Google search uses the Page Rank (PR) algorithm of websites to position them as per ranks in the search engine results. This algorithm validates the quality and quantity of the websites to verify the credibility, reliability, and authority of those web pages. A score is associated with this evaluation and verification. However, there is a general assumption that highly important websites are visited from other websites. Page Rank is not just the absolute score, it is a measure of the quality when compared to other websites.
How is Page Rank calculated?
There are three norms based on which Google arrives at the score:
- A qualitative and quantitative assessment of inbound links
- The count of outbound links for every linking page
- And the page score of every linked page
A damping factor is also related to the Page Rank formula; this refers to a theory that an imaginary surfer is scanning through the web pages. This surfer is supposed to randomly click on links and at a certain point, due to boredom, he stops clicking. Will he continue clicking on links? The probability is referred to as the damping factor. This impacts the traffic to certain web pages meaning that their total score is damped down by multiplying with 0.85 (standard assumed value).
Google Page Rank is not an absolute score and is only a measure of the quality of a web page. Hence, Page Rank calculates the score of a web page without being aware of Page Rank of all other linking pages. Page Rank is also the only visual evidence for ranking a web page. This resulted in people buying and selling more links with high Page Rank.In the mid-2000s, adding links that point to spam websites had gained momentum. This gave high page rank for those sites. The increased page rank made commercial sites to be listed on the top pages in Google search, thereby, increasing potential visitors and buyers.
In 2005, Google introduced the “no follow” attribute in 2005 partnering with other search engines. This was introduced to stop the Page Rank through links or blog comments. Later, Google changed the way Page Rank was passed between ‘do follow’ and ‘no follow’ on a page and eliminated Page Rank data from Webmaster Tools.In 2016, Toolbar Page Rank was officially removed.This made it difficult for buying and selling of “high Page Rank links” as there was no way to identify the actual Page Rank of any web page.
Importance of Page Rank
There is always a question as to the importance of Page Rank. Is it still important? Google says it is still important. It is considered the most reliable result on any query and not just people opinion. This makes Google an efficient and commanding tool for years. Page Rank was made public to enable people find specific pages in their search results, and show what pages are best and secure. Individual users might not be interested in page rank, but SEO companies analysed the scores to provide value-add for their customers. Hence, this Page Rank is still on the important list and very popular amongst the SEOs.
Page Rank is still prevalent
Though Google has removed Page Rank, it’s remnants are still around.It has been adopted into Google algorithm, which contains more than 200 other ranking signals. It is a proprietary algorithm that Google uses to evaluate a web page score compared to other pages. It demonstrates the way how Google ranks a website. However, the tool validates on the quality and quantity of links pointing to another web page and does not consider individual page factors.
Though it is not visible to the public, Google algorithms will use this for evaluating web pages. When Google removed the tool, SEO companies started building their own ranking tool and people became aware that the PR tool does not exist anymore.
Is there any other similar tool to analyze page score?
There is no other tool to replace Page Rank; however, there are other measures and metrics such as Ahrefs’ URL Rating (UR). This metric is used to calculate strong backlink profile from an URL in a scale of 1 to 100. UR is lot more common with Google Page Rank formula in the following ways:
- The tool counts links between pages
- The tool considers the “no follow” attribute introduced by Google
- It considers the “damping factor” and crawls the website every nook and corner.
However, UR does not consider most criteria for ranking a web page.
When Google removed Page Rank from public view and included it in the algorithms, the commotion of buying and selling links did not come to an end. People strongly believe that ranking mostly depends on links. Hence, it will continue to storm the Internet. Most search engines were not as efficient as Google is today. Previous search engines such as Yahoo and Altavista were not that successful. Their search results still required extra effort to understand and bring in the relevance to the query.