Skip to main content


Term: PageRank

Definition: PageRank is a search engine ranking algorithm developed by Google that determines the importance and relevance of web pages based on the quantity and quality of links pointing to them.

Alternative Names: PR, Google PageRank


Expanded explanation: Named after Google’s co-founder Larry Page, PageRank is a key component of Google’s search algorithm. It assigns a numerical weighting to each web page, with the aim of measuring its relative importance within the set. The algorithm works on the basis that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.

Benefits or importance: PageRank is essential in SEO because it helps Google determine which pages to show first in search engine results pages (SERPs). Pages with a higher PageRank are deemed more important and are, therefore, more likely to be ranked higher in search results.

Common misconceptions or pitfalls: A common misconception is that PageRank is the only factor Google uses to rank web pages. In reality, Google uses over 200 factors in their ranking algorithm. Another misconception is that a higher PageRank automatically leads to higher traffic, but PageRank does not account for the relevancy of a page to a user’s query.

Use cases: A primary use case of PageRank is in search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies. Understanding the PageRank of a website can help identify opportunities for improvement. For instance, gaining more high-quality backlinks can increase a site’s PageRank.

Real-world examples: An example of PageRank in action can be seen when comparing two websites. Website A has few backlinks but they’re from high-quality and reputable sites. Website B has many backlinks, but they’re from less reputable sites. In this case, Website A may have a higher PageRank due to the quality of its links, not the quantity.

Calculation or formula: The specific formula for PageRank is proprietary to Google and remains a company secret. However, it’s known that it uses a link analysis algorithm where web pages are assigned a rank based on the number and quality of links pointing to them.

Best practices or tips:

  • Focus on quality, not quantity: One high-quality backlink can be more valuable than multiple low-quality ones.
  • Relevant content: Ensure the content you produce is high-quality and relevant. This makes it more likely that other reputable sites will link to it.
  • Avoid black-hat SEO: Practices such as buying backlinks are frowned upon and can result in penalties from Google.

Limitations or considerations: While PageRank is an important metric, it’s just one of many factors that Google uses in its ranking algorithm. Also, as Google has stopped publicly updating PageRank scores, the metric is less transparent than it once was.

Comparisons: PageRank can be compared to other SEO metrics such as Domain Authority and Trust Flow, which also use link analysis to determine the quality and trustworthiness of a site.

Historical context or development: PageRank was developed by Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, at Stanford University. It was a revolutionary approach to ranking web pages and remains a cornerstone of Google’s search algorithm.

Resources for further learning:

Related services:

  • SEO Advertising: Our agency offers comprehensive SEO services that can help improve your PageRank and overall search engine visibility.
  • Backlink Services: Our link-building services lead to increased traffic and business growth.

Related terms: Backlink, SEO, Domain Authority, Trust Flow, SERP