Google Page Rank Updates
If you have Google’s toolbar installed, you may have noticed a section that shows a short, green and white line. When you hover over it, this shows you a number between one and ten, and it changes depending on which website you go to. This is known as Google’s Page Rank, and it’s a numerical value put on every website Google indexes. Page Rank is based on a very complex algorithm created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in the late 1990’s while they were still students at Stanford University.
Page Rank values the importance of a page based on an algorithm that takes in dozens of different factors, but most notably the values of the pages linking to a specific URL. For example, pages of a higher Page Rank pointing to a specific URL will usually result in that URL’s Page Rank increasing accordingly. Sadly we don’t know every aspect of how Page Rank works, as that would lead to people gaming the system Google has so carefully set up.
What concerns most webmasters and SEO professional is what their Page Rank will look like after a marketing campaign, and when their Page Rank will be updated. Hopefully we can give some insight into both of those questions. First, the numerical value of one’s Page Rank can change on a variety of factors. Sometimes a Google algorithm change will affect the value of links coming from specific places, for example. This occurred some time ago when Google reduced the value of links coming from blogs and blog comments to almost nothing, and webmasters who relied on such links found their Page Rank value plummeting as a result. Sometimes a website on which a webmaster has links will be banned, also devaluing those links. These are just some of the scenarios that can affect one’s Page Rank.
As for when Page Rank values get updated, these updates usually happen three or four times a year. Google rarely announced when a Page Rank update is going to occur, so it’s up to webmasters and SEO professionals to keep an eye out on blogs and forums to see when other webmasters are noticing Page Rank updates to their own URLs. Since this happens so infrequently, it’s often frustrating to have to wait to see what the results are after months of hard work.
One should also note that Page Rank has been met with a bit of controversy of late. Many SEO professionals and webmasters question its value and its validity in valuing a website’s worth, and many seem to think it doesn’t even have any bearing on the search results and traffic for a website. That being said, Page Rank is still an important piece of the puzzle when one is building links or looking for linking partners. Even if the importance of Page Rank will never be agreed upon, a savvy webmaster or SEO professional will always keep it in mind as they try to increase their visibility, rankings and natural traffic.