Google Pagerank Update

Understanding Google’s PageRank (PR) system is a major obstacle for many aspiring webmasters who are trying to get their new website ranked well in Google so that they get more visitors. Google only lets the public know a little bit about its ranking system in order to keep spammers from attempting to cheat the system and get their sites artificially ranked well. This means that even seasoned SEO veterans don’t know all of the factors that affect PageRank.

PageRank can be checked by going to a site in a browser that has Google’s internet toolbar installed (it displays the PageRank of any site). PageRank is listed on a 0 to 10 scale, 0 being the worst and 10 the best. We really don’t know exactly what those numbers mean, other than that higher / better means your site will show up higher in Google’s search results. Fortunately, Google explained a bit about how much PageRank is updated in the video on the GoogleWebmasterHelp YouTube channel.

This video really explains a lot about both how PageRank is calculated, and more importantly, how it is updated. First off, we learn more about the process that Google uses to calculate PageRank. Google is constantly calculating and updating PageRank – as they scan the web and find new links, they update their PageRank for a site on their internal system. Second off, it is revealed that Google’s internal system is a bit different from the publically available PageRank.

Google uses a much more specific system internally, and truncates their detailed PageRank down to a 0 to 10 scale for public release. This public release of a 1 to 10 scale is only published every 3 to 4 months, according to the video. This means that when you check your site’s PageRank with the Google toolbar, the ranking which you see may be outdated. Also, because we know that the publically available scale is limited, a site’s PageRank may actually change slightly, without changing significantly enough to be reflected in the limited 0 to 10 system. That means that there are two major lessons from this video for webmasters and SEO professionals.

One is that the publically available PageRank may be outdated, and the other is that it does not reflect all of the information that Google has about your site. If you don’t see your site’s PageRank change when you expect it to, remember that the publically available PageRank system is very limited, and that it may not always reflect your site’s true PageRank.

Update: Pagerank Update in 2011

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

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