What is a PageRank and How Important is it in 2014?

Till November 2013 most SEO gurus claimed PageRank was dead and irrelevant. However, everything changed in December 2013, when Google made changes to PageRank. Before we get into the importance and relevance of PageRank, it is necessary you understand what PageRank really is.


What is PageRank?

Google uses about 200 metrics in its algorithm to rank websites on search engine page results (SERPs), and PageRank is one of those metrics. This metric looks at the number of backlinks that a website has. It is one of the oldest ranking metrics.

Previously, the sites with more backlinks were ranked higher than sites with few links pointing back. As a result, websites went berserk trying to get as many backlinks as possible, even from sites that were not credible or did not have any relevance to the site.


The Change in PageRank

In December 2013, this metric was upgraded and it became clear that Google still gives PageRank a lot of importance. While there are several factors that determine page ranking in SERPs, PageRank is still important and necessary. This said, your site can still attain high ranking on SERPs even if it has a low PageRank. This is evidence to show that your SEO provider will have to take into account several factors to ensure high Google ranking besides PageRank.

PageRank is important for figuring out the original source of the content when there is a duplicate page; establishing crawl depth and priority of a website; and taking into account the initial results of a webpage before re-ranking it based on other criteria.


Increasing Your Site├óÔé¼Ôäós PageRank

Google made it clear in 2013 that the number of links point back to a site is still important. So, the only way to increase your website├óÔé¼Ôäós PageRank is to ensure you have more backlinks. However, Google also is paying attention to the quality of links. So using black hat methods to get backlinks is out. Instead you should be looking to write articles for well-known newspaper, blogging as guest blogger on credible blogs, using niche directories to list your site or even adding your site to a Wikipedia page.

The key is to use different ways to build links to your website, so that Google spiders do not view it as spam.


Factors Causing Decline in PageRank

As your site├óÔé¼Ôäós overall PR rank does have an effect on the SERPs, you should be aware of the factors that could result in a lowered PageRank score.

  • If the sites you are linking to are penalized for black hat tactics, you too would be penalized and this will lower your site├óÔé¼Ôäós PR.

  • PR often declines as Google figures out more about the content on your site. Initially, your site may have a high PageRank score, but as all the metrics in the indexing algorithm work, your score may lower slightly or significantly based on the end result of the algorithm. It is best to let your PR score stabilize over a period of time, so that you know exactly what the score is rather than getting excited initially and then disappointed after seeing your PR score tank.

  • If you use just one method to get backlinks, you could end up initially with a high PR score and see a decline in the score. This is because using just a single method to build links to your site is viewed as spam.