PageRank – the Algorithm that Changed the World

In today’s world, it’s hard to imagine a time when Google wasn’t the dominant search engine. But that wasn’t the case until 1998 when PageRank was released as an addition to Google’s original algorithm.

PageRank changed everything – suddenly, websites could be ranked based on their authority and relevance, rather than just how many links they had. This algorithm revolutionized the way we use the internet and continues to play a major role in how Google ranks pages today.

Understanding PageRank

PageRank is a ranking algorithm used by Google to determine the importance of a website. It was created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were studying at Stanford University as part of their research project on a new kind of search engine.

PageRank was named after Larry Page, contrary to its presumed literal meaning “to rank web pages.” Though this is not the only algorithm that Google utilizes to order pages on the search result, this is the oldest and best known of them.

The main hypothesis was to rank pages based on their relative popularity or importance. Pages that appear higher on the search engine results pages (SERP) are deemed more important than those that rank lower and have more backlinks or links to them.

The algorithm assigns a numerical score to each website based on its authority and relevance, with the most authoritative and relevant websites receiving a score of “one.” PageRank is constantly updated as new information becomes available, so the score assigned to any website can change over time.

The formula for the PageRank algorithm is:

PR(A) = (1-d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + … + PR(Tn)/C(Tn))


  • PR(A) means the PageRank of page A,
  • PR(Ti) means the PageRank of pages Ti that links to page A,
  • C(Ti) means the number of outbound links on page Ti and;
  • d is a damping factor that can be set between 0 and 1.

The algorithm ranks each page individually, not the whole website. It is like a “pyramid scheme” where a particular page is ranked repetitively based on what other pages link to it.

Factors That Affect Your Google PageRank

Several entrepreneurs are gearing towards launching their business online and utilizing popular online business models. A critical success factor for any online business is achieving a high PageRank with Google.

PageRank is a calculation that takes into account a number of factors in order to determine a website’s importance. The most important of these factors are:


The more links a site has, the higher its PageRank score will be. This is because Google considers links to be votes of trust and authority in favor of a website’s importance. That is why it is important to secure high-quality links in order to boost ranking and drive traffic.

Relevant Content

The relevance of a website’s content is also taken into account by the PageRank algorithm. This means that websites with high-quality, relevant content will rank higher than those with less relevant or poorly written content.

Pages that are well-researched and provide valuable information to users are more likely to be rewarded with a higher PageRank.

Content that is keyword-stuffed, plagiarized, or otherwise low-quality will not only be penalized by Google, but it will also turn users away, which will hurt a website’s ranking.

The number of words also matters. The more words on a page, the better it is for that page’s rank. In fact, an industry study on ranking factors revealed that the average first-page result was about 1890 words in length.

Domain Authority

The domain authority (DA) of a website is also taken into account by the PageRank algorithm. The DA is a metric created by Moz that measures the strength of a website’s backlinks and overall online presence.

A high DA score means that a website has a lot of links from high-quality websites and is considered an authoritative source by Google. This will result in a higher PageRank score for that website.

Domain Age

The age of a domain also plays a role in its PageRank score. A website with an older domain will generally have a higher PageRank score than one with a newer domain.

This is because Google trusts websites that have been around for longer and considers them to be more authoritative. As a result, these sites are rewarded with a higher PageRank score.

Website Page Optimization

The optimization of a website’s pages is also taken into consideration by the PageRank algorithm. This includes factors such as the use of proper title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags.

Pages that are optimized for both users and search engines are more likely to rank higher than those that are not. This is because Google wants to provide its users with the best possible results, and pages that are optimized are more likely to be high-quality and relevant.


The number and quality of a website’s backlinks are also taken into account by the PageRank algorithm. Backlinks are links from other websites that point to a particular page or site.

The more high-quality backlinks a website has, the higher its PageRank score will be. Google considers backlinks to be a sign of trust and authority and therefore rewards websites that have a lot of them.

Quality backlinks are difficult to obtain, but they are worth their weight in gold. So, if you want your website to rank higher, focus on obtaining high-quality backlinks from reputable sources.


The use of keywords in a website’s content is also taken into account by the PageRank algorithm. However, overusing keywords or stuffing them into your content will result in a penalty from Google.

Instead, focus on including keywords naturally and strategically throughout your website’s content. This will help to improve its ranking without running the risk of being penalized.

PageRank is Not Dead and Still Matters

Online marketing needs to happen in the context of an overall strategy. That’s why, even though some factors that influence PageRank have changed, the algorithm still matters.

To rank well in Google, you need to focus on all of the ranking factors – not just one or two. And while some of those factors may be out of your control, there are many things you can do to improve your website’s rank.

Some of those things include optimizing your pages for users and search engines, increasing your domain authority, obtaining high-quality backlinks, and using keywords strategically.

There are various things you can do to improve your website’s rank, and focusing on the factors that influence PageRank is a good place to start.

About the Author
Bernard Brode is a nanotechnology product researcher and believes that it might end up being the biggest tech story of all time.
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