Webmasters across the Internet experienced some additional changes to their sites late last week by Google with another PageRank update.  The recent changes to the algorithm behind PageRank caused many sites to go up or down or remain the same in PageRank.  The PageRank update is the third update this year and has been consistently coming out quarterly.  Google has been consistently rolling out PageRank updates this year with two being released in May and February.  The fourth and final update for PageRank for this year is expected to be released sometime in November.


Developed back in 1998, PageRank uses a numeric system that issues grades to websites between 1-10 with 10 being the most prestigious ranking (even Google themselves do not have a 10).  PageRank is supported by a complex formula that is used to determine the value of a website by evaluating hundreds of different factors throughout your website.  Not every factor of the algorithm behind PageRank is known, but several important things we do know from years of testing throughout the SEO industry. And some factors that determine PageRank include ease of navigability, content, crawlability, backlinks, domain age, keyword density and proper canonicalization are all part of the formula.  Not all factors are graded equally in the algorithm, some are more important than others; some factors are weighted more against others for the level of importance and the impact they may have on a website.


Don’t be fooled by false appearances.



Many people make the wrong inclination that just because a link opportunity has a high PageRank, it must be a good link to go after.  Don’t be deceived by high PageRank’s when looking for link opportunities.  Just because a website has a PageRank of 5, doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a good link to have in your backlink profile.  There are many more important factors to consider than PageRank when determining if a link opportunity is a good fit for your website.


The most important determining factor is content, and that is especially true since Google is constantly changing their algorithm to be more content and social relevant.  This is also especially true with Google’s recent search engine algorithm changes evident by their releasing Panda and Penguin updates this year.  High relevant content that is relative to your niche is going to be more powerful than any high PageRank not related to your niche.  Always keep that in mind as you are determining if a link is a good fit or not.  Some other factors that you might also look at when evaluating a website is to look at their recent cache date, high number of links to the domain, low outbound link count, in-context links, site age, low Alexa score and not spammy.


There are tools available everywhere online to determine what your PageRank is.  A personal favorite that is easy to install, use and that is compatible with Firefox is called the SEO Toolbar from SEOBook.  The toolbar appears in your Firefox browser and you are able to pull up information such as PageRank and other relevant qualifying factors about any website immediately.