In the simplest term, “PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value”. So a link from page A to page B is a vote by page A for page B.
This is a very simplified form, and Google goes on to explain: “Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes or links in a page. It also analyses the page that cast the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily than other less important pages”.
So the Google system is not a first past the post system, as every vote is not equal. So if you have a link (or a vote) from one site that has many links (or votes) by itself from other sites this link (or vote!) to your site will carry greater weight than if a link had come from a relatively unknown site.
So Page Rank is determined by link quality and link source importance. Now I mentioned in my previous post about Quantity Vs Quality when it comes to link building, as this is a perfect case. You really want to try and get as many descriptive quality links into your site from those sites with a good page rank – and remember to make sure that these pages are also relevant to your content!
You may have managed to get yourself a great Google Page Rank but this doesn’t guarantee that you will be on top of Google for a particular search phrase. Google uses a sophisticated technique called Text Matching to see how relevant your page is and incoming links form an integral part of this process. Our page could have dozens of related keywords in the title but Google searches for more than this. Straight from the horse’s mouth:
The search engine goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines dozens of aspects of the page’s content (and the content of pages linking to it) to determine if it’s a good match for your query.
So you really want the links pointing to your well-written page to be:
- Keyword phrases in your anchor text
- Coming from a page with a good Page Rank…
- and this page should be relative to your page.
So to conclude this brief and simplistic approach to Google Page Rank, you need to optimise your site (and individual pages) using relevant keywords (although remember not to overdo it), and have keyword-strong anchor text in your incoming links from pages that are relevant and carry a good Google Page Rank.