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What is Page Rank?
Page Rank (“PR”) is a numerical value from 1 to 10 that Google assigns to every page of your site. The reason this number is so important is that it is one of the single biggest clues to figuring out what Google really thinks of your site. Sites with a PR of 1 to 3 are questionable, PR 4 to 6 are trustworthy and authoritative, and PR’s 7 and above are seen as real authorities. Many factors go into this number, like the age of the domain, a site’s content, and a site’s inbound links.
But why does a high Page Rank really matter? A high Page Rank means Google trusts you. And the more Google trusts you, the more traffic and better rankings it will give you. And who doesn’t want that?
The Need to Control the Flow of Page Rank
Now that we understand what Page Rank is, we need to understand how best to use your site’s Page Rank.
Page Rank flows through your site like water through a spout. Your homepage has the highest Page Rank because it’s usually the oldest page and the one with the most inbound links. Your homepage is the big bucket. From here, Google cascades Page Rank throughout your site, so that a homepage of 8 will have subsequent pages at 7. Your PR 7 page then passes rank to the pages below it, which will be a PR 6, and so on.
However, like any bucket, the pressure with which water escapes becomes weaker as the number of spouts increase. And this holds true for Page Rank too at every level, not just the homepage. The more pages to flow rank to, the weaker the flow (power) will be. Therefore, you must find a way to only give Page Rank to your most important pages. This will ensure that Google directs web traffic to your best pages with the highest probability of making a visitor buy (or take your goal action).
Page Rank Sculpting
Just like humans, links are the way search engines find things on the web. Thus, you can control the flow of Page Rank by controlling your site’s links. You can do this through two main methods:
- THE BEST METHOD: Limit the number of links on all pages.
- Add an invisible note onto links that tells Google not count them, known as “No Follow.” (You do this on the HTML side.)
Although limiting links is the best method, sometimes you a required to have a link to a page on your site that you don’t want to give Page Rank too. This is when (and only when) No Follow should be used.
This completes our Page Rank Sculpting tutorial. Follow the above process and you’ll be on your way to better and more qualified traffic (and conversions) in no time!