What is Google Pagerank?

Although i mention pagerank a lot on this blog, i don’t think i’ve ever dedicated a post to explaining what it is and how it works.. so here goes 😉

  • Every website has outgoing links of some sort – links to other sites, articles, pictures etc..
  • Every website has incoming links of some sort – from other sites, blogs, emails, search engines, directories etc..

So what is Pagerank and how does it work?


Obviously if you have 10 incoming links and 10,000 outgoing links, it means you probably don’t have much content on your own site as you have so many outgoing links on it. So more than likely your site is some sort of directory or spam site.

Another site may have 10,000 incoming links and 10 outgoing links, so obviously if so many sites are linking to yours, it must be of some value and must have good original content.

This is basically how google pagerank works and it ranks sites 1-10 in terms of incoming/outgoing links and the quality of those links.

Now there is a danger that you might use evil programs to add your site to thousands of blogs or directories in order to get more incoming links.. that’s not fair is it? So in order to stop that, any site which gains incoming links rapidly is redflagged and possibly ignored/penalized by google pagerank.

There’s also a chance you just launched a new product and it has everyone reviewing it/ talking about it etc.. so naturally enough, you shouldn’t be punished for that. So that’s why there is some manual reviewing work to differentiate between organic (natural) and inorganic (not natural) growth.

On this site, i currently have a pagerank of 3/10. In order to get a higher pagerank, i need more backlinks from higher ranked sites than mine. So i need links from PR4 ranked or higher sites.. i also have to be aware that too many outgoing links could cancel out any incoming ones i get.


So it’s a fine balance. Get too many links too quickly, and you’ll be punished. Get too few links, and you’ll get a low pagerank. As pagerank is updated 4 times a year (quarterly in general), it can be a long waiting game to see how your link building strategies pan out.

You could get 10,000 organic links today and pagerank could be updated next week so you could get a nice high pagerank of 5.

4 months down the line, you might have gotten no incoming links since and the site could be dead.. your PR could sink to 2 or 3.

And there you have it – Pagerank explained as best and simple i can. For more info check out google or wikipedia. The reason many people are so interested in pagerank is because it can be used to sell ad space on your site. Indeed, many ad networks like ReviewMe and Text-Link-Ads, won’t accept your site unless it is PR4 or higher.

7 thoughts on “What is Google Pagerank?”

  1. Too many links too soon is something that people have discussed before. They say that G can detect a big jump in inbound links to a site, i.e. siteA had only 50 links and now has 500 links and the new 450 links all have the keyword “yellow widgets” that could be flagged as keyword spamming AFAIK. This would have to happen in the space of a few weeks. i.e. on a link farm

    Again all this stuff is speculation. Building links naturally shouldn’t cause any problems.

  2. yeah, too many links too quickly could mean you paid someone to submit your site to 1000 directories or something..

    you could also have bought maybe 100 of the exact same text links to your site, so that would trigger suspicion in Google 😎

    basically, if your trying to manipulate pagerank, you run the risk of being punished by google and more often than not, you’ll be found out eventually.

    one of my own sites – roykeane.net had a pr3, and went to pr0 as they copped on it wasn’t unique content..

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