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Most know of it, and many would have heard about it, but what is PageRank (PR)? How does it work? And how does it affect SEO?

Questions such as these are often asked to SEO experts and it’s important they are answered in the clearest possible sense.

What is PageRank?

PageRank is a link analysis algorithm named after Larry Page, co-founder of Google and involves assigning a numeric value to a page to represent how important it is on the web. It’s Google’s way of reflecting how important they believe a particular page is by considering over 500 million variables, 2 billion terms and the number of incoming links.

How does PageRank work?

Apart from considering variables and terms, PageRank takes into account how many incoming links a page has or as I’ll refer them to as, “votes”. Simply put, the more votes a page receives combined with the PageRank of those votes, the higher PageRank a page may receive. However other factors such as content (relevance) and visits to a page also influence PageRank but by how much is unknown. There are also other factors which contribute to improving PageRank but aren’t officially released.

How does PageRank affect SEO?

In the earlier days of SEO and PageRank, the higher PageRank you had, the higher your website would rank. However since then the web has evolved along with Google and their ideology of the web, the effect of PageRank on a websites ranking has reduced.

PageRank still contributes to where your website ranks however is far from the only factor. Therefore it should be considered lightly and used as an indicator only, as a range of other factors such as relevant content contributes to your websites rankings.

So what should I do next?

I won’t leave you empty handed so I’ll reiterate what I mentioned above and help you on your way with some helpful SEO tips:

  • Focus on factors such as relevant content and the quality of your incoming links.
  • Keep PageRank in mind as an indicator but focus on keyword rankings and traffic as they always tell the story.
  • If an SEO company or SEO expert advises you PageRank is extremely important to your SEO, they may have limited knowledge and it’s recommended you seek advice from a range of SEO companies first before proceeding.

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