It’s been said that google updates their page rank every 3 or so months. Page rank is “a link analysis algorithm, named after Larry Page, used by the Google Internet search engine that assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, such as the World Wide Web, with the purpose of “measuring” its relative importance within the set” according to this wikipedia article.

Before reading this wiki article, I always assumed the “page” in page rank was referring to the actual page that was being ranked. Anyway, in layman’s term, Page Rank (aka PR) helps determine the “respect level” the actual page should be given to the hyperlinked page/document/url in relation to the other pages/documents/urls that could compete for the same keyword term it is being considered to be sent back to someone who’s searching that term.

Logically, the higher the PR, the more likely it will show up as a result in the search engine results page for a particular search phrase. Examples of PR’s of 10 are and most likely for “search engine” and “social network” as examples. However, these PR’s are not updated daily, but rather periodically.

The last one was done according to the same wiki article on April 2nd of this past year (2010). It’s estimating Google will be doing another page rank setting of websites the day before the New Year’s.

**Update: Looks like they pulled the “estimated PR date” since it didn’t happen on 12/31/2010.  However, if you’re interested in the historical page rank update data, visit this site which recorded it.

  • “I always assumed the “page” in page rank was referring to the actual page that was being ranked.”

    So did I for far too long. I now believe that it is the HomePage PageRank that is the top factor in the Google algorithm; the PageRank of the competing page is of minimal if any consequence. The second factor is a boost that Google gives to the effective PageRank of a HomePage when the HomePage is competing for a keyword.

    Hope this helps.

    Kind regards


  • brandon

    PR is not the top factor.

    The two top factors are Title Tag in terms of “On Page” variables.

    Links are the top factor overall. Check out the top factors done by seomoz (2011):

  • Brandon misses the point – on it says that ‘domain level link authority features’ is the top factor – PageRank is the measure Google uses for link authority features.

    You can test it out. Take any keyword. – Check the HomePage PageRank of each of the top 10 webpages and add a boost to PageRank 5 if it is a HomePage that is in the top 10.

    Sure the top on page factor is the Title Tag but if your website does not have sufficient HomePage PageRank for a targeted keyword, you will not achieve top positioning until you achieve the required authority.

    You have to understand the concept of keyword difficulty. The only useful measure of keyword difficulty is the HomePage PageRank.

    Hope this clarifies it.

  • brandon

    Thanks David, but I’d have to disagree again.

    What you’re pointing out is something not tangible. I try to help people understand this stuff as simply as possible. You can call PR a “factor”, but in a clearer way to the general populace, I identify the actual concrete things people can achieve.

    I think we’re talking about different levels of “factors” and I understand what Rand said in his study. Frankly, the clients we take on from my smallest client to my biggest which has millions of visits a month need to understand it in terms of “Title Tag” and “Links to a site” instead of PR. PR is also not updated frequent enough to use it as a “factor.”

    We were a PR of 0 for 7 months despite ranking above many other sites which much higher PR’s, but I couldn’t tell you before Google finally updated it in June that we were a PR4 website.

    Anyway, we’re talking about two different level of factors and no, I didn’t miss your point. I’m just talking about the actual concrete factors we have to deal with daily. There’s MANY factors within PageRank and so that’s why I say it’s not the #1 factor. 🙂