Posted by Tony Cordingley on November 03, 2016 - 2:50am Edited 11/3 at 11:52am

Backlinks, Page Rank and doing the Google Dance

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Google's infamous page rank or "PR" is one important factor that online marketers must consider when designing web pages and marketing campaigns. The way that page rank is determined is a hot topic amongst experts in Search Engine Optimization.

It's well known that Google uses a complex algorithm to analyse web pages in order to figure out how well they should be ranked. The exact system that Google uses to determine page rank is a closely guarded secret. It is however well known that one key thing they consider is the number of other pages which link to a specific page or create so-called "
back links".

There's a tonne of info on the net about back links. How people get links is, as most everything else about page rank, controversial. One method of getting back-links was to simply buy them from others or through a link broker, which is a practice that is now discouraged by Google.

Google's argument is that page rank should be determined by a page's natural popularity, not by artificial means. In other words, Google wants the page rank to reflect the real interest in a page, in other words, its relevance to specific search terms.

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Some argue that this method of determining page rank is all fine and good and noble, while others think it's a heavy handed, overbearing and perhaps infused with some sinister motive on the part of Google.

While the argument goes back and forth about why Google changed the rules, it is still a fact of life that back links are an important part of how a page is ranked. Page rank is clearly an important issue if you are marketing online.

Simply put, if your page drops below the first page of results from a search query, it will affect traffic to your site. Since traffic equates to potential customers, getting a
high page rank is important, especially if you are selling online.

It is generally accepted that there is a difference in the quality of different links. It is not only the number of backlinks a site has, but also the quality of those links. Once again this is an area of considerable debate and controversy.

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So-called "reciprocal" links have a bad rap in so far as page rank is concerned. A reciprocal link is one in which sites trade links, often specifically as a means of improving page rank. Apparently, Google discounts so-called reciprocal links. This means that a page using reciprocal links would not benefit page rank.

The current Search Engine Optimisation wisdom is that Google favours so-called one-way links. As the name suggests these are links which point from one site to another site without any kind of reciprocal link.

The principal argument for this favouritism of one-way links is simple. The reasoning here is, a site with lots of links pointing to it is offering information which others consider to be of high value.

In other words, it's page rank will reflect proof that others consider it to be a good site by virtue of the number of links they have created to that site. Irrespective of your point of view on whether this reasoning is valid, it agreed by leading SEO
expertsthat backlinks and the quality of those links are considered when page rank is calculated.

The real issue for most internet marketers is about how one goes about getting valid and valuable links to your site. In this regard there are two basic approaches - Do it Yourself (DIY) or Outsourcing (OS).

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The DIY method can be a time consuming and arduous task, but it has considerable merit for a number of reasons. First among these is simply that it is one means of carefully building the kinds of relationships with other sites that may help increase page rank naturally - which is what Google is looking for.

Outsourcing link building can be done through various agencies who specialise in this technique. There are a number of companies online that claim to provide a matching service which allows one to get back links from other sites. The idea is that they match yours with other sites already in their database which have "related content".

Outsourcing does have some risks since you have may have no control over how links to your site are actually created. Before signing on to any so called
link building program you need to be aware of their policies and practices. Caution is certainly a good word to use when it comes to outsourcing your link building to others.

So-called social networking is quickly becoming a popular method of getting one-way inbound links to a website. At this point in time, this technique might be termed experimental. However, some of those using the method are reporting considerable success in quickly improving page rank.

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According to Google, there are in fact hundreds of factors which go into determining page rank and back links are only one of these. Clearly, Google will not share all these factors since others would use that information to compromise the integrity of Google search results.

What is well known and obviously important is that the number and quality of backlinks are a central part of how a page is ranked by Google. Attention to this detail is as important to
online marketers as any other aspect of their venture. It is something which should be well understood and carefully considered in any marketing strategy.

It is important to note that you should be careful to focus on creating websites and web pages which are properly optimised for search engines. Backlinks, while being important are only one aspect of getting a page well ranked.

When building web pages or writing blogs as well as creating articles for use in a marketing program, optimisation for search engines needs to be forefront in your thoughts and very much in your awareness. We all have to do the "Google Dance" and it is important to first learn all the steps because success simply depends on it.

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