What Is Pagerank? (How does it work?)

There are surely a lot of different metrics that have control over SEO. In this blog post, we are going to mention one of the oldest tips and tricks we use to rank higher in Google, using organic search traffic. If you are wondering like, “What is Pagerank?” Read more to find out.

What Is Pagerank?

Pagerank is the original algorithm that Google uses since the day Google search established. The two founders, Sir Jay Brin and Larry Page were working on at Stanford University when they founded Google. So it probably is maybe not as relevant in the year 2020. But there is still a lot of elements that are supercritical about it. We could not do an SEO blog series without talking about page rank. All right, so what is paging? As we mentioned before, it’s the algorithm that Google was built on it.

Page ranking is all about taking the web into a series of links and web pages, using a system like voting to decide which pages they should deliver in the search engine results. It is using links as votes and figuring out what the system should return. This method was a revolutionary concept at that time, and today almost every search engine is built on the same idea of links.

how does page ranking works

How the Pagerank Calculated?

There is a super sophisticated computer algorithm behind Page ranking. But do not worry. We are going to give you a simplified, complete, and accurate version. To provide you with an example, let’s assume like there are five web pages on all of the Internet.

Fun fact: The term “webpage” is named after Larry Page.

Back to our subject, please keep in mind that Page ranking calculates web pages and not websites. Lots of people think otherwise. There are a lot of factors regarding your website as a whole that are unique to your site. But page rank does not care who owns the page, at all. Every page is the same against page ranking, and therefore they are calculated equally.

So we told you to think that the Internet consists of only five pages. They might all belong to one site, or they might be five different sites or two sites. Pagerank works as it looks at the entire web and gives each page a starting rank. They will all start equal in Google’s eyes at first.

The pagerank algorithm

Then, spiders are going to go and crawl each page. With crawling, we are going to understand what their theme is. And the algorithm is going to pass the page’s rank from that page to what the one that it links. In the first era or the first iteration, every page only has 0.2 points.

So now, let’s assume that one of these pages links to two other pages. You are now going to divide its point to two equal votes of 0.1 because two pages are linking to it. After a while, it is not hard to understand that these calculations are going to get more complex.

Examine the second picture now. See that we divided some points due to linking, and now they have different scores. This argument means that the Pagerank algorithm recalculated the scores with the new votes.

how does pagerank works

There’s also something called a damping factor. Otherwise, you would end up what computer scientists would call a recursive loop. It would run forever. So the damping factor makes sure to stop counting these votes and go down to zero and stop. As you can see, doing these calculations would take forever, and Google would never be able to exist. So that’s the idea behind Pagerank. Even in our oversimplified example, Page ranking is quite complicated. Now imagine those trillions of web pages, and you use the full algorithm and not our simplified version. It would be way harder.

Some people might say Pageranking does not matter in 2021 because they no longer display it in the Google Toolbar. That was a thing there’s a Google Toolbar in this in Google Chrome. And basically, it would show you the Pagerank of every page you browsed. It was a scoring them from 0 to 10. Zero meant you had no links, and ten would mean that you were probably Google itself because you had all the links on the Internet. Getting a whopping ten was very hard to achieve. It was a logarithmic scale, that’s why it looked from zero to 10. So Pagerank Conger is displayed in that toolbar. That doesn’t mean it’s dead from the search engine. And a lot of ways a lot of the fundamentals and it powers so many the other algorithms that Google uses.

Let’s have a recap. Again, and you go to the link around your site. First is that links are a vote. So basically, anytime you’re linking to something you are voting for it, you are endorsing it. That’s super important, remember. That’s not just when you’re linking to someone else. Remember, that’s when you link to yourself as well. So you can vote for yourself because all pages are separate; that’s the key number to take away that you can vote for yourself.

Again that’s goes back to the idea. There are pages not just sites, so linking to yourself actually helps you pass pay drink to your own pages on such a unique aspect of Pagerank that you are not going to see with different algorithms is where you don’t have full control over things. In this case, you do have full control over things.

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Also, the links divide. That’s why it is vital that you consider who and what your linking to. So remember if we vote for ten things on one page, our votes divide to 10. So we don’t get the cast the same vote as if we only voted for five things or two things. We start voting for one hundred things. Our links are worthless and less that we pass on to everyone. So you should be very defensive of your links, while you should link to a lot of pages.

Do not forget, the more pages that you link to, the more you’re weakening that page right out. So make sure everyone you are linking to is super important for you. Keep in mind that you can link to yourself, but your links only matter if someone has voted for you.

Note that people all start with the same number of page rank, but if you are only voting for yourself, as the algorithm keeps running loop after loop and you’re going to go down to nothing. You would have had zero on that page rank score. It is crucial that you have incoming links so that you can link to yourself and others. Your votes would mean nothing if nobody voted for you. So it’s super important in this page rank idea that you get votes that you vote for yourself.

Vote for others. Be a good community member. There are so many aspects of page rank that still matter today, so don’t worry if another CEO tells you Pagerank is dead, but it does not matter at all. Links do not die. If you check the Webmaster Guidelines, you will see that Google mentions the word link or in the SSL starter guide over 80 times more than anything else. So most people talk nonsense as links are very much alive and healthy. Therefore, in some ways, so is page rank.


This sums up our guide about PageRank and how does it work. Thank you for reading. If you want to learn more about SEO related topics, check out our blog. You may also like our article: Is Google Biased Towards Websites?

Frequently Asked Questions About

Even though page ranking no longer exists, they still are important because the links do not die.

Page ranking algorithm is all about logarithm, so it is very hard.

Page ranking is from 0 to 10, with 0 being the weakest, and 10 the best score.

Margrit Aksu

Posts: 178

Margrit Aksu, a graduate of English Literature, is passionate about the English language. As she dived deeper into this language, writing, creating and editing articles became her passion. That's why she has been working as an SEO Content Editor at Dopinger digital marketing agency since 2021. Bes... Read More

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