank.
What does it mean to have a page rank?
A good page rank means that other popular websites link to you, and vote for your importance. (By linking, they are automatically voting for your importance.) And the value of their vote is determined by how well they are ranked. So you want a lot of popular sites to link to you.
Page rank is a complex calculation made by Google, based on the links that go to your site – and the sites that you link to from your site.
Some SEO experts say that when you link to other sites from your site, it is important to link only to high ranked sites – that is, a page rank of 5 or higher. It is believed by the Internet gurus that by linking to low page rank sites, Google thinks you’re linking to a low value site.
How important is it to have a good page rank?
It’s extremely important if you want search traffic. There’s an entire industry called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, which is concerned entirely with optimizing the traffic to your site. Page rank is an important part of that. If you’ve got the budget, it would make good sense to research and hire an SEO consultant. If you don’t have the budget, you can do it yourself.
If you’re going to do this yourself, here are the steps:
1. Optimize your own site. That includes having a site map, having metadata done appropriately on each page (metadata includes key words and description), and optimizing the use of keywords on the page content. It also includes a regular schedule for new content on the site. For details on these features, check out Website-DoItYourself.
2. Email popular sites, and ask them to link to you. You can offer something in exchange, for instance a free ad or a link exchange. Use a link exchange if your site is compatible with their site, but not a competitor.
3. Entering your site into every search engine on the planet, even though possibly 4 of them cover most of the search traffic. These specialized search engines that no one has ever heard of, often have very good page rank. If they link to you, that’s a win for your site.
There’s more at Website-DoItYourself. But these steps will get you going, and start bringing more traffic – and a better page rank – to your site.
Suzann Kale is a technical writer and copy editor. She helps edit http://www.Website-DoItYourself.com and has written many articles for science-oriented sites and hard copy magazines. She also runs a site on cosmetics and animal safety.