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What is the Page Rank?

The Page Rank is a value from the method of the same name for evaluating web pages. The Page Rank algorithm works on the basis of the incoming links by counting and weighting them. The eponym and co-developer of the method introduced by Google is Larry Page.

  • Serves to measure the importance of web pages
  • Based solely on the relationships of pages to each other
  • Was originally introduced by Google

The principle of the Page Rank procedure

The basic principle of the Page Rank algorithm is as follows: The page rank of a web page is the higher the number of high-quality links that refer to this page. A higher page rank is, so to speak, accompanied by a higher importance of a website. At least this is how Google once started its rating of websites. Today, however, page rank no longer plays such a major role, as other factors such as the quality of content are not taken into account by this value. The term “high-quality links” already indicates that the number of backlinks is not simply counted, but also weighted. If important pages link to a website, then this website is also rated better, regardless of the quality of the content. In this way, the complete link structure of the Internet is included – the page rank has a recursive character. Originally, this algorithm was designed on the basis of the so-called “random surfer”, who calls up more and more pages on the WWW. If a website has a high page rank, it can pass it on to another site. However, the value of this backlink decreases the more further links there are on the website. The formula for calculating the Page Rank of a page X therefore includes, among other things: the Page Rank of the pages linking to X and the number of links on these pages. In the past, the algorithm was updated several times a year. At that time there were also tables from which the page rank could be approximately read. This made it possible to determine, among other things, how many incoming links with a certain page rank are needed to reach a certain page rank. Since the exact calculation of the page rank is very complex, such a table could of course only help roughly

Changing the meaning of page rank

The size Page Rank is therefore initially based on the principle of link popularity, but also includes the value of the linking pages. There were various reasons for the fact that the importance of page rank has decreased. On the one hand, it provided an incentive for more or less manipulative methods of influencing it through link buying or trading. Within the SEO scene one was of course always anxious to get backlinks from pages with a high page rank. The company Google itself explained that today the size of page rank plays only a subordinate role in the ranking. Although this does not mean that page rank has been abolished completely, it is no longer as relevant for current SEO measures, and there is no longer any official data on this since 2016. In the beginning, however, this algorithm provided a reasonable basis for the search engine(s) and their results. But in the meantime, as is well known, there are numerous other factors that determine and influence the ranking of sites on the net, most of which are also considerably more relevant to the user experience. For example, the exclusive use of page rank completely neglects the actual content of websites, which is much more important for the user experience. In addition, the value says little about salary, trust and added value. The search engine Google always distinguished between public and internal page rank. The internal PR was only visible for Google, while the external page rank was updated and made public at different intervals. The Page Rank was given on a scale from 1 to 10. Towards the top it became more and more difficult to climb the next level. For a while, the Page Rank of a page could also be indicated by a green bar. Websites with a page rank of 0 were either brand new or had been downgraded by Google for violations

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