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Increasing Your Google PageRank 101

Google (external link) plays a large role in search engine marketing, as the dominant search engine. By keeping its search algorithm a tight secret, it has created many myths about its inner workings. PageRank is a Google technology that assigns a value of one through ten based on a page's popularity.

Pages that are more popular Google declares 'important'. Search engines such as Ask.com and Yahoo! take in relevancy over popularity, although other search engines are balanced in between such as MSN.

What is PageRank?

PageRank (PR) is Google's interpretation of a page's popularity. Google determines a page's popularity by the number of backlinks, or votes, that page has. Backlinks are links to your page from other websites. Each backlink slightly increases your PageRank, and therefore your position on Google's search results.

For a dictionary definition we can refer to Google:

Quotation by "Google"

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. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important." Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search...

The increase of a page's PageRank per backlink depends on the PageRank of the linking web page. A page with a higher PageRank will increase a page's PageRank more, over a page with a lower PageRank.

Does this mean that you should only seek high PageRank pages for backlinks? No. Google takes into account the number of links per page. The value of any link from a web page is decreased proportionally for every additional link on that page. More exclusive, high ranked pages are what you should aim for, although these are hard to come by.

Increasing PageRank

In order to increase your PageRank you have to seek out backlinks. Any backlink will assist, as we've yet to be revealed to negative PageRank. Even though not all pages give a worthy increase, it will still help even in the slightest way.

Open Directory Project

The Open Directory Project (external link) (ODP) is a huge human-edited directory on the web, one of the largest available. Its archives are used to power hundreds of other directories, including Google's. By simply adding your website into this one directory it will appear on hundreds of others, a significant boost in PageRank.

Listing in the Open Directory Project is free. To submit your URL simply browse to the exact category that you want your website to be listed in. Then select the 'suggest URL' link. Fill out the form and submit it.

There have been cases of people who've waited months to see their website become listed. As it is run by volunteers and hundreds of websites are submitted daily, it may take awhile until your application is reviewed. Even with the long wait you'll find it well worth the time and effort.

Trading Links

Other webmasters around the globe also want to increase their Google PageRank, which creates link trading. Trading links is where you'll link to another website and they'll link back to you, it is a group effort. Trading links with other websites is easy, and there are even websites dedicated to it.

Try to find websites with a high PageRank that aren't direct competition for your own website.

For example we can take Lowter. Lowter has some gaming articles and content, but we are not a gaming website. We could easily trade a link with a gaming website without having difficulties with them, and vice versa. Since gaming and web design usually intermix we also get a slight form of promotion, but yet neither website would be direct competition.

You can also purchase links from other websites to increase your PageRank, although this can get expensive. Make note that the value of any link from a web page is decreased proportionally for every additional link on that page. Websites that sell hundreds of links won't be worth your time and money.

Summary

PageRank is Google's interpretation of a page's popularity determined by the number of votes given to the page. Two methods of increasing your PageRank are being listed in the Open Directory Project and trading links with other websites. You've taken a look into the basics of Google PageRank, a boost to your future in search engines around the world!