Last month we asked you two send us your questions about search engine optimisation. Here’s the second in our series of answers.

As before, I spoke to one of the SEO experts behind InstantTraffic, our SEO service, to get a comprehensive answer.

What is Google PageRank all about?

Ian Ripper from Wheatland Farm sent us a message asking about Google PageRank:

Something I don’t understand about Google PageRank. Am I ranked in relation to my keywords? Obviously my site is of some relevance (and hence ranking) relating to what I do (self catering holidays) but it if no relevance for widget making. Is my PR of 3 related to keywords I optimise for?

Our answer

Your Google PageRank bears no relation to your keywords at all. PageRank is simply a measure of the ‘link juice’ of each of your web pages.

Your PageRank gets boosted when other websites link to you. That’s because Google regards a link to your site as a vote for your site.

The influence each individual link has on your overall PageRank depends how Google views the website linking to you. Highly ranked, big hitting websites will likely have more of an affect on your PageRank than unknown sites which have a low PageRank themselves.

You can view the PageRank for each page on your site by installing the Google Toolbar onto your computer. Alternatively, you can use the PageRank tool over at SEOMOZ.org (free registration is required).

Links to your website will boost its search ranking, and PageRank is useful as a general indicator as to how your site’s ranked by Google. However, you shouldn’t get too hung up on the PageRank of the various parts of your site.

What’s much more important is whether or not your site is ranking highly in Google for relevant search terms.

Even with a PageRank of zero, it’s possible to attract traffic through Google and rank highly for the terms which matter for your website. So if you’re getting lots of traffic through Google, but your PageRank looks rubbish, there’s not much reason to worry.

More information

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3 Responses

  • Rick

    So page rank is not related to traffic numbers, but Google’s own method of assessing a page. This makes sense, because you can only have one page rank, yet rank in their index for several search terms

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    February 20, 2009 at 3:49 pm
  • brian

    help!!!!!

    im in the process of building our site and to be honest i want to be listed on google when i launch but i have told i need to purchase instant traffic,,,,is there any other way?????

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    March 24, 2009 at 2:46 pm
  • Keith D

    Nice little post.
    I didn’t appreciate that Pagerank was only a measure of link juice.
    I monitor the pagerank of my site constantly and despite constantly looking for inbound links, the movement is very, very slow.
    Any tips on how to increase pagerank… other than getting lots of high quality inbound links, which is not possible for most of us.

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    July 18, 2009 at 9:50 am