PageRank is one of the approximate 200 metrics that Google uses to its algorithm formula that helps a website’s ranking on the SERPs. It was not updated last year and according to Matt Cutts no update was supposed to take place until 2014. As many SEOs’ and Digital Marketing specialists’ believe we have been referring to a “dead” metric.
All that until the 6th of December of 2013, when out of the blue PageRank changed! Why this sudden change? What did it mean? Was PageRank still an important element? Before answering these questions, let’s first take a look at what PageRank actually is.
What is PageRank
According to Google, PageRank is all about the number of links pointing to a website. It is part of the algorithm Google is using to rank a website and it is regarded as the oldest and the most famous metric.
The important thing is that Google doesn´t only take into account the number of links but their quality as well. Attracting a high number of relevant links is an indication of a quality website for the SERPs.
The first years of its life PageRank was the basic metric (possibly the only one) for ranking well on the SERP´s (of course PageRank means the quality and the quantity of the links) and that´s the reason why most of the webmasters and many SEOs were kind of obsessed with it. Nowadays there are many factors apart from PageRank that are important for Google and the SERPS in general.
The upgrade of December the 6th of 2013
With the upgrade of this metric, just before 2014, Google showed that it still values the number of links, contrary to the general belief that pagerank is “dead”. Despite that, in many cases websites with a lower PageRank than others are ranking in the top positions of Google. This is proof that it is now just one of the many factors that website owners or they SEO specialists must take into account so as to obtain high rankings on the SERPs. For example, a one-point change on PageRank doesn´t necessarily mean it will significantly change the site´s search engine rank.
Ways to Increase PageRank
The main way to increase PageRank is by increasing the number of links and their quality. Consequently we have to follow various techniques. However, we have to be extra careful when using them, so as to avoid black hat techniques and unnatural link sources. Amongst the best techniques available are:
- guest posting
- writing articles for big newspapers and magazines using the program HARO to pitch journalists
- adding your company to Wikipedia building many landing pages for long tail keywords (this way you are winning a link from the rankings of Google)
- using good and recognizable directories of your niche
It is really important to combine as many link building strategies as possible instead of just one, as in this case Google will interpret it as spam.
How to check PageRank
The faster way to check PageRank is to add the extension in the toolbar of the browser you are using.
Another credible way to monitor your website’s Pagerank is by using the following tools:
If you want to improve and also check the quality and the number of your backlinks you could use these tools :
By using this tool you can find opportunities for adding a backlink for a certain keyword.
By using this tool you can find all the websites that are linking to your page.
With this tool you can find the internal PR flow as well as if there are any broken links on your site.
By using this tool you can find out how many internal and external links your websites has, if they are “dofollow” or “nofollow” and the anchor text they are using.
Other Important Factors for Ranking Besides PageRank
As mentioned above it is a new era and some of the most important metrics for good ranking on the SERPs besides PageRank are:
- Facebook shares and likes
- Twitter retweets
- G+ shares and likes
- Authority of the domain
- Number of words on the page
- Traffic of the website
- Speed of loading the page
- Low bounce rate (good usability)
There are many case studies that prove that any pages combining all those factors and having a decent number of backlinks are ranking on the first positions of the search engines.
Google with this sudden change is showing us that PageRank is indeed alive. Although the fact that PageRank was upgraded without modifying crucially the ranking position of the websites on the SERPs, is showing us that now days its neither the only nor the most important metric, it is just one of the many.
So prepare yourself for a lot of work and investigation, combine many strategies and metrics and start your journey on the SERPs.
If you have any example or any case study after the upgrade of the PageRank on December the 6th of 2013 we would appreciate it if you shared it with us.
As alive as any other metric, PageRank is just another brick in the wall, keep in mind you will need many bricks to build a successful wall for your website. Good luck!