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PageRank and MozRank: More Than a Number

Putting your product on the internet is tricky business whether you have a physical item to sell or you just want to promote your ideas. “Build it and they will come” only works in the movies; on the internet you need backlinks, references, and a high rank in popular search engines in order to make an impact. To accomplish that, you need to know the underlying mechanisms that determine where your site ends up and how to work them to your advantage.

First off all, understand that it’s not enough to spam popular keywords on a series of pages. Most search engine algorithms are now advanced enough to recognize whether the search terms are contained within cogent, relevant articles. It used to be that nearly any page that was artificially pushed up the ranks through shady backlinks could turn a profit with the right ad scheme, but those days are over.

Now success hinges on popularity and Google. While other search engines are important, Google is the go-to service for most people looking for anything. If you rank well with them, you’ll almost surely top the other big name search engines.

Google licenses a link analysis algorithm called PageRank, and to put it simply, it attaches a number relative to the importance of a web page. This is determined partially through the democratic nature of the internet with one link from another source counting as a vote of support. Keep in mind that not all votes are equal; Susan’s personal blog isn’t going to do anything for your ranking, but a link from CNN could provide a two to three figure boost.

As mentioned above, quality also matters. Even if you’ve got high-ranked pages linking to your website, it’s not going to be enough to put you at the top if your content isn’t any good. While it’s technically possible, the sheer number of links necessary to make it happen puts it beyond the reach of most people, and it’s never permanent. A few months ago a search for the word “basil” would return a link to MapleStory in the fourth slot but that has since changed, and the links necessary to make that happen numbered over 14,000.

So to summarize, PageRank is determined by popularity, relevance, and the quality of the content, and all of that combines to determine how important a particular page is. To put it in different terms, a website’s rank is determined by the probability of someone randomly stumbling across a link which leads to either a particular page or the root domain your website.

MozRank is incredibly similar, except it exists outside of search engines and provides a global ranking system. Because of this, its ranking power applies to a large range of search queries and not just those which are optimized for specific keywords. Whereas search engines like Google rank pages according to their global link authority, MozRank works entirely democratically. How your site ranks is determined entirely by the quality of the pages which are linking to you.

This system is also designed so that one page can’t artificially bolster another. The first link carries the most weight, and each successive link degrades in value, so 1,000 links wouldn’t benefit a website much more than a few dozen.

In essence, the principles for leveraging these tools are essentially the same, and careful SEO strategies mixed with high quality content will let the Web work its magic for your product or service. It’s a harsh mistress toward those who try to game the system with brute-force, but the good news is that the playing ground is ever more level for legitimate businesspeople.

Author Bio:- Jerry Gerber is a college student and in his spare time he writes for topwebdesignschools.org. If you have an interest in pursuing a degree in business he recommends checking them out for information on the Top 10 Online Web Design Schools or the Top Web Design Schools in general.

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