Digital Marketing Pro Tip: What You Should Know About Google’s PageRank
The Importance of Backlinks in Your SEO Strategy
The Importance of Links
Google uses many different algorithms to figure out where your page should land in the search results, but PageRank is the only algorithm that determines your page’s value by looking at links. So, why are links important? Google believes if your page has valuable content, other websites will use it as a resource and link back to it on their pages (hence the oft-referred to SEO term “backlinks”). Basically, the more links found on other pages that link back to your website, particularly from high authority sites, the more valuable your site is in the eyes of Google’s PageRank. According to Moz the correlation between higher rankings and the number of linking websites is one of the highest correlations in a recent study on search results.
Every Link is a Vote
Google refers to every link back to your website as a vote. For example, if Company XYZ links back to your page, Company XYZ is “voting” for your page to rank higher in Google search results by acknowledging your content. However, every vote is not counted equally by this algorithm. Google will not only look at the quantity of the links leading back to your website, but also the quality. If a well-established and authoritative website links back to your page, this will help your ranking more so than a lesser known website linking back to your page. The same goes for relevancy of the site that provides you a link. If the site linking back to you is in your industry, or in in a shoulder industry that is related to your type of business, Google will see that as more relevant. For example, if Huffington Post includes a link to your website, this would work in your favor because Huffington Post is a highly-regarded and reputable website. However, if a local blogger with a very small following links back to your page, their “vote” will have little impact on your ranking. Even given this, backlinks never have a negative impact on site ranking, so the more the better!
After links have been counted and the importance of the links has been analyzed, Google will assign a PageRank to each page on the web. The scores range from 0-10, with 10 being the highest. If your page has zero inbound links, it will have a PageRank score of zero. Pages with a score of 3-4 are considered to have a decent number of inbound links, and pages with a score of 5-6 are considered to be well above average. It’s rare for a page to be ranked a 9 or 10, and in fact, most of the pages that are ranked this high are very large and well-known business websites such as Twitter or Facebook that literally have billions of unique users.
Check Your Ranking
How can you see how you are performing? There are a number of websites available to marketers that will help you find out how Google has ranked your page. There are websites such as PRChecker.info that will allow you to enter any website and see its PageRank score in a matter of seconds. However, it’s important to note that these websites do not guarantee accurate results and it is all a bit of a guessing game in terms of scoring. Google no longer reveals a page’s score, so the number you are given with these tools will be estimates only.
However, while scoring can be somewhat arbitrary, there are tools that will show you how many inbound links your website has, which will give you a good idea of how you rank. Moz.com and Backlink Watch are two of the most popular tools used by marketers today. Simply enter a website into the box, and a list of all the inbound links will appear for your review. You can also check for backlinks in your Google Analytics account (which DWD always sets up for our clients!).
How to Improve Your Ranking
To improve your PageRank, you have to develop a strategy to increase the number of inbound and outbound links to your website. See 7 creative link-building techniques to improve your website SEO. Here are some of the ways you can try to gain links:
Create Valuable Content
If you want other websites to use you as a resource and link back to your site, you have to create valuable content that will be useful to other people. Without great content, there won’t be anything for other websites to link back to, so this is a critical and obvious first step for any link building strategy.
Write Guest Blogs
Research bloggers in your industry and reach out to them asking if they would be interested in featuring a guest blog post. Most bloggers will allow you to link back to your website in your author bio, so this is a great way to get your name out while also increasing your inbound links.
Sponsor An Event
Ask local charities or industry organizations if they would be interested in having you as a sponsor of their next event. If you put in a little bit of time by helping them organize their event, they will most likely reward you with a link back to your website on their sponsor page.
Reach out to influencers in your industry and ask if they would be willing to sit for an interview with you. Of course, publish the interview on your website, but then ask the influencer to promote the interview on theirs as well. Influencers appreciate good press, so they shouldn’t mind posting a link to the interview or the entire interview on their site.
Send Your Product To Influencers
If you sell a product, send it to influencers and ask them to a review of it on their website – and then link back to yours within the text. Many influencers do this on a regular basis, they will write reviews in exchange for free products—so don’t feel shy about asking, but understand that you cannot ask for a positive review. You must let influencers review honestly.
Although Google PageRank is an important algorithm, it’s not the only one that Google uses to determine where your page ends up in the search results. Keep this in mind as you craft your SEO strategy so you don’t spend all of your time building links and neglect other tasks such as writing creative, useful content and targeting keywords.
The world of SEO is constantly changing, so your strategy needs to adapt as well. For assistance with your SEO strategy and link-building efforts, contact the marketing professionals at Denver Website Designs. We work with businesses across a wide variety of industries and help them boost their online presence and attract more customers. Learn more about our process and how we can help your business grow exponentially!
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