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There’s a lot of smoke and fog surrounding this metric, so this week, Rand gets down to the nitty gritty of what it all means.

What is PageRank?

PageRank is a metric designed to calculate the global link popularity of a page. Global link popularity assesses the importance of the pages linking to you, and how that affects your page’s importance.

How/what do the search engines use PageRank for?

  • Crawling – PageRank assesses which pages should be crawled.

  • Inclusion (importance/uniqueness) – It’s highly likely that the big search engines have a variety of indexes, eg. Old, good, and fresh. PageRank can then inform the search engines about which index the page should be in. PageRank can also help assess duplicate content.

  • Freshness – Sites that are updated frequently may be crawled more often due to the changing content, and PageRank will help assess how frequently a page should be crawled.

  • Ranking – PageRank could be used in the ranking algorithm at Google.