Blog Post

How does page rank work [VIDEO]

Lately we've gotten some questions about the importance of Page Rank. People want to know how does Google Page Rank work and is it a good measure of increasing website traffic? The short answer: Page Rank has to do with how many other webpages backlink to your webpage. No, Page Rank is not the indicator of web traffic success that it used to be--there are better measurables. Time's are a'changin'. Watch the video for more details!


Hello, and welcome to our video on increasing page rank. I'm Chad Hill and I have Adam Stetzer here with me today.

Yeah, good afternoon, Chad. There's a lot of people out there who want to know how does Google page rank work. We get a lot of questions in our forum and on our blog posts. And in particular, they seem to be always seeking ways to increase page rank. So I want to talk just briefly about that, give them a couple concise answers, and then maybe guide them as to why increasing page rank may or may not be important in their pursuit of traffic.

Yeah, well, I think that has to start with the definition of Page Rank and why maybe it's not as good of a measure as it was a couple years ago. How does google page rank work? Well, if you go back to Google's whole idea of how they organize the internet, it all has to do it how many other websites backlink to a specific page on the web. And that determines that page's rank.

And of course, it's way more complicated than that, but at the simplest level, the more places that are linking and the higher quality or more authoritative those places are, the higher you increase page rank. Which means that when Google's going through its index of all the information on the web for specific keywords that it then can sort out and say, which of my pages in my index have the highest Page Rank for these particular keywords? And that's what I'm going to put in my search rankings.

Great. So in terms of answering the question, how does Google page rank work? I think the most concise answer is it's based on backlinks. So if you're out there trying to increase page rank, you're looking to make your Page Rank higher, get backlinks to your page.

And we've seen this in our experimentation quite readily. We put something out that's of high value. We float it out through social media. It gets a few social signals, picks up a few backlinks from people who are sharing it as it's syndicated out.

A Page Rank for a page will typical start at N/A and then will jump to 0 very quickly, based on those backlinks. If a couple more trickle in over the next month or two, they'll usually increase page rank 1 or 2 pretty quickly.

Right. So now we know what Page Rank is, we sort of understand the idea that it's links, and where you get those links, and there's a lot of other things go into it. But let's talk, then, about why today, increasing Page Rank is hard. And the simple answer there is that over time, Google does not as frequently let people know what their Page Rank is.

In the early days, everyone had the Google toolbar, and on the left-hand or right-hand side-- I can't even remember now-- there was a number by every site that you went to that told you the Page Rank. And that information was actually part of knowing about the quality of the website I was on. Slowly over time, they've stopped pushing that information out. And now, content marketing and really providing something of value, so they'll earn backlinks and really get rankings.

It's a whole different ball game. We've got plenty of videos on that. We hope you'll check those out.

Comments (8)

  • Jesse Reply

    Terrific article. A lot of people may not understand the page rank thing too much, but i'm glad I'm sharing this video. This could really help people to understand what they are up against in the world of getting more attention online.

    03/12 at 01:34 PM
  • Nick Reply

    Really good intro to a complex topic. Thanks guys!

    03/12 at 02:19 PM
  • Fiore Reply

    excellent video. Really makes a complex topic relatively simple.

    03/12 at 02:51 PM
  • Paul Reply

    Using increased sales, traffic, and revenue as a marker for success is definitely more important than using page rank. has a page rank of 10 and has a page rank of 8. I think it's pretty obvious which one is more successful.

    03/12 at 03:31 PM
  • Matt Reply

    I agree with Paul. SEO's get caught up in shiny domain stats and forget that their core mission is to deliver business.

    03/12 at 06:07 PM
  • Nick Reply

    Great video! I think many people are confused or outdated in the what's and how's of page rank. This clears a lot of things up.

    03/13 at 12:36 PM
  • Bill F Reply

    PageRank had already been defeated by link farms, and link farms themselves displaced by the Penguin. There are still some reasons for it to exist as a very basic, broad measure but using it in a SERP seems outdated.

    03/13 at 03:47 PM
  • Chris Reply

    Isn't domain authority today's PageRank?

    03/15 at 04:33 PM

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