If you have paid attention to search engine optimization for long, you have heard the term Page Rank. It used to be that Page Rank was the primary driver of search engine rankings on Google. Today it is part of a broad set of factors that determine where the pages in your website rank for particular keywords and phrases. Still, page rank is an important factor and should be correctly understood by those responsible for SEO in theirs or other’s websites.
So what is page rank? Simply put, it is a number between 1 and 10 determined by the number of links to your website from other websites, and the importance of those other websites. That is, a website with high page rank that links to your website potentially increases the page rank of your website by that link, especially if the subject matter of that website and yours is similar.
So the best way to determine whether you should ask another website to link to yours and v.v. is to use what I call the R & R test. Is the other website relevant to the subject matter on your website, and reputable in regards to that subject matter. If it is, ask for the link. If not, don’t bother.
The reason I was prompted to write this today is Google’s latest major algorithm update that launched yesterday. It is actually not a new one, but is a continuation of the Penguin update from last year – Penguin 2.0 they call it. The Penguin series of updates is focused on reducing the value of links from non-relevant and non-reputable websites, especially link-farms and the like.
So, now even more than before, the next time some guy calls and says “We can get you a bunch of links to help your SEO”, ask this question first, “Oh yeah, which websites exactly?” Next, if He gives you the site URLs (he won’t, but if he does) install the Pagerank/Alexa toolbar on Chrome Browser and check the page rank of all of those sites. Then review the sites to see if the subject matter is relevant to yours. Finally, if the sites look good to you, ask one more question, “Do I pay you when the links are in place and verified?” At that point expect to hear a click followed by a dial tone. But if He says “Sure”, it may be worth a shot.