A tremendous amount of discussion, news articles and reports continually surround web site page rank and Site Engine Optimization activities of advertising agencies and web site developers. To understand this issue, you must first understand what encompasses PageRank and how it was developed. PageRank was originated by Google’s founders while attending Stanford University. In fact, Stanford still holds the patent for PageRank. In essence, PageRank measures a website or page’s importance using a voluminous amount of factors.

In the past, antiquated search engines simply checked the number of keywords on a site. Depending on the number of times certain words or phrases appeared, the engine would return the pages in a certain order or rank. Web developers found that by simply using certain words or phrases repetitively, they could effectively increase their return position on an engine search. This was whether or not the site had anything to do with the keywords or was of value to the searcher.

Well, PageRank changed that antiquated system. PageRank evaluates the links leading to a page and then uses those as a basis of importance. It then drills down into the significance of the links to add or subtract weight. The pages that are linked to another site depending on their significance. That is, the more trusted a site and the more relevant it is to the linked site, the more trustworthy the link. Now that we’ve discussed all that, you may be wondering if you can still trust PageRank or can it be manipulated? Research dictates that PageRank can be manipulated. In fact, many suggest that our current PageRank system is not reflective of the actual value of the pages returned.

Website experts and advertisers certainly understand that if a client’s page can be higher in the results and therefore rank better, it will drive more traffic to the site. A group of people can get together and coordinate continual searches and links to a page relating to a keyword. For instance, if you wanted the keyword failure to apply to your competitor, you could type in that keyword and then click on your competitors link every time to associate the keyword with the link. If done enough times and with persistence, it is possible to create a ranking that is manufactured.

Other SEO experts that may not be using ethical means of enhancing a page’s ranking can use automation. The automated system simply links certain web sites without any relevance to the search term or keyword. These are usually web sites with no content other than links that simply refer or forward you to other websites. In layman terms, many of these sites are called link farms or web spam pages. They clearly utilize black-hat methods to obtain higher than warranted ranking results. Indeed, this is why many companies have policies for their employees that set forth what sites can be linked.

Whether you believe you can trust PageRank or not, is basically up to you. After all, owners can improve their PageRank significantly by using both white and black hat techniques. However, if you want to increase your PageRank, you should check to assure that you are linking to sites that are relevant to your own. By doing this, most website owners and SEO experts will achieve better rankings and higher PageRank. Good luck!

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