Google is currently in the middle of a PageRank update. What does this mean?
It’s ironic that most people interpret PageRank to be the rank of a page by Google, which is not exactly true. Larry Page, its inventor, created this ranking system to measure the probability of a page being found in a “random walk through the internet”. The more links there are pointing to a page from other well-visited pages, the better are that’s page’s chances of being found. Therefore, PageRank has historically been a measure of the number and quality of Google-recognized links pointing to a page.
According to Google, “PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. Google, however, looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important.”
By downloading the Google Toolbar on to your browser, you can see the page rank of any given site as you visit it.
Page Rank ranges from 0-10, with 10 being the highest. If all other things are equal for two websites, it is likely that the site with the higher homepage PageRank will show above the other in search results. However, Google is continually tweaking its algorithm for relevance. As a result, it is not usual for a site with a relatively low Page Rank to show up higher than others with much greater Page Rank.
As Search Engine Optimizers learned to manipulate PageRank, it became necessary for Google’s indicator to become less transparent. It was just too easy for us to see which changes to a website resulted in changes to its Page Rank.
These days, the PageRank shown on the Google toolbar is not current. Our best guess is that the information is three to five months old. Several times each year, Google updates ranks. This is happening right now – look for changes soon.
Danielle Harchelroad and Mary Bowling – Blizzard Internet Marketing, Inc.