When you browse the Internet you must have encountered a number of websites, Google and Yahoo for example, which want you to install their toolbar on your web browser.  Yahoo Messenger, may attempt to install Yahoo toolbar on your web browser as part of the Yahoo Messenger installation.

Actually, all the web browser toolbars that exist out there are competing to find a place on your web browser. Some toolbars are useful, others are just a nuisance if you are not making use of them.

It is important to realise that what you see on your web browser, if you don’t have any extra toolbar installed, is simply just the tip of the iceberg for a webpage. For most people that is just fine. But if you are a website owner, a blogger or an Internet Marketer, there is a lot more information you would want to see or know about your own website and those you visit, that’s just below the surface.

I will mention 2 things here that you would not know unless you added some extra toolbars to your web browser: the Google PageRank rating for a web page and the Alexa Ranking for a website.

First, let me explain what Google PageRank rating is. Note, Google PageRank should not be confused with the ranking of your website in a search result when you search for a certain keyword.

Google assigns a PageRank number between 0 to 10 to any webpage it discovers. A Google PageRank of zero (PR 0) means Google deems the webpage of the low importance and a Google PageRank of 10 (PR10) means Google considers the web pages to be of very high importance, authority and trust.

For example, Google gives it own Adwords web page a PR7, interestingly CNN has a PR8 and BBC has a PR9, Princeton University has a PR8,  and The White House has a PR10. Google tends to give Government and educational institutions websites high PR ratings.

Now as a website owner how is knowing your own Google PR rating or that of any website you visit important to you? It’s important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes, that is, how well your site ranks in search engine results. As a rule, a web page with a higher PR rating is more likely to rank above another webpage of lower PageRank in a Google search result. Note, Google allocates each individual web page on your website its own PR rating, PR rating is not for the whole site.

So, it is desirable to have a website with high Google PR ratings. How do you do that? You can increase the PR rating of your website in a number of ways. I’m going to list 3 here.

  1. Put a lot of high quality content on your website,
  2. Have a lot of other websites linking to your website,
  3. Most importantly try to obtain links from websites with higher PR ratings .

Hyperlinks from other websites to your website are considered as positive votes of confidence for your website, the more links there are to your website the better it is for your website. However, not all links (votes) are considered equal.

The PR rating of the webpage linking to your site determines the worth of the vote for Google. A link from a PR1 web page is equal to 1 vote, it is estimated that a link from a PR2 is worth 5 PR1 links, and a link from a PR5 webpage may be equal to 625 PR1 links. And note this; a link from a high PR web page can raise the PR of the web page it is linking to.

Therefore, as a website owner it’s essential to know your own Google PR rating and of those other websites linking to your website, and those of your competitors.

So where do you get to find out your own PR? Where there are more than one ways to find your PR rating. The simplest way is to install Google toolbar on your web browser. Once you install the Google toolbar, look for a small green meter icon, it will tell you the PR of the webpage on your browser.

Note, I’ve mentioned Alexa rating in this post, I’ll explain more about it in a future post.

Action Steps

1.If you don’t have Google toolbar installed already, you can download and install it at http://toolbar.google.com

2. Read what Google has to say about its PageRank Technology

PageRank Technology: PageRank reflects our view of the importance of web pages by considering more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms. Pages that we believe are important pages receive a higher PageRank and are more likely to appear at the top of the search results.

PageRank also considers the importance of each page that casts a vote, as votes from some pages are considered to have greater value, thus giving the linked page greater value. We have always taken a pragmatic approach to help improve search quality and create useful products, and our technology uses the collective intelligence of the web to determine a page’s importance.

(Source: http://www.google.com/corporate/tech.html)

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