Understanding What Page Rank Actually Is
As many people know (or are soon about to know) Google puts out a metric known as PageRank to show how they value the importance of the link profile of a website. PageRank is a logarithmic scale ranging from 0 to 10, all new sites start at a 0 and as they engage in SEO work or build natural links they progress up the scale. As you move up the scale further and further, it becomes increasingly difficult to move to the next level of PageRank.
PageRank isn’t perfect and isn’t meant to be a measure of how well you rank for a set keyword, but rather an overall measure of the sites link importance in the eyes of Google. Ranking for individual keywords depends on how well your site is optimized for that keyword, so a PageRank 1 site can easily outrank a PageRank 4 site for a given keyword if it’s properly optimized.
In general, your site requires the following average number of links to acheive the following PageRanks:
PR0: 0 links
PR1: 15 links
PR2: 60 links
PR3: 300 links
PR4: 1,500 links
PR5: 7,800 links
PR6: 40,000 links
PR7: 205,000 links
PR8: 1.06 million links
PR9: 28.08 million links
PR10: 144.38 million links
Just to give a rough understanding of what types of sites are what PageRank, we’ll give a few examples of sites that have various PageRanks:
- A Brand New Site: PageRank0
- The Marketing Masters’s Site: PageRank3
- Sprinkle’s Cupcake Site: PageRank5
- Fox News Chicago’s Site: PageRank6
- Pinterst’s Site: PageRank7
- Fox News’ Main Site: PageRank8
- Adobe’s Site: PageRank9
- Facebook, Twitter, Google: PageRank10
How Do I Improve My Site’s PageRank?
Quite simply you need to build links, but not just any type of links. Years ago you could build any type of links to your site to achieve higher rankings. You could write a software to spam links, hire dozens of employees overseas for a few dollars per hour to build links, or even spend an hour a day building some links for your own website. Today, however, you need to build contextual links from quality websites to see PageRank improvements and ultimately ranking improvements.
There’s been various studies done by prominent SEO research companies that have come to the figure that as you progress up the PageRank scale, the value of a link increases 5 times vs. the previous level. That is to say that 1 PageRank 2 link is worth 5 PageRank 1 links. The average website is around a PageRank 2, so to grasp how important higher PageRank links can be we’ve done some simple calculations below:
If you can get one PageRank 7 link, it’s worth about 3,125 PageRank 2 links
If you can get one PageRank 6 link, it’s worth about 625 PageRank 2 links
If you can get one PageRank 5 link, it’s worth about 125 PageRank 2 links
If you can get one PageRank 4 link, it’s worth about 25 PageRank 2 links
If you can get one PageRank 3 link, it’s worth about 5 PageRank 2 links
Now there are dozens of other factors that come into play, including the number of outbound links on the page which is linking to you, the niche the site is in that is linking to you (is it relevant or not), whether the link is follow or no-follow, whether the link appears on the top of the page or bottom of the page, and other factors. However in general, higher PageRank links are simply worth more than lower PageRank links when it comes to improving your website’s PageRank and ultimately improving your search engine rankings.
This is exactly why quality SEO firms do so well these days, while low quality firms truly struggle. We would much rather spend 5 hours building one PageRank 6 link than spend 5 hours building 10 PageRank 3 links, and that’s exactly why our clients see such great results with our off-site SEO campaigns. There’s much more that goes into SEO than link building — including on-site SEO, keyword research, keyword density, and literally a few dozen other elements — but link building still is a vital part of any SEO campaign and it’s important to understand just how valuable higher PageRank links truly can be.