How Google PageRank Works

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Google is the top and most used search engine in the world. It is estimated that Google alone holds more than 65% of the whole search engine market. Google goes ahead of other search engines like Yahoo, Bing, Ask etc. In the USA alone, the number of searches was 10.2 billion in July 2010. It has localized Googles in over 150 countries in 117 different languages. It runs on estimated 1000,000 servers. Google began as a research project in 1996 and founded on September 4, 1998. Its revenue was over 23.6 billion dollars in 2009 and AdWords alone accounted 99% of its total revenues.

Google is the most innovative search engine; other search engines can’t match its innovations. In page rank distribution, Yahoo puts the highest paying ad at the top position of its result pages while Google puts the highest paying ad with the most likelihood of clicking by someone. For Google, the bidding price is not the actual price to pay, more often the actual price to pay is lower than the bid price.

 In Google search result pages, you see two types of results – SEO results and AdWords results. For Google, PageRank (PR) is the distribution of likelihood, after several passes called ‘iterations’, more accurate to the theoretically true degree of clicking in both generic and paid results.

 Google indexes itself new sites and updated contents on the web and updates its database to create new pageranks. Pagerank in result page is measured from 0 to 10. Page 10 is the highest rank. You might be interested to learn how Google PageRank works.

 Google PageRank is expressed in a numeric value between 0 and 1. Here, the sum of all pages is the total number of pages on the web. We can write it as follows:

 Sum of all pages = Total number of pages

 It can also be expressed as follows:

Expression of Page rank

 Hence, the initial value of every page is 1. Assume your page is only one page in Google. So, the pagerank value of your page is 1. Let’s name your page as ‘A’.

 See what happens next. Google spider discovers another page called ‘B’. Now, the value is divided by 2. Your page and the new page hold 0.5 pagerank each. Assume, as a part of its crawling routine, Google finds other two pages called ‘C’ and ‘D’. Now, the pagerank value is divided to the four pages. So, for the first instance, each of the four pages holds a PR value of 0.25. Assume all the three pages ‘B’, ‘C’, and ‘D’ link to page ‘A’. Now, page ‘A’ gains a PR value of 0.25 from each of the three pages as shown below:

 A(0.75) = B(0.25) + C(0.25) + D(0.25)

In the next stage, assume page ‘B’ links to ‘C’ and page ‘D’ links to ‘B’ and ‘C’. It is illustrated as follows:


Note that the vote value of a page is divided among all the outbound links on the page. Page ‘B’ has two outbound links to page ‘A’ and ‘C’. So, page ‘A’ gets a PR vote value of 0.125 from page ‘B’ . Page ‘D’ has three outbound links to page ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’. So, its value is divided to the three pages and page A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ gets the vote value of 0.083 approx from page ‘D’. Now, page ‘A’ gets the value of PR votes as follows:

Expression of Page rank 2

From the above example, page ‘A’ gets a PR value of 0.458. Hence, the PR score of a webpage is the sum total of PR values of other pages divided by the number of outbound links on each page. In short, the pagerank of a webpage is mostly derived from the pageranks of other webpages linking to it.

When Google builds new pageranks, webpages without any outbound links are assumed to link out to other pages. So, their pagerank are evenly divided among all other pages in the website. Google penalizes link firms and other illegal schemes for artificially inflating pageranks. If you use sponsored links on your webpages, Google advises to use the ‘No Flow’ HTML attribute value.

 Check the Infographics from

Infographic of Google PageRank Working

Do You Use Google Toolbar?

Google Toolbar is a plugin/addon for browsers like Microsoft Internet Explorer. When you visit a webpage, you’ll see it tells the PR of the page (if you installed it). It shows 0 to 10 pageranks according to the page’s popularity. It is a rough value, not the actual pagerank value. It’s not accurately reflective of the basis it measures the pagerank of a page.

 As mentioned above, the pagerank of a page is estimated from the number of inbound links as well as the pageranks of the linking pages to it. Other factors that matter are relevance, trustworthiness, page size, uptodatedness, frequency of changes, keyword texts in hyperlinks and page title, etc.

In this page, you’ve learnt a simple and brief idea of page ranking. Learn more about Google PageRank at Wikipedia.

We care for Google top ranking. If you need outsource the SEO work to us, check our SEO services.


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