Google PageRank is one of those measurements that is completely transparent in that it is right there for anyone to see, yet totally opaque in that no one is completely sure what it actually measures or what effect it has on SEO in general. Below is a look at what some webmasters say about PageRank, but keep in mind, these are completely anecdotal and things can vary from site to site.
What is PageRank?
In short, it is Google’s level of confidence in the stability and quality of the site. A PageRank of 0 means the site is either new or has very little connectivity to the rest of the Internet, while a higher PageRank denotes an older site with more incoming and outgoing links.
What Effect Does it Have?
According to webmasters, a higher PageRank means that content posted on the site tends to get indexed faster. Additionally, when choosing which of two identical pieces of content to actually list, the decision leans very heavily in favor of the higher ranked site. The last rumored effect of PageRank is extra weight to links, as a bit of Google’s confidence in the site is passed on to the site being linked.
What Constitutes PageRank?
While there are many rumored contributors to a high PageRank, the only one upon which everyone agrees is seasoning – in other words, the longer a given domain has been registered, the more easily a site attached to that domain gains PageRank.
After age, the most consistently agreed upon way to improve PageRank is backlinks. Quantity is always a good, measurable characteristic when dealing with SEO matters and high PageRank sites tend to have many incoming links.
A less measurable statistic is backlink quality. When dealing with backlink quality, we again leave the realm of measurement and enter the realm of opinion, but there is some consistency and logic to this opinion. Obviously, links that are not indexed are virtually useless. There is some evidence that do follow links are better than do not follow links. The closeness to the base domain has been said to have an effect. In other words, a link from www.examplepage.com is better than one from www.examplepage.com/examples/moreexamples/deepintopage.html
While the specifics of how much impact PageRank has are debatable, the logical conclusion is that if Google measures it, then it makes a difference and is something everyone who owns a web site should be interested in raising.