Are you using all the online marketing tools at your disposal to promote your Redcliffe small business and to monitor the success of that strategy? What’s more, is it actually working?
One tool you may know about but be a little unsure of how it works, is Google PageRank.
PageRank tells you, on a scale of 1 to 10, the level of authority and relative importance that a page is perceived to have in its field, according to Google.
The higher the number the more authority and importance the web site is deemed to have. It is a great guideline to how well your online marketing efforts are working for your business.
History and Description of PageRank (PR)
PageRank is, by one version of the story, actually named after Larry Page, the founder of Google, and dates way back to the early days of Google at Stanford University…indeed the patent is still assigned to the University, not to Google.
This was in 1998 – is it only 13 years ago that Google started? They seem to have been around FOREVER!
Anyhow, let’s take the words from the horse’s mouth! Here’s how Google themselves describe PageRank:
“PageRank reflects our view of the importance of web pages by considering more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms. Pages that we believe are important pages receive a higher PageRank and are more likely to appear at the top of the search results.”
How Does PageRank (PR) Affect Your Business?
In the most fundamental terms, your PR will help determine how high your web site features in Google Search engine results; there are other Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) factors too, but your PR will be a good guide as to how well all your on-page and off-page SEO is working and how your effective your general online marketing strategy is.
So it is a great way to monitor the progress of your site.
If your site has 50 back-links from sites ranking with a PR of 0-3 (all new websites start at zero) and a competing site has 20 back-links from sites ranking 4 to 6, they will usually feature higher in search results for the same search terms, if they have the same keywords as you and all other SEO efforts are equal.
Note that even the largest and most important web sites generally only achieve a PageRank of 7 or 8. Even GMail is no higher than an 8 and that’s Google’s own!
It is very difficult to get your PageRank above 4 or 5 without extensive SEO efforts and it’s more and more difficult to gain a rank the higher you go. For example it is much harder to move a site from PR4 to PR5 than it is to move the same site from PR3 to PR4 – the graph looks like a hockey stick. It also takes time – the longer your site is around, the more quality back-links you get and the better the content you add, the more chance you have of improving your rank.
But you can see that if your small business is not considering how to improve your PR then you need to start building that in to your online marketing strategy.
It might be that you decide to approach sites with higher PR for back-links and not waste so much time on lower PR sites.
How To Find Your PageRank
For Firefox Users:
You can use an odd-on called SEO Status PageRank that will tell you the PR of every page you visit. You can also get a list of all the back-links to any web site and then find their PR level.
The SEO Quake add-on also includes a PR function as well as other useful Search Engine Optimisation tools and features.
For Google Chrome Users
There is a PageRank extension for Google Chrome users.
For IE Users (if there are any left out there!):
PageRank is included on the Google toolbar for Internet Explorer users
For Safari Users
If you’re using the Safari browser on a Mac you’ll need OS X 10.3 for PageRank to work. You can use Konfabulator, which is a program that lets you run all sorts of small, handy programs called ‘widgets.’ One of those widgets lets you see the Google PR of the page Safari is showing.
Online PR Checking Sites
Finally if you don’t want to add anything on to your browsers you can go to a site like http://www.prchecker.info and type a URL in to find its PageRank.
Don’t be shy! Let’s see how your Redcliffe small business web site is doing with PageRank. Are there any 5’s or 6’s out there? How well is your online marketing working? Let us know in the comments section below!