Unwrapping Google’s PageRank: A Deep-dive into the Revolutionary Algorithm in SEO
Introduction: Celebrate the festive season with Search Engine Journal (SEJ) as we navigate through our top-rated 2023 articles covering significant trends, strategies, and expert opinions. This array of articles aims to equip you for 2024, especially in the constantly evolving industry that is SEO, powered by successful years like 2023. At the heart of this evolution has been Google’s revolutionary algorithm named PageRank.
Understanding PageRank, how it works, and its history can deliver critical insights for every SEO expert. This closer look at PageRank covers its creation, evolution, and significance in current SEO strategies.
An Overview of Google’s PageRank
Developed by Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, PageRank is an algorithm assessing the overall strength of all hyperlinks across the internet. Named seemingly after Larry Page or web pages – a clever dual-purpose name. The foundation for PageRank lies in a paper by the founders named, The PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web.
The Evolution of PageRank
The pioneering use of links by Page and Brin to gauge the relative importance of pages led to the emergence of Google in the search engine realm. Despite its early lack of revenue generation, the potential of Google, then called “BackRub”, was clear. PageRank was the fundamental algorithm for ranking pages in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Google Dance, Trusted Seeds and the Reasonable Surfer
PageRank underwent several iterations over time, starting with the slinky “Google Dance” phenomena and then the “trusted seeds” set introduction. Other adaptations like the “reasonable surfer” model and Google’s retreat from public view of PageRank also happened over the years.
The Legacy of PageRank in SEO
PageRank revolutionized SEO by giving importance not just to content but also the backlink generated “voting system”. Despite this, the retrieval methods of search engines were still easily manipulated by SEO pros. However, with Google’s more scalable solution and emerging influence, the manipulation by SEO pros became less straightforward.
Understanding How PageRank Works
PageRank’s formula starts with assigning an estimated PageRank score to each internet page. It then divides the score by the number of links stemming from that page, giving each connected page a fraction of that PageRank. This score decreases with each iteration adding a “damping factor”, to reach a final figure.
The Direction of PageRank Flow
PageRank flows across the internet, with pages linking to new pages resulting in an increase in PageRank over time.
Is PageRank Still Relevant Today?
Public access to PageRank was closed in 2016, but it is believed to be still used by search engine engineers within Google. While Google’s algorithms have evolved, PageRank likely remains a core aspect of Google’s systems.
Want to dive deeper into Google’s PageRank? Check out these original patents and papers:
Despite the SEO landscape’s continuous change, Google’s PageRank remains a significant part of the story. Its evolution tells an intriguing tale of revolution, adaptation, and enduring influence.
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