Help me understand page rank

I thought that page rank basically means that if your page has a ranking of say 8 and another page has a ranking of 7, then your page will always appear higher in search engine results pages.

The thing is, when I search my keywords, and then check the page rank of other pages appearing in the same results as my page, I find that I’m sometimes higher on the page than pages that are of higher rank than me, and at the same time lower on the page than pages with a lower page rank than me.

How is this possible? (:

There’s much more to pagerank than you might think. Things like, domain age, search engine optimization, and links are all considered in who rocks the top.:slight_smile:

Forget about Page rank and just concentrate on good content. I see sites with good PR but with less traffic than mine. I’d rather have PR4 than PR7 if my traffic has twice as much as the other site.

PageRank is simply a measure of link popularity - the quality and quantity of inbound links to a given URL.

There are actually two PageRanks - the actual PageRank and the Toolbar PageRank. Your URL’s “actual” PageRank is the one that is one of 200+ ranking factors. It is constantly being updated as they crawl and index the web. You will NEVER know what your URL’s “actual” PageRank is.

The Toolbar PageRank is that little green bar you see in the Google Toolbar. It’s a periodic logrithmic scaling from 0-10 (not 1-10) of your URL’s “actual” PageRank. It’s only updated periodically, typically every few months. It’s ALWAYS out of date (even the very minute a Toolbar PR update is published). You’re looking at history… not your “current” PR. It’s NOT used in the ranking algorithm. So it’s basically worthless as any type of metric… only useful as to give you a general idea of how well linked the URL is.

If you want to learn more about PR, I’d suggest you read The Anatomy of a Large-Scaled Hypertextual Web Search Engine (See section 2.1) by Larry Page and Sergey Brin (founders of Google) that they wrote while at Stanford. It is where the concept of PageRank was first presented. While the formula described there has likely changed to include various quality factors (like NOFOLLOW, penalties, etc.) the concept remains “basically” the same.

I think this thread has run its course. No need for yet another thread containing the same pearls of wisdom in their various incarnations.

For more on this. please read the Sticky threads and Search using the vBulletin Advanced Search and SitePoint’s [URL=“”]Advanced Search

Page rank is the authority Google give you to rank your website in search results. However it will check other factors as well for the keywords. How you have optimized this on page or off page is the most imp thing. How many people have voted you for the same keyword (anchor text) or how many backlinks you are getting for the particular page for the keyword have more value than page rank.

PageRank is one of the methods used by Google search engine to determine a page’s relevance or importance over the search engine.

It is somewhere on the Google web site where they make the claim that they use about 200+ different algorithms in calculating where pages should appear in the search results. That you have been able to identify what 100 of those factors are is good evidence that at least 200 factors exist since they are going to weant to keep a significant number of them secret (particularly the more important ones) so as to minimise the opportunity for pages to get higher positions than they really deserve.

Perhaps the best way to work is to keep in mind that the search engine’s goal is to provide the most relevant page that matches what people are searching for and ALL the algorithms are intended to work toward the goal. So if you design your page on that basis you should gradually move up the results as the algorithms are refined to better meet the objective.

Yes that’s my understanding of that particular aspect of PR. The links back to your site, IF high ranking will result in your page rank being promoted to a higher rank.

That and a claimed 199 other factors, but I can only account for around 100 of them, 50 or so being positive factors, and the rest being negative factors.

So it’s not just a game of looking good to the spider, it’s just as much a game of not looking bad either.

Well said Felgall, point of fact, I had a domain, nothing was on it, just a blank page…I had given a good review to someone that had an extremely active blog and forum of PR6, they linked to my domain and suddenly my domain was PR4 even though there was no content to support it…I then realized exactly how little PR really meant as far as listing status in Google…just sounds good

i agree, some times. Only PR 2 can be number 1 in any keyword

Yes I see.

What are the other 199 factors?

Page Rank is one of over 200 factors that Google use in determining where pages will appear in the search results. There are approximately 199 of those 200 factors that play a greater part in determining where the pages appear than Page Rank does.

PageRank is a measurement of if a spider randomly went out throughout the web and looked for your link. It’s a one to ten scale measurement of the likelyness that the spider would come across your link. The more PR, the higher likely hood of being found.

Could you explain that in more detail; Please?

I’ve heard rumors that they change their algorithm periodically; Do you think they do that to combat spamming of the algo, or do you think maybe they change it whenever a significant percentage of search terms change?

No Google only convert the PR to a 1 to 10 scale when they publish it - so as to remove almost all of the actual meaning that the value has.

Only by keeping the algorithms they use secret can search engines obtain the correct results with the most likely pages that people are actually looking for at the top of the list.

By publishing an almost meaningless extracted value from one of their least important algorithms they allow those trying to manipulate the results waste their time on something that isn’t going to make much difference to the end result.

Basically if you have good content and links to that content from related sites then your page will get listed for that subject.

At best PR is a measure of how successful you are as if you write compelling content then lots of people will want to link to it.

Page Rank is how Google (and only Google, none of the other search engines use it) determines what sites have the most authority. The more authority Google thinks you have, the higher your Page Rank.

However, page rank doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a good search engine ranking. Yes, it can help, but I’ve seen sites with a PR 0 in the top spot. If you’ve got good optimization (both on-site and off), you can rank very high in the results without having a high page rank. Page rank is just 1 of 200+ things that Google uses to determine your search engine ranking.

… it looks like nobody understands what page rank is, yet is on everyones’ lips :wink: , just like eating bread all day but very few know how it’s realy made