Winning in the PageRank Game
There is a lot of talk about PageRank, but how important is it? PageRank, or PR is basically an indication of your websites popularity, measured by links to the site.
Have you ever asked yourself if PageRank is really important? PageRank or PR is basically a measure of your sites popularity with other websites, based on the links pointing to your site.
When crawling a site, the search engine robots will follow the links on a page, unless they are directed by HTML code to ignore the links. A vote is counted for each link they find pointing to a site. These votes tally up to equal the PR for the site. Actually there is more to it than just that but in a nutshell, this is how it works.
Each link to your homepage or another page on your site will add a bit to the PR. Not all votes are equal though, the PR of the linking site is also factored into the equation. The linking site is sort of sharing their PR with you. The higher the PR of the linking site, the more weight their vote carries. This doesn't mean that a link from a PR1 site will somehow hurt your PR as some would have you believe. Generally links to your site cannot hurt your PageRank.
It is not the same story for outbound links, so be very careful who you link to. Before I get too deep into that, let's take a step back and discuss some common ways sites develop links, then we can cover the pitfalls.
One fairly common method of getting links to your site is through link exchanges. Basically you put a link on your site and another webmaster adds a link to your site on one of their pages. It is not a good idea to link from a site with huge link pages full of unrelated links. The "vote" would be so diluted from the other links so as to be almost meaningless. A more important point is simply if you link to a banned site, your site will be penalized for doing it. This will kill your PageRank!
You should keep an eye on your linking partners for two very important reasons. First, make sure they are still linking to you. Second, make sure they have not been banned. If you find they have deleted your link, ask them to replace it. if however, you find that the other site has been banned you should immediately remove their link from your site. Your site's PR will suffer if you link to a site that has been banned.
Linking is an important SEO strategy and as long as you keep an eye on your link partners it makes sense to exchange links. A better strategy, or one to use in addition, is generating one way links to your site. These are links that other sites put up that point to your site without you having to link to them. One way links can be developed in a variety of ways. Remember, they can never hurt you because, in theory, you have no control over them. Here are 4 ways to get links back to your site.
1. Post comments on public forums, articles, blogs, etc. with a link to your site.
2. Submit your original content to social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Technorati, or any of the hundreds of other social sites on the net.
3. Submit articles on your topic to article databases and include a link to your site in the article resource box.
4. Pay for them. Although this is not my favorite way to develop them, it is available.
When you develop a linking strategy and stick to it you will quickly develop more links to your site than you would think. This will not only increase your PageRank, it will increase the overall traffic to your site.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rob Emmerson offers a free 7 day SEO course at http://www.theseosecretrevealed.com. Read all of his articles on Rob Emmerson's SEO Blog http://www.robemmerson.com