What is Google Pagerank and Link Juice?

Out of the various ways to verify the credibility of a given site, Google pagerank, or Google PR, is perhaps one of the most – if not THE most – trustworthy. Of course, there have been and are no doubt, still ways to manipulate pagerank, but search engines are becoming increasingly “smart”, and it’s getting more and more difficult to deceive them.

At the same time, with all the amazing free and user-friendly web platforms and templates available today, it’s becoming extremely easy to create a fairly good-looking website – even without the capital and the technical know-how it once required. This means that first impressions and looks don’t always reveal the actual quality and credibility of a website and its content.

This is where tools such as Google pagerank come in. The detailed algorithm used to determine pagerank is classified, but this much has been revealed – that relevant backlinks from high pagerank pages are primarily responsible for high pagerank. It follows that even one relevant backlink from a web page that has a pagerank of say, 5, carries substantially more weight than even 50, 100, or more backlinks from pagerank 0 pages.

  • “Relevant” pages are those pages that are related to yours – the more related, the more relevant.

I personally use pagerank extensively as a form of credibility-rating. For example, if I were to purchase something online from a website that I’ve never visited before, and no one were to have vouched for it, I would check its pagerank. I would be wary of making any purchases from sites that have a 0 pagerank – not because it is DEFINITELY an iffy site, but simply to play it safe.

With all that being said, the visible “toolbar” pagerank is only updated once every few months, and as such, isn’t always a very accurate display of actual pagerank. Actual pagerank is the invisible type that is constantly being updated and is what will ultimately bring your website traffic and rank you higher in the SERPs.

However, the point I’m trying to make here, is that as inaccurate as it may sometimes be, it is still a fairly reasonable method of determining the value and reputation of a given webpage or site. – Considering also that there aren’t many other ways to do so without a certain amount of prior information.

Obviously, all sites were once upon a time a pagerank 0 site or the equivalent, and pagerank on its own is not an indisputable source of credibility, but when it’s all you have to go on, it sure helps to give you a general idea as well as some peace of mind. Another related point to passing on pagerank, besides those mentioned above, is what’s called “link juice”.

Think of link juice as the amount of pagerank that a given web page has to pass on to a page it is linking to. The basic rule of thumb is the fewer pages you’re linking to, the more “link juice” you can pass on. This is primarily to combat “link farms”, where the goal is to accumulate as many reciprocal (2-way) links as possible in an effort to manipulate pagerank.


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