I recently signed up for the Daily Blog Tips Newsletter and received a tip about Google PageRank that I had no idea about, so now I’m here to share that tip with you…

What Is Google Page Rank?

Page Rank is Google’s numerical value that they assign each website on the Internet. This value is a whole number (no decimals) between 0 (PR0) and 10 (PR10), 0 being that the website is new or not linked to, and 10 being a super authority. PageRank is updated every three or four months and is recalculated every time.

How Google Calculates  PageRankWhile PageRank could be meaningless to the average Internet user, it has a great importance to bloggers, Internet marketers, and website flippers. PageRank can determine how much advertisements on your site should cost (for example, a PR6 site should charge more for ads than a PR2 site), the authority of a source, and even your Google search results (a PR5 website is more likely to show at the top of Google than a PR1 site).

How Page Rank Is Calculated

While nobody knows the in-depth, full equation to Google’s PageRank algorithm, some people know the general idea. PageRank is calculated by the amount of incoming links a website has. You could have an awesome website with 20,000 daily views and over 300 comments a day, but if nobody links to you, you’ll never advance past PR0.

The term that is often used when describing the value of a particular link is “link juice”. Similar to the juice in a battery, link juice determines the power that will be shared with the linked-to site.

So here’s how it’s calculated… Let’s say you have a website that has a PageRank of 6 (PR6). On that website contains only three outgoing links to PR0 sites. When Google does a PageRank update, they split your PageRank into link juice and divide it among the websites you link to. In this case, the PR6 would be divided by three (because the site links to three other sites) and shared with the other sites – each earning PR2. After the PageRank update, that PR6 website would cause each of the PR0 sites to become PR2. Of course, the algorithm is way more complex than this, but this is the general concept.

How To Increase Your PageRank

Now that we know how PageRank works, how would you go about increasing it?

  • Link to your own posts – sharing the link juice isn’t limited to just external websites. If you have a particular post with PR4 (like this one), each link within that post will be sharing link juice – both to external websites and my own.
  • Guest post – Guest posting is the act of writing a blog post to be featured on another site. Often times, blog owners will allow a link back to your own blog, which helps with building your PageRank. You can view my guidelines for guest posting here.
  • Submit to directories – There are many directories that have high PageRank that you can submit your blog to. Not only will these help in link building, but they will also increase the amount of viewers to your site. Make sure to check out the DoFollow Blog Directory!
  • Comment on blogs – If you can find blogs that use the CommentLuv plugin, each dofollow link will send your site link juice. Wait, what is dofollow?

There are numerous other ways to increase your PageRank, but they all go back to generating more and more incoming links to your website.

Disclaimer: It’s Not That Easy

My example that I used above with the PR6 websites making the three PR0 websites turn into PR2 after just one update was great for understanding how the calculations work, but it was not realistic at all. I don’t know a single PR6 website on the planet that only has three outgoing links. These outgoing links can be – navigation, sidebar links such as blogrolls, affiliate banners in the sidebar, links in the body of the blog post, a related posts widget, CommentLuv links in the comments, and links in the website footer. I would say that the average PR6 site probably has about 30-40 links on a page, which makes each one have a link juice power of about 0.2. This means that you will need 10 incoming links from PR6 sites (that have 30-40 links per page) to bring your website up to PR2. Of course, this is not 100% accurate because I do not know the full Google algorithm, but you can get the idea that growing your PageRank isn’t easy or quick.

The Key Is Persistance

If you keep trying and commit to building one link a day, your PageRank will increase with each update (every 3-4 months). Remember you can build links by commenting on blogs, submitting to directories, guest posting, and linking to your own content. If you comment on one blog every day and only earn 0.06 points of link juice, after three months of doing this consistently, your blog will earn 6 points, thus making it PR6.


83 Responses to How Google Calculates Page Rank

  • thank you for information

  • I now so understand what it pagerank after reading this article. It is very simple and easy to understand once

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  • seo link juice ideas ? pls help me

  • Hi Robert, This article was informative, thanks cos you just got someone informed. Site syndication may also help give a better rank, bloggers.com is a very good example.

    Regards: WorldWebSurfers.com

  • Nice article. Although, backlinks do play a major role in influencing page rank however in my experience PR can increase without any backlinks as well. May be some other SEO’s can also share similar experience. I launched a new website in June 2012 and I just added quality content each month and in November 2012 update I got a PR1 without any back linking. Does people agree on this? Can PR be increased without any link building?

    Best Regards,
    Akbar Sheikh

  • Thanks Ian Eberle for writing a very useful post. It is good for newbies they have to know everything about the Page rank. I am looking forward this post.

  • Google page rank depends on lots of factors like incoming links,comments,backlinks,social sharing and many others.you have disclosed a informative post on this topic.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with Us.

  • Glad to see that someone actually understands how PR actually works! It is not only about page rank though, it is about key word ranking when someone searches your site. This is a more definite benchmark for SEO!

    • It is a benchmark for SEO, however, it’s not as important as it once was. Check out the article on Google Author Rank that I have linked below.

  • Does making a Blog Dofollow or Nofollow have any effect on the PR of that blog?

  • But just want to know making do follow website does not affect your pr rank or not.

  • I don’t think that pagerank calculations are as easy as you make it to be. There lots more important factor like placement of links, nofollow dofollow, relevancy, and all that geeky stuff.

    Getting page rank is important, but creating epic content which optimized properly for search engine is a lot more important. We as blogger should focus more on creating epic content than commenting here and there to gain more pagerank if we want more business.

    Just my 2 cent.

    • These calculations are not 100% accurate because nobody really knows the secrets behind Google’s algorithm. I am simply sharing one piece of the pie.

  • Ian wery well explained post… Really liked your hard work

  • Page rank is said to have far less benefit or influence these days, as far an an SEO factor is concerned.SE rankings, etc..(Google has mentioned this)…..

    On the other side of the coin, PR is still considered of great importance in relation to other crucial factors(areas)…….

  • Also, what if the website with PR6 is a Web Services Website, but receives a backlink from a travel based website..does that help the PR6 or travel based website in any way? If not, does it cause issues SEO wise for either of the websites?

  • I am sorry if this question is absurd, but I still wanted to confirm. Does sharing your post on Social Sites like FB, LinkedIN or Twitter result in increase of PR? I mean if the visitor clicks on your link from the social website does that do any good for your page?

  • One of the most comprehensive write ups so far regarding calculating the Link juice and Page Rank.
    What I learnt over time and with experience is that if you are looking for only link juice from commenting (which is NOT always the case with me- I like to leave behind feedback whenever I come across something particularly interesting and/or useful), it is better to comment on posts where few people have ;left comments before you.
    That will fetch you MORE link juice from the comment you left behind. 🙂
    You are wonderful, as always- Wade.

  • Hi Ian,

    Persistence is the key to all things in life! Having a good google pagerank is very important, and I’ve had to stop trying to increase pagerank and Alexa and just write.

    I do love the post and know how important this is. I’ll be sure to bookmark this post so that when I’m ready to get back to caring about these things, Ill know how to do it. Great post! Sally

    • The best way to increase Alexa rank is to find ways to gain more traffic. Alexa doesn’t care about the reliability of your content, just the page views you get. And PageRank deals mainly with backlinks… I’m glad I could help.

  • Great insight. I always wondered how PageRank worked. Thanks for sharing.

    • Just remember that this is only one fraction of how PageRank works. There are so many exceptions to the rules Google has lain out. Like if you get a back link from WhiteHouse.gov or Harvard University’s website, it’s obvious that your rank will shoot up just from that single link. This is why there’s so much variety and fluctuation in PageRank.

  • I’m disappointed. Your title makes it sound like you’re going to reveal the secret to Google’s algorithm but you don’t deliver any information that hasn’t already been talked about all over the web. Nice plug and link back for the Daily Blog Tips newsletter though, which is what you were trying to accomplish anyway, right?

    • When I got the email from Daily Blog Tips, I had no idea this is how link juice worked. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable on Google, SEO, link building, etc, and I had no clue that this is how it worked. And if you read some of the comments above, there are many other people who didn’t know either. Therefore, it is not a widely known concept.

      I do not work for Google (although I wish I did), so I don’t know the deep information about their algorithm. All I can share is what has either leaked out of Google’s headquarters or what they have shared with the public.

      Finally, I am in no way affiliated with Daily Blog Tips or Daniel who runs that site. Whenever I find a concept like this, I always credit the person I heard it from because I believe that is ethical in the online world. Daniel sent this out in his newsletter, but only people subscribed to the newsletter would be able to see it. Therefore, I wanted to share the concept in a format that could be shared on social media, Blog Engage, Google, etc.

      I’m sorry you were disappointed.

  • You know, No Follow links still pass page rank. Google has been known to “ignore” the No Follow attribute if the link is targeted and related to the back linking site. The myth of No Follow Do Follow is old and in most cases completely ignored from Google. In fact even Do Follow links will not pass page rank is Google feels the site is unrelated or a purchased link.

    I always suggest not paying any attention to Do follow and No Follow. SEO will happen and it will happen without you even trying. Look at Blog Engage it’s a PR4 and I never worry about page rank Do Follow or No Follow. There are far more important factors in blogging then checking if a site is Do or No Follow.

    • You know, I didn’t know this! So what about links from blog comments? CommentLuv is a fairly popular plugin by now – does Google consider these unrelated or purchased links?

  • Thanks for your post, will I lose my page rank if I get a link back from a PR 0 website? Please do explain.

    • You know, I’m really not sure… I’m pretty sure the only way you can lose PageRank is to get links from spammy, unrelated, or adult sites, but I’m not 100% on that.

  • Hi eberle, Nice informative post. I want this kind of stuff now i got some clarity on Pagerank. Really this article gives good clarity on PR. Every one should read this kind of valuable article. Am happy to share this informative post.

  • I feel that PR was abandoned by Google. Google has every right to penalize sites that do not adhere to search engine guidelines.

  • I figured this out a long time ago…..thanks for the other points i never knew could have been into play here…

    • It’s good that you have figured this out a long time ago… I on the other hand just figured it out, so now I can finally increase my PageRank like I want to.

  • My website has over 400 inbound links using backlink online tools. On google webmaster tools it has over 1300… Yet for the last 7 months i’ve had PR0? I don’t understand, why this is. I haven’t received any notifications of penalties in google so i’m stumped.

    Would it be the quality of links coming in?

    • Sometimes it could just be random… I’ve seen lots of other people here in the comments with the same problem. What is the quality of these back links? Because a link from Facebook and a link from the Wall Street Journal have different values, but Webmaster Tools just counts it as one link.

  • This is exactly the strategy we’ve been using to increase our PR. I would add that it’s commulative.

    I also agree completely that the key is not to spam. If you’re comment isn’t bringing any value, then you shouldn’t be commenting. This is why using crowdsourcing for comments can get you in trouble fast. The last thing you want to do is get blacklisted.

    Good luck to all!

  • very well said, persistence is the key. Increasing page rank is not only tough but also in today’s world of frequent panda and penguin, it has become extremely difficult to maintain it.

    • Increasing your PageRank is tough, especially because a large portion of Google’s algorithm is links from other sites. If nobody links to you, it’s hard to advance past PR0.

  • Thanks Ian. Will check it out.

  • How do you tell the page rank of a particular post? I have been at PR 1 forever!

  • Useful post..you have explained the process clearly.its not easy to get high pr..we must work hard to get.lot of useful information in this post..thanks for sharing.

  • I’m glad I could help. Thanks for stopping by!

  • You know, I’ve been doing all that stuff and my page rank hasn’t budged. It’s a big fat zero. I’ve been blogging for 17 months. I comment faithfully, have done several guest posts, link to my own posts, and have submitted to several directories. But it still hasn’t budged. What am I doing wrong?

  • Now I understood something new about Page Rank. My site is almost 6 months old, and have like 106 incoming links. All are from popular news websites but till now I have PR0 which is ridiculous. My fresh contents indexed in few minutes in Google. I would be really happy if somebody can please explain this.

    • How old is your domain? Did you only register it six months ago? My domain for this blog was registered in 1995 and it retained PageRank over all those years, then I bought it in May 2012 and starting adding new content. Sometimes brand new domains take a little while to pick up any PageRank. I would suggest to keep link building, keep up what you’re doing, and see what happens in the next 14 days or so. The next PageRank update will be in early October.

  • My old domain had a page rank 2. Since I have a brought a new domain, both my domains now have page rank 0. Hopefully, pagerank will increase on my new domain after the next page rank update.

  • Yes, without an underlying understanding of PageRank, you will never be able to increase it.

  • Thank for making the new bloggers know about the way Google calculates pagerank. For improving the pagerank one has to work very hard for atleast 3-4 months. Building backlinks is very necessary to get pagerank in few months….

  • Ian, thanks for this breakdown on PageRank. And more importantly how to increase your PR.

    You made it easy to understand.

    posted by Galen Morgigno

  • It was something on my end, for some reason commentluv didn’t like the trailing “—” on one of my sentences.

    Commentluv is a jerk.

  • I wish commentluv wasn’t throwing out errors for me right now. Each time I blog the error lines go down further so I’m assuming there is something wrong with the title or something in an entry of one of my posts.

    Anyway, thank you for the write up.

    • You’re welcome and thanks for stopping by! Is the CommentLuv issue related with my blog or yours? Just want to make sure I don’t have a broken script or anything.

  • Thank you! Thanks for stopping by, I hope it helped.

  • That is what I also received as email newsletter from Daniel.
    It is good to know all about Google page rank for newbies and that is what I really wanted to know sometimes back.

    These days the animal updates really hurted all bloggers. Now you must be careful by building links for your blog.

    BTW, a great guide on page rank.

  • PageRank is often talked about by some people as not being that important. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s important to me!

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