A ‘Page Rank’ is a number Google gives to a web page that represents how important Google thinks the page is on the web. When one page links to another, Google considers it to be effectively casting a vote for the other page. The more ‘votes’ there are for a page across the whole web, the more important that page must be. But that’s quite an assumption, isn’t it? The importance of the page that is casting the vote determines how important the vote itself really is, meaning in Google calculations a page’s importance comes from the votes cast for it. These votes are then taken into account when the page is ranked.
As a general rule of thumb, Google Page Ranks along with Alexa ratings are the best indicators of how well your SEO work has been going. Granted, the ranking that you appear in on the results for your most important key words is the real indicator, but a strong Google Page Rank will help to boost this position substantially. The more links that you have pointing at your site, the better off you are. That’s a basic rule that will apply throughout your SEO operations.
These sorts of separations are interesting and can contribute to a great deal of change and motion in page ranks. The most important thing to keep in mind is that eventually Google will get you into your proper place. Generally, if you behave, you will not be thrown down for long by the odd activity that can occur when Google is in the process of updating its index for your server (or for the servers of your favorite link partners.
The best way to increase your page rank is to contact people with relevant and complementary content (that is, content that does not compete with your own but that enhances it). These links are most likely to last and they will not only increase your Google Page Rank, but they will also provide relevant hits via the links themselves.
How is PageRank Calculated? Google calculates the PageRank PR of all pages it indexes, taking into account all the links to and from each site. When a page ‘votes’ for other pages by linking to them, it shares out some of its PageRank value amongst these pages. This algorithm means that a link to your site from a page with PR4 (i.e. a Page Rank of 4) and five outbound links would be worth more than a link from a page with PR8 and a hundred outbound links. It’s not just the Page Rank of the page that’s important, but also the number of links it has.
You see, the ‘time-to-live’ for http://www.google.com is only five minutes – that means that Google’s IP address can change every five minutes. This allows them to switch between their datacenters regularly, spreading the search load between them intelligently and routing around any damage. If you constantly entered the same datacenter with every search that you placed it would almost certainly fry within twenty four hours. Considering the number of users on Google each and every day, it is surprising that ten thousand servers is enough. A server can only handle so much traffic in a day and Google insures that it can hold more than any other service on the internet.
The datacenters updating their indexes at different times causes Google to do its dance. Unless you’re looking for your website’s ranking, you’d never notice this as your site is normally available at all times. The unfortunate bit is that often times you will lose your page ranking for a short period of time or your site will seem to have a lower number of pages indexed by Google. If you insure that you have several hundred pages available on Google at all times you will most likely be able to provide all of your content at all times either directly or indirectly.