One of the handiest tools as a web developer or any person who is interested in web site ranking is the Google toolbar.
Though the Google toolbar, like any other toolbar or plug-in for your browser and computer, slows down your computer and web surfing speed if for nothing else it has the Google PageRank meter which tells you how important Google thinks a particular page is.
Why is the Google PageRank meter important?
Simply put it is like how important the page you are looking at is to Google...
Okay... but what does that mean?
Google PageRank is like a multiplier by which Google evaluates where each page should come up in search results. For instance, if your page is about real estate and you have the words real estate throughout your site and a lot of links coming in telling Google your site is about real estate then where you come up for a Google search when someone searches for real estate is based on your Google PageRank. Two identical pages will come up different places searching Google because one has a higher PageRanking than the other.
How do you get PageRank?
Page rank is obtained from incoming links to the page. The more links that are sent to a page the more value it has in the eyes of Google. Additionally if a page with a high Google ranking is sending a link to a page, the page receiving the link receives more PageRank than a incoming link from a lower ranking page. A web page linking to many other pages is distributing it's value to those other page but the more links that are going out the less PageRank each individual page will receive from the distributing page. Incoming links can come from the same website in addition to other websites.
Okay what's the point?
The point is knowledge! The PageRank on the Google toolbar allows you to evaluate your website, your blog, and other peoples' sites and pages. If you are looking to build yourself incoming links you should target sites or pages that have higher PageRank. And if your personal website has low PageRank you might need to do some work to get your sites value up in the eyes of Google.
Why is this page ranked zero?
This could be a factor of many things. Mainly it's from not enough incoming links, but it could also be because the Google toolbar PageRank has not updated for that page.
When does Google PageRank update?
Google is constantly updating the ranking of each page but Google does not update the toolbar PageRank meter but about once every 4 months. Google does this probably to keep us all a little in the dark so search engine optimizers, such as myself don't play with our sites daily and watch the PageRank change to "game the system".
What's a Good PageRank?
To determine what a good page ranking in you should compare what your competitors PageRank is. If you are competing in a local market you probably don't need a super high PageRank and a 3/10 might be all you need to come up number 1 in searches. Other more completive markets might require a 5/10 or 6/10. Google and Yahoo! are the only 10/10s. msn.com is 8/10.
Many websites such as forums or wiki sites use the rel='nofollow' tag to halt page rank from transferring and reduce spammers from creating links on public sites. If you are participating in link exchange right click on your link to make sure it doesn't have a rel"nofollow" tag on it or you may be getting a raw deal.