Saturday, January 17, 2009

Increasing PageRank: an exercise in patience

After 9 months in operation the website has now achieved a PageRank of 2. How has this been achieved, why is this important, how do you interpret PageRank and what does the future hold?


As discussed previously PageRank is a method of measuring the importance (as ranked by Google) of a website which is primarily determined by how many other important sites link to a web page.

The factors therefore in increasing your PageRank are:
1) number of links (which is driven by the content you have)
2) importance of the pages that link to you (as measured by Google)
3) other features of the patented Google PageRank measure and its implementation by Google at any particular time. One of these factors may be how long your webpage has been on the internet.

Undoubtedly the amount of content and links has increased steadily over this period.

Why is it important?

PageRank is used to determine the relative positioning of a site in search results amongst other sites that also rank for that search keyword. Each page on your website will have its own PageRank eg your main page may have a high Pagerank because it is linked to by a large number of pages, whereas your 'legal', 'about us', or 'privacy'  pages may have lower rankings because there are less links to those pages.

As pointed out previously PageRank is only an indirect measure of success of your website and certainly isn't as meaningful as revenue, new customers or even position in search. It is nice however to know you are making progress and not going backwards!

Updates to PageRank during 2008

Updates occurred on 11 January, 29 February, 29 April, 25 July and 28 September, 30 December. The timeline below shows PageRank toolbar updates during 2007 and 2008.

Our Progress: Interpreting PageRank

Our site was launched in early April 2008 with a PageRank of 0.  We still had a PageRank of 0 as at 25 July. Sometime between 25 July 2008 and 28 September we achieved a PageRank of 1 (as at 28 September our PageRank was 1). Sometime between 28 September and 30 December our PageRank ticked over to 2. What is our PageRank as measured by Google's search engine now?  You'd have to expect it to be 2 given the timing between the last publicly updated figures however it could also be 1 or 3 or even 0 or 4. You just don't know and there is no way of finding out!

Updates to PageRank during 2009 [estimated]

Given recent history we can expect 4 (as in 2007, 2006 and 2005) or 6 (as in 2008) updates in 2009 which should be roughly evenly spread throughout the year so perhaps the next one will be mid February 2009 or early March 2009.

For more information on PageRank see Matt Cutts's blog. Matt is a Google employee with the key to the Google kingdom and a guru on SEO.

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