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PageRank and Linking- the Definitive Guide


For many basic and common linking questions, search engine experts often offer contradictory advises. Some of them think you should forget about the PageRank. Apparently, they're not telling the truth. If you search "Search Engine Optimization" on Google, all top 10 listing page have very high PageRank values. Some of them look at Google with awe and are fear of being penalized.

We should be able to come up with definitive answers for common linking questions by looking at Google's Web site since we know that:

  • Google hasn't changed and will unlikely change its Web sites in the future to accommodate its own index database updates or algorithm changes,
  • Google won't artificially boost PageRanks of its own pages, and
  • Google will never deploy algorithms to lower PageRank values of its own pages.
As long as you follow the Web page design and linking practice on Google's Websites, you'll never have to worried about being penalized.

Are external links more important than internal links?
No. Google's www.google.com/contact/dir.html is a PR9 page with 9 internal links and 0 external link. Google should be smart enough to allocate computing resources to improve relevance computing, instead of wasting resources on distinguishing internal links from external links, or distinguishing links from same IP from links from different IPs.

Does good link text increase your PageRank?
No. Google's PageRank 10 largely attributes to the millions of pages using Google search box. The backlinks to www.google.com on those pages are Google's logo, a graphic, not a link text at all.

Are links on dmoz or Yahoo Directory more valuable than links from other sites?
No. Google's subdomain and country specific sites are all listed on dmoz directory, but the dmoz pages listing Google sites only have PR7 or PR6. Individual page (many of them have PR10 and PR9) on Google site aren't listed on dmoz. If dmoz is really that important, it should be able to get enough links to boost its PR values.

Does Google punish sites/pages with no outgoing external links?
No. Most of pages on www.google.com have no outgoing external links at all. And there's no reasons to.

PageRank is one of most important factors in ranking search results. But it is not the only factor. Higher PR increases the probability of a page being ranked higher in search results. But PR alone, doesn't secure a top position in search result ranking.

Google's quick raise from unknown to the dominant player in search engine industry is largely the leverage of link concept. While PageRank is about the link structure, Relevance Rank is about the link text.

Related Topics
Search Engine Marketing Basics -
Write Search Engine Friendly Web Pages - Search Engine Optimization
Google PageRank - Basics, Secrets and Common Misunderstandings
PageRank Calculator
Factors Affecting Search Engine Result Ranking - content, link, traffic and user feedback
How Search Engines Work
Keyword Popularity on Google - an Online SEO Tool


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