SEO For Dummies - Google Pagerank Explained - SEO 101 Series

Real Estate Agent with Overland Park Real Estate (No association with Inc)

Pagerank is the most famous system for ranking sites. It's used by Google algorithm as an indicator of the importance of a webpage. The exact algorithm is keep secret, but we have an idea of how it works. This post will introduce the basics of Pagerank.


Here's the official descriptionof pagerank:

Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important."

Basically this means that each time a page links to your homepage, your homepage's pagerank is increased by an amount that depends on the pagerank of the linking page. (that's the reason why webmasters often buy links from pages with high pagerank)

The pagerank increment depends also on the number of outgoing links a page has (a link from a page with thousands of outgoing links is worth less than a link from a page with few links)


Google continuously update the pagerank of each webpage, but values are published every three or four months and can be seen in the google toolbar, with a green bar with integer values between 1 (less linked sites) and 10 (very important sites), with 0 that means "not yet classified"
The pagerank value shown in the toolbar it's not the actual and real value for the page you're visiting, it's just a rough estimation of the pagerank at the moment the values were published (every 3-4 months)

The PageRank value shown in the toolbar is not linear, that is, going from PR3 to PR4 is easier than going from PR4 to PR5 (it should be a log function, with base > 5).


This system of votes increased spams in comments or webpages, as spammers wanted to collect as many links as possible to have better pagerank... so google proposed the nofollow tag to be added to the "untrusted" links (i.e. in comments or places where everybody can add links). There's an ongoing debate on the benefits of the nofollowtag, and the use and abuse of it (wikipedia recently started to use the nofollow tagfor all its outgoing links), but what you have to know is that a link with rel = nofollow will not give pagerank to the linked site.
Here's how a normal and a nofollowed link look like in html:

<a> real estate seo </a>
<a href="" rel ="nofollow" > nofollowed </a>

Pagerank is overrated

That's true ;)
Pagerank it's good, easy to understand and evaluate, but it's just one of the multiple factor used by google to rank a site: it should not be your first priority, your priority should be the content, then making sure spiders can find it.
If you've good content the backlinks will follow because users will be happy with your content and link back to it... thiswill bring higher position in the SERPs. (Actually, this and avoiding some common mistakes we'll talk about in the future)


After this brief introduction, you may be intrested in some further and more technical readings about google pagerank and related stuff:

Comments (23)

Paul Moye
Benchmark Realty - Franklin, TN
Broker, GRI, SRES
Continue to post and keep the explanantions simple. This was one of your better reads.
Jun 28, 2007 01:09 AM
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
The more I see how complex SEO is, the more I'm tempted to just get someone who specializes in this to help me, so I can concentrate on what I know and do best.
Jun 28, 2007 01:10 AM
Aubrey Morey
Gainesville Apartments by Trimark Properties - Gainesville, FL

Hey there-- great post. 


You could do a whole blog post on each one of these items.  There are over 10 ways to code a nofollow, for instance, and the nofollow attribute is actually pretty complex.  Recent testing has shown that nofollows are not effective at completely removing the value of the link.  

:)  Great post! 

Jun 28, 2007 01:22 AM
Mark Pilatowski
myClosingSPACE - Manhattan, NY
Good post. Toolbar PR is very overrated. Too many people are more concerned with their toolbar PR than they are with how their site ranks in the SERP. SERP rankings are what get you traffic not toolbar PR. And it is very important to note that as you stated toolbar PR is not the same as Google internal PR, which is constantly updated.
Jun 28, 2007 01:45 AM
Jordan M. Mackey
Overland Park Real Estate (No association with Inc) - Overland Park, KS
Overland Park Real Estate ::

Paul - Thanks so much for the comment.  I'm like the constructive comments they help me know where and how I need to direct my focus.

Brain - SEO can get to be a pretty large monster.  With many many different factors play into it.  Although basic SEO really isn't all that bad.  However, if you're interested I'm thinking about moving from a Buyers Agent to start my own SEM Marketing firm with two other partners.  Send me a message is you're interested that goes for anyone else as well.

Aubrey - Haha thanks for the insite, I've read up on "nofollow"'s, however I didn't know that you could actually get even more indepth with them so thank you for the information.  I have read that Yahoo doesn't really follow them and has been registering "nofollow" links reguardless though.

Mark - I completely agree!  Toolbar PR is basically only good for obtaiining links, selling to other webmasters, yet sometimes for the really Internet savvy customer its like a feedback raiting.  As you stated Google definitly DOES!!!  Update constantly, sometime more often in certain niche areas basically where they make more Adsense money go figure :-P  I've seen changes happen in a little as a couple hours before...  Actually lately many times, since some of the most recent updates.

Jun 28, 2007 03:50 AM
Highland Beach Condos David Serle
RE/MAX Services - Highland Beach, FL
Boca Raton Agent David Serle
my website is .  The home page is currently being revamped as I wanted to customize a splash page on top of my website to have a better look and feel.  Any tips would be helpful.
Jun 28, 2007 04:16 AM
marti garaughty - Montreal, QC
a highly caffeinated creative type...

 Jordan, thanks for the well thought out and clear explanation of SEO, page rank, etc... There seems to be never ending debates & confusion about this stuff. Great resources as well. Thanks for sharing this with the marketing group...

realtor branding, marketing tools, closing gifts

Jun 28, 2007 04:45 AM
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

I'm tempted...actually, that's not true..I've come to the conclusion that I after I've done everything that I can do to my web page, I'm going to hand it over to a pro.  Right now, I'm concentrating on adding content to it and it seems to be working.  I subscribed to your blog, so hopefully I can learn from you and if you start that SEO firm, I'll definately consider you when I'm ready to pull the trigger!


Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc. 

Jun 28, 2007 05:03 AM
Jordan M. Mackey
Overland Park Real Estate (No association with Inc) - Overland Park, KS
Overland Park Real Estate ::
I've noticed some PR Updating for anyone whom might care!!!  :-D  If you'd like to check your pagerank and see if Googles playing with it check out this awesome little tool...
Jun 28, 2007 06:30 AM
Rosemary Brooks
BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706 - Stockton, CA
The Mother & Daughter Realty Team
Good post.  I love informatinal posts.  Learning is knowledge and knowledge is power and so on.  Bookmarked.
Jun 28, 2007 08:14 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel
I just checked my site on iwebtools . I would like my site to come up when people use key words for my area. That is the difficult thing.
Jun 28, 2007 10:18 PM
Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor
Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC - Mesa, AZ
Jordan, I will definitely bookmark this article as well as rate it a BIG 5. Thanks for this helpful post. Of course, I will need to review and chew it up a little to "get" it..........but every bite does help. Thanks.
Jul 01, 2007 11:23 AM
Linda Reynolds
Bradenton Real Estate - Linda Reynolds - Bradenton, FL
Bradenton Real Estate
Thanks for the tips, I will bookmark this one so I can refer to it often. 
Jul 02, 2007 11:25 PM
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI
Thanks for the SEO tips. Learning this stuff takes a lot of time.
Jul 03, 2007 02:47 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel
I had used a site called web site grader in the past , but could not find it. May be I have the wrong address..Thanks for the post.
Jul 04, 2007 10:26 PM
Kristin Small
RE/MAX Southern Shores - Myrtle Beach, SC
REALTOR -GRI, Myrtle Beach Real Estate
This stuff is like gibberish to me.  I wish I understood it more.  Hopefully some of these links will help me understand it more.  Thanks for the info.
Jul 17, 2007 06:32 AM
Erica Wallace
the Wallace Consulting Group - Boston, MA
thank you for this great post - I subscribe to your bog but will be bookmarking this as well. I have a lot to learn in this realm..thanks for all your insight. 
Aug 21, 2007 03:28 PM
Erica Wallace
the Wallace Consulting Group - Boston, MA
thank you for this great post - I subscribe to your bog but will be bookmarking this as well. I have a lot to learn in this realm..thanks for all your insight. 
Aug 21, 2007 03:28 PM
Ana Connell
G & C Properties - Burbank, CA
Burbank Real Estate Agent
Great post Jordan!  I've bookmarked this so I can go back and check everything out!
Sep 25, 2007 05:28 PM
Chris Pollinger
Berman & Pollinger, LLC. - San Diego, CA
Consulting for Luxury Teams and Brokerages
Thank you for the informative post.  I am looking forward to applying some of the tools you've suggested. 
Oct 10, 2007 03:22 AM