Improve Your Website’s Google PageRank In A Day
One of the many factors in determining your website’s position on Google is its PageRank. The higher your Page Rank, the better chance you have at doing well. Below, we discuss PageRank, why you should care, and how to improve your website’s Page Rank without a lot of work.
So What is PageRank?
PageRank is a measure of the importance of your website, based on who is linking to your web page and the quality of those incoming links. PageRank was created by Larry Page of Google (yes a fortuitous last name), in order to help Google rank websites better. To quote “PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.” (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank – go ahead and read all the gory details). The formula is as follows:
Where p1, p2.., pN are the pages under consideration, M(pi) ist he set of page that link to Pi, L(pj) is the number of outbound links on page pj, and N is the total number of pages.
Simple, right? So now you know exactly what Page Rank is and we can move on… We’ll give you some practical results later on.
How Do I Increase My Website’s PageRank
That’s a great question. Well there are many ways to improve your Website’s Page Rank – mainly improving your website through lots of hard work, but today I am discussing what can be done with a little re-arranging of your website structure. And the secret is siloing….
What Are Website Silos?
A website silo is a method of compartmentalizing the topics within your site. In a siloed structure, you cannot access every page from every other page – there is a hierarchy to your website (like a company organization chart. For instance, if you have a company that does plumbing and heating, there may be several pages devoted to plumbing and another set of pages discussing heating services. A potential client who is looking to repair a leaky faucet does not need to read about their furnace. Neither does Google! The heating pages are better separate from the plumbing pages, each with their own introductions. To get from plumbing to heating, you have to go through an intro page (the top of the silo). There is also a mathematical reason why to do this.
The Math Behind Why Siloed Websites are Better
A Standard Website (eg WordPress) versus a Siloed Website…
Website A – Standard website: A standard website we are defining as a typical website with say 14 pages. Maybe there are 2 dropdown menus with 5 subpages each, plus 2 other pages.
Website B – Siloed website: A siloed website will also have the 14 pages. However, the 2 pages that used to have a dropdown will instead show the subpages only after clicking (ie you can’t click directly from HOME to the subpages).
OK, so now we plug in that formula to calculate what the final PageRanks would be. The damping factor we are assuming is 0.85 and we are assuming each page starts with a PageRank of 1 with no inbound links. In actuality, the home page would have a higher rank, which would make the differences even larger.
Final PageRanks (assuming all pages start with a PageRank of 1.0).
The siloed website has better Page Rank. Why???
Ignoring all the external incoming links to the website, website A has 13 links, one to each of the other pages within the website. You can get everywhere on the website with only 1 click. In the eyes of Google, every internal page will have equal number of pages linking to each other. So the value it gives to the pages it links to is 1/13 equally. Then when you go through the iterations, all the pages end up with a value of 1.0. With a siloed website, there are more links going to the main menu pages, and in particular the menus that are the intro pages to their respective silos. As a result, they get a greater proportion of the links.
Is this a big difference? Why?
PageRank is a logarithmic scale, so a rank of 2 is an order of magnitude better than 1. When other websites are linking to you, it’s way better to have 1 website with a PageRank of 4 link to you than lots and lots of PageRank 0 sites. So with our example, we’ve really improved the PageRank of our main pages. (note, the scale isn’t necessarily base 10, so we can’t give exact numbers as to how much better a rank of 2 is than 1, etc).
Website B has 4 main links – that’s it. So from the home page, each of the main links share the “points”, but among less pages. This means that the main pages get a higher value, as they should. Sub pages get less, as they should.
What this does is focuses the rank on key pages. These pages should be the main topic pages. Like in our example one would be a landing page for Plumbing. The other key page would be Heating. Each of these “silos” would be nearly sufficient to be their own website. And you’ve given all the rankings to the main pages, rather than divvying it up among all pages within the website.
Further thoughts on PageRank…
So we’ve described a bit of what PageRank is and how to improve the PageRank of your website without changing then number of links to your website. A higher PageRank may just be the difference between success and failure of your website. It’s certainly not the only thing that you need to do to get found on Google, but it is something that a bit of preplanning now will give you the best chance of success. It’s your responsibility to do your best at marketing your business. So why wouldn’t you silo your site?