Page Rank is Google’s system for tracking the weight of a website, ranking from 0 – 10. There are several interesting things about this system, which we’ll explore in detail.

First is that zero isn’t really the starting point. Non-existent is what comes before zero and typically means Google doesn’t even know your site exists.

Next is that each stage is exponential. That means being PR8 isn’t just one notch up better than PR7, it’s an exponential leap up, meaning by a factor of 10. So getting from 7 to 8 is not one better, it’s ten times better.

Google Tracks Pages Not Sites

The next critical thing to understand is that Google is all about pages, not sites. This is incredibly important to understand, for while you want your homepage to rank in the Top 10 for whatever you do, you’re much more likely to rank for a page if it uses good On Page SEO if that page is targeting a good long tail keyword that has lower competition.

Frequently you’ll hear people in SEO say “I got a link from a PR6 site!” when in actuality, they got a link from a page inside a PR6 site. While it’s still great to have a backlink on a site like Hubpages or Squidoo (because the page you have on their site will get indexed faster), it’s not really the same thing as being featured on their homepage. All the more reason to write some really good content for them, as it means you have a better chance of getting on their homepage, which is where the magic really happens.

How to Find a Site’s Page Rank

The easiest way to track Page Rank is with the SEO4Firefox extension. It has a little bar that displays Page Rank at the bottom of your browser when you visit a site on the web. Additionally, when you do a Google search you can see the Page Rank stats (with lots of other handy info) mixed in with the search results.

Of course, tracking Page Rank is super easy with the pro tool Market Samurai which we highly recommend for see what the PR settings are for the top 10 results on a particular keyword. Essential if you really want to know what the competition is for the content you’re trying to write.

Nearly Useless Trivia

Page Rank isn’t named after “pages” per se, but rather Larry Page, one of the founders of Google. But pretty lucky coincidence as it helps us to remember that we need to think of our website more as a collection of individual pages instead of a single “dot com”.