What is page rank”? Understanding how Google works

Well, it is one of those things that, if you want to be able to say that you minimally understand what SEO is, you must be very clear.

Anyway, I anticipate that it is a very simple concept to understand and that will give you a broader vision of how Google works today, something that is really very useful especially if you have an online business or a blog.

What will you find here?

What is page rank?
Any incoming link does not have the same effect on our PageRank
Understanding the PageRank formula
Damping Factor
What is the purpose of measuring internal PageRank
How does PageRank work on my website?
How PageRank came about and my final conclusions
On the Internet you can find a lot of information about this concept, from the first patents of Larry Page and Sergei Brin, to the PageRank algorithm itself “deciphered” by many SEO scholars.

But what I am interested in transmitting to you is a practical and useful vision that you can apply from now on in your niches or websites, and in the event that you are not a webmaster, that you at least learn one new and interesting thing that has practical application within of your digital project.

Go for it.

What is page rank?
That a certain page or URL is in the first, fifth or tenth position for a certain keyword (keyword), search or query, is due to the ordering criteria that the Google algorithm follows.

The algorithm consists of the grouping of different formulas that analyze factors to assign that ranking, for example: the content of your website, loading speed, usability, among many other SEO positioning factors.

But one of the most important, since the Google search engine was created, is the famous PageRank.

pagerank links
Good quality links convey PageRank to a page or url.

Basically (and explained in a very elementary way for all audiences) PageRank is a mathematical formula that measures the value of a page in relation to the quantity and quality of the pages that link it.

In other words, Google gives value to those URLs or pages that have inbound links from other URLs.

Imagine that each URL is a drop of water and that each URL that links you is giving you a little bit of water so that your drop will get fatter and fatter. Another widely used simile is that of votes, each link would be like a vote in favor of the linked page.

In this way we can visually imagine how PageRank influences the authority of a web page and a specific URL.


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The fatter the drop of water, the more likely it is to appear on the first page of Google’s SERPS (search results).

This is the concept for dummies, since no one knows today what the algorithm’s formula is and how it works exactly, what we SEOS do know from experience is that any type of incoming link to our website is not worth it.

But I’ll talk to you about that next.

Any incoming link does not have the same effect on our PageRank
SEOs and webmasters enjoy a golden age in which Google was very easily fooled by any type of link, the strategy long ago was based on quantity: the more links (of whatever type) you would get to your page or to anyone of its internal URLs in particular higher PageRank and with it higher positioning.

This is already part of the past of SEO.

That added to the fact that we had a bar that told us on a scale of 1 to 10 the official PageRank of each page, gave us at the time a drawing about the backlinks and the PageRank that so far we have not managed to match again .

pagerank bar
This is how the Pagerank bar that Google provided us through a Chrome extension looked like.

Rather than tell you the full story, I want to clarify a very important point for current SEO: nobody knows the exact PageRank, the “real” PageRank of a website.
Not even the most advanced SEO tools, since the best we can aspire to is to know the “internal” PageRank of our page (which is not little) but the “external” PageRank is only known by Google, since it is constantly modified by the links that our page receives.

The Spanish-speaking SEO sector has within its community both people who are strong defenders of “links or backlinks” as the basic and fundamental positioning factor, as well as other exponents who think otherwise.

Although they recognize a certain relevance of the links, they think that each time (and with each new update of Goog

le) These lose steam in favor of other modern SEO factors, but they all agree on one thing: PageRank no longer works as it used to and we cannot measure it exactly.

Therefore we are going to summarize some fundamental aspects to take into account when evaluating the links that point to our website:

Quality: that the website is reliable and real, no pages that frequently sell links to anyone (link farms).
Semantic relationship: that the content that links us is related to the destination URL of our website that is linking.
Naturalness: Let’s not fool Google by creating patterns or forcing artificial link profiles (such as receiving too many equal links with the same anchor text or anchor text).
Finally, do not forget that the internal links of your page transmit PageRank in exactly the same way as the external links that you receive from other websites with the difference in your favor that the internal links are controlled by you, so put the focus and the focus on them.
As we said before, today we can get to know the “internal PageRank” of our pages, through the original application of the PageRank formula that was published by Google many years ago, applying it through different SEO tools ( although we will talk a little more about these below).

formula pagerank
This is the mathematical equation that we know as PageRank.

However, the “global PageRank” is made up of internal PageRank + external PageRank.

The external one, as we mentioned before, is much more complicated to calculate, because it in turn depends “in chain” on all the pages that link to you and on how many pages link them to these … and (again) to their How many times link them to these and thus in a really long loop, which is how Google behaves when it comes to crawling the WWW (Internet) today.

To give you an idea: there is an internal PageRank pool and an external PageRank sea.

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In other words, the pool would be all the URLs within your own domain, be it a blog or an ecommerce.

Your website is also made up of many URLs, for example:

While the sea would be all the URLs of all the pages that exist (or at least those that Google knows exist).

In this case we are talking about all the URLs that exist on the Internet.

Understanding the PageRank formula
Once we have mentioned the formula from before, we are going to delve a little deeper into it to achieve a deeper understanding of PageRank.

Once again we will explain it in a way that everyone can understand. No need for technical SEO knowledge.

The (again) official formula is as follows:

formula pagerank
This is the mathematical equation that we know as PageRank.

Where the PR of a page A, is equal to 1 minus the damping factor (take note for the explanation of the damping factor that I will tell you next) + the damping factor multiplied by the sum of the PageRank received from other pages.

Damping Factor
The damping factor, or damping factor, represents the natural behavior of a user who surfs the web, usually represented by a number of 0.85

This number refers to the probability that the user who enters the web through a certain URL clicks on a link that links us and therefore lands on our page.

The algorithm tries to simulate a real person who clicks on some links and after seeing a certain number of websites gets bored, does a search, goes to Facebook or is going to prepare a sandwich. In short, even when you get bored of searching for whatever reason and your browsing ends.

In other words, the damping factor smoothes the results and brings naturalness to the formula, that’s its mission.

What is the purpose of measuring internal PageRank
Within your own pool of URLs you will also find some drops that are fatter than others, that is, within any web there are specific internal pages that receive more internal links.

Many times we become obsessed with backlinks (inbound links), it is a mistake that I see a lot in newbies or in marketing profiles that are not specialized in SEO.

They believe that there is nothing wrong with the web and that all they need to get off the ground is to get external links.

The reality is that there is still a lot to optimize in on-page SEO that can generate a faster impact and with a minimal investment, proof of this is the internal PageRank optimization, a strategy that you can start applying right now and that we are going to follow next. to comment


In short, measuring your internal PageRank helps you to see if your most important internal pages (either because they are the ones that produce the most sales or because they are the ones that, for whatever reason X are most interested in positioning you in Google) are receiving more strength or not.

Notice how this looks very clear and fast in a very visual way in the following drawing:

internal pagerank dinorank
Internal Pagerank with DinoRANK.

This graph can be seen within the SEO DinoRANK tool, through its internal PageRank module.

In the case of the aforementioned image, let us consider how the ball on which I have placed the cursor, which represents a post called “how to increase your visits” will hardly be able to position well in Google under its keyword.


Well, as you can see “the ball” that represents the amount of PageRank that reaches this URL is small and in this case it is 2 levels of click depth from home.

If we wanted to have more possibilities of ranking this content in Google, we would have to carry more internal links from other posts on my blog that had more PageRank (in turn represented by larger “balls”) and worry that in turn this ball was closer to home plate (which is represented by the black ball).

How does PageRank work on my website?
A very practical example is the Home page, it is the URL that normally receives the most inbound links, since in most cases, we have a menu that is displayed in all the URLs or internal pages of your website with a link that points towards home.

On the other hand, we can also find internal pages that barely have a few inbound links, that is the case of the blog posts that you published 3 years ago, for example.

If we imagine each link as a transfer of power, we can easily come to the conclusion that those URLs that receive the most links are the most powerful URLs and the ones that Google will take the most into account to show in the results of its search engine.

But, how can I know which are the most powerful?

There are several tools that allow you to see the number of internal links and external links of the url of your page.

One of the most popular among SEO consultants is Screaming Frog, a tool that analyzes all the pages and links on your domain.

The problem with this tool is that its use is not suitable for people who are not professional consultants within the SEO sector, since both its use and its interface are quite complex.

This problem does not occur with DinoRANK, which on the other hand is designed to be an easy tool both to understand and to handle for any type of public with a minimum interest in SEO, even if they are not professional.

In addition, its support as well as the tutorials to learn how to handle the tool are in Spanish which makes things much easier when it comes to understanding and analyzing PageRank.

How PageRank came about and my final conclusions
As a curiosity and conclusion I am going to comment on the most important details of the history of PageRank, I think that as entrepreneurs, it gives us a very important lesson in company vision, and as SEOs we can predict the next steps that the google algorithm will take .

It emerged in 1998 when Larry Page and Sergeuí Brin published a research analysis at Stanford University.

They presented in that report a solution to the typical problems in search engines that were used at that time, such as Yahoo or AOL whose searches were not successful, or others like Terra that simply made lists of categories and pages.

They were based on the system to catalog and search scientific publications, the Science Citation Index, which gave the highest score to those documents that were duly cited in the documents of other scientists.

What they proposed was a search engine: Backrub (now Google), “designed to crawl and index the Web efficiently and produce much more satisfactory search results than existing systems.”

It is surprising to know that Google’s mission and vision remains the same, the advances they have made in the algorithm have always gone in this direction, and as SEO it comes in handy to take into account what “our worst enemy” is looking for.

Beyond trying to deceive Google, we should play in their favor and offer satisfactory results, always taking into account the operation of their spiders and crawling and indexing systems, in this way our satisfactory result is not unnoticed either.

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