What is Google PageRank (PR), and why does it matter to a website?

The founders of Google, the kings of all things on the Web it seems, came up with a system of judging the importance of a web page in 1995, and incorporated it into their search engine when it launched in 1998.  The system uses an algorithm that rates a page on a scale from 0 – 10 in it’s importance on the Web.  No one but the folks at the company seem to understand how exactly it works, though there are many people who will try to tell you sell ebooks that claim to explain it all.  To the right you can see a graphic representation of how PageRank works (click it for a larger view), but believe me that this is a guess at best.

So if PageRank is so mysterious, why do people find it so important?  Well, the one thing that is known for sure about PR is that the higher your page’s rank, the higher you show up in searches on search engines.  So the higher on the scale of 10 your page is, the better chance it would seem you have of showing up quicker in a search term related to your site.

The other area where it can be important is with advertisers looking to buy ad space on your site.  Some advertisers are looking for a page of only certain PR levels because in theory that will mean more eyeballs on their ads.  The more important thing is your actual visitor traffic, but don’t be surprised if some advertisers ask you what your level is.

How do you know your PR?  Well, the quickest way is to install the Google Toolbar and it can tell you the PR of any page you visit.  There are also numerous websites out there that will tell you your PageRank if you just do a search on “Google PageRank”.

We bring up this subject because StarterTech just went from 0 to 2 in PR.  How we did it, we don’t know, but we’re thrilled we finally got a score!

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3 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Chris Brogan...
    September 30th, 2008 at 2:06 am #

    Neato post. It actually helped me tons. Hey, we used the same theme for our new blogs. (Mine’s at http://www.dadomatic.com , and has been modded a bit).

    Your About page needs the WHO of “we” in there. I wanted to know who you were and I had to backwards determine it all. : )

    It’s 4AM and I can’t sleep. Dammit.

  2. CheckPageRank
    September 30th, 2008 at 4:44 am #

    I personally usa fake PR to check my sites PR as some of the domains seems not valid.

  3. Sean Aune
    October 1st, 2008 at 12:57 am #

    Chris – Duly noted on the About page, and it is now updated :)

    I like this theme, and it was a good starting point for us, but we’ll probably change to something custom in the next few months just to be unique.

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