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6. Google PageRank (PR) explained
A web page's PageRank is a number from 1 to 10 (as shown in the Google Toolbar) that is calculated by Google for that page. This PR value is basically what Google deems to be the importance of your page when compared to other web pages.

Google uses a complex PageRank algorithm to calculate each page's PR based solely on the quantity and quality of inbound links to the page. PageRank isn't linear, it's logarithmic, making it a lot harder to boost a page's PR from 5 to 6 than from 4 to 5. The PR shown in the Google toolbar isn't the actual PR of the page, just the integer value. If your site is in a competitive field, a 5 might be an excellent PR. If it is listed in a non-competitive field you need to aim for a higher PR. In general though, when it comes to PR higher is always better.

PageRank plays a role in how highly a page is ranked in the Google search results for a given search term. Everything else being equal, the page with the highest PR will be ranked highest.

7. How to maximize your web pages' PR (without SPAM or "dirty" tactics)
As detailed in the previous section, a web page's Google PageRank is very important for several reasons, not the least of which is getting high rankings in the search results. There is really only one way to increase a page's PR: Get more inbound links!

While almost any inbound link will help boost a page's PR, there are three exceptions:

1 - An inbound link from a page with a Google PageRank of zero (PR0) doesn't provide any help in boosting your own page's PR.

2 - A link that the Googlebot spider cannot follow won't provide a PR boost for your page either. These typically include links that are generated from a database by a CGI script as well as various forms of javascript generated links. As a general rule, static text links can always be followed. These include regular links with the <A HREF... tag.

3 - Links from a page that has excluded Googlebot via the robots.txt file or with a "no follow" robots meta tag don't provide a PR boost.

A link from any page with a Google PageRank of 1 or higher will help increase your page's ranking, but links from higher PR pages provide a much larger boost. Whenever possible, try to get links from pages that are at PR5 or better.

8. Header Tags and ALT Tags
Near the top of your page, you should use your primary keywords in an <H1> header tag. Google gives extra weight to text located within header tags when computing PR. Also use a couple of <H2> tags on your page because they count as well (although not as much as the <H1>.

Here is an example of an <H1> tag:

<H1>Distinctive birdhouses and birdfeeders</H1>

An <H2> tag would look like this:

<H2>We offer the finest in handcrafted birdhouses
and birdfeeders</H2>

Photos do not help your ranking. But you can use <ALT> tags to describe your photos. If you can use a keyword or two in your <ALT> tag that is even better. but be careful here that your <ALT> tag accurately describes the photo or Google may consider it to be SPAM which of course is not good. Here is an example of an <ALT> tag:

<img src="birdhousepictures/bird.gif" ALT="Small Bird">

<ALT> tags are intended to give a description of a photo in cases where the web browser either cannot display photos or the photo display option has been turned off. If you use these tags properly, your site's visitors will be able to see the description of an un-displayed photo (a good thing). But even more importantly your <ALT> tags will help your search engine ranking.

9. Adding new pages to your site
Google loves to spider new pages and she loves lots of high quality content. Try to add at least one new page to your site each day. If you simply can't add a new page each day, add one whenever you can. But don't put up junk. Make sure the pages are useful to your visitors and "friendly" to the search engines.

An analysis of the top ranked pages on Google suggests that Google prefers short, concise pages as opposed to long, rambling ones. This is good news for you as a webmaster! It's pretty easy to create a short page on a particular topic (if possible built around one of the keywords that you wish to target).

If you already have a long page (or several) on your site, consider breaking the longer pages up into several shorter pages. Your visitors will find your site easier to understand and navigate. And of course having lots of shorter, concise pages will help your search engine rankings.

10. Links and their effects on PR
As stated earlier, virtually any website at all can link to your page(s) without adversely affecting your PR. This is because generally you have no control over who links to your site. But the PR of the page(s) that link to your page(s) has a great deal of influence on your page's PR.

For example, if a webmaster decides to link to your page from a page on her site with a PR of 6, this will help your page's PR be higher than if she links to your page from a PR 4 page. In other words, it isn't just how many links you have to your page, but also the "importance" of those pages that helps boost your PR. A dozen links from PR 6 sites is often better (at least for the sake of PR) than 100 links from PR4 sites.

How do you determine a page's PR (even your own)? If you use Internet Explorer, you can download the Google Toolbar for free. After you have downloaded and installed the Google toolbar, restart your browser. You should now see the toolbar near the top of the screen. Click the word Google on the left edge of the toolbar. Click Toolbar Options on the dropdown menu. Place a checkmark in the box beside PageRank Display. Now click the OK button at the bottom of the page. Your toolbar is now configured to display the PR value of the current page. On the right-hand side of the toolbar you will see the word PageRank.

Below the word PageRank is a bar that is either gray (no PR for the current page), all white (the current page has a PR of 0), or part white and part green. The more green in the bar the higher the PR. If you place your mouse pointer over the bar under the word PageRank you will see the numerical value of the current page's PR.

And now, back to reciprocal linking. Your goal is to exchange links with as many quality websites as you can as quickly as you can. For our purposes, I'll define quality websites like this:

They have a PR of at least 5.

They aren't using hidden text, hidden links, doorway
pages, etc. (No linking to a bad neighborhood,

The "theme" of their sites compliments yours and
vice versa.

The theme of your link partners' websites is very important. PR is Google's estimate of the importance of your site. So your site will be deemed more important if a lot of quality websites in your same general field link to your site. For instance, if your website sells custom made curtains, your theme would be "home decor". You should make an effort to exchange links with other "home decor" related sites, such as interior designers, landscapers, and sites that sell furniture.

Do not exchange links with a direct competitor however or you will lose sales to your competition. For example, if you sell wind chimes don't exchange links with another site that also sells wind chimes. Instead, exchange with a site that sells lawn furniture or other products that compliment yours without directly competing with you. Set a goal of exchanging links with a minimum of 100 other websites that meet the above criteria and you'll be well on your way to a great Google listing.


Conclusion As I have said so many times before, search engine optimization and positioning is a science as well as an art. What really counts are the results you will get from your efforts. If you carefully implement all the tips and techniques that are in this article, your website should rank well in the search engines and your Web-based business should be a success.

* = Article by www.rlrouse.com

Current SE Rankings Here! (selected sites in PDF)
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