PageRank – what does it mean for linking strategies?

For many search marketers PageRank is an important factor both on their own website and those they approach for backlinks – and rightly so, PageRank needs to be a key consideration when devising an effective strategy.

The PageRank is a numerical value assigned by Google that represents the importance of that page on the web.


A higher PageRank can be achieved by another relevant and highly PageRanked website linking to your site. This will act as a “vote” for your site from theirs and you inherit reputation for this.


However it is worth noting that PageRank is called PageRank as it applies to the page of a website only, not the whole website. For example, the PageRank (or PR) of a websites homepage can greatly differ from that same websites privacy policy page. This is mainly due to the fact that typically the homepage of a site will acquire the most backlinks and deeper pages, although maybe more relevant, tend to be harder to promote via backlinks from other websites.

Search marketers need to ensure this is taken into account when devising a linking strategy. If part of the strategy applies to directory submissions for example, it is worth noting the PageRank of the page within the directory’s category that the link will appear.

Just because a website has a homepage with a PageRank of 5 doesn’t mean that every page within the site will be attributed with this level of PR. If fact, generally speaking, the deeper the link the lower the PageRank.
However, if a website has a homepage rank of 5 it indicates this site is reputable and will be frequently crawled, giving your link a good chance of being picked up even if it appears deep within the directory.

Quality V Relevance

So is a backlink from a PageRank 5 page better than a website which shares common themes with yours and is therefore highly relevant to the keywords you want to rank for? This is the $64 million question.

Both play a part but lower PageRank sites can rank very well for keyword relevant to your website, same as websites with high PageRanks and limited content quality can rank highly and are seen as reputable thus contributing to your own PageRank should a backlink be granted.

So the question you need to ask yourself is are you more interested in link reputation and gaining a higher PR for your own website or are you looking for improving your ranking for specific keywords quickly?

The ideal solution is to use a blend of both strategies. It could be argued that a small sacrifice could be made in PageRank if the site is highly relevant as it is not always possible to achieve both.


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