In writing my SEO 101 series, I noticed I throw around the term PageRank a lot (with good reason). Then it hit me that, as this is SEO 101, I should probably explain what that is :)
PageRank was coined by the founders of Google to describe the algorythm they use to… well… rank pages.
PageRank (or “PR” as it’s often called) is essentially a mathematical way for working out the likelihood of a random internet surfer going to any particular page. The higher the PageRank, the more likely, according to the formula, that someone will find the page.
Pages, not sites, receive PageRank. It’s a common misconception that a site receives PageRank. If you hear someone say their site is a PageRank 5, they are actually saying that the homepage of their site has a PageRank of 5.
PageRank is usually expressed as a whole number between 0 and 10, with 0 being the lowest.
Each level of PageRank is worth about 10 times as much as the level below it.
If you were to only have PageRank 0 pages linking to a particular page (not recommended, by the way), you would need 10 incoming links to move your page to a PageRank 1, 100 incoming links to a PageRank 2, 1,000 incoming links to a PageRank 3, etc.
The beauty of PageRank is that links from higher PageRank pages pass a higher amount of PageRank. Basically, if it takes 100 PageRank 0 links to take your page to a PageRank 2, it would only take 10 PageRank 1 links to do the same thing.
The formula isn’t exact, so allow for a little more links if you’re really set on a particular level of PageRank. And don’t worry about damping factors, percentage of PageRank bleed and other intricate details that you really don’t need to know unless you are a professional SEO consultant…