What is PageRank? And What’s It Got To Do With My Website Anyway?
Quite a lot actually. I'm often asked by clients about Google ranking and how to get on the first page of SERPS (Search Engine Results Page). PageRank helps determine this. One of the 200+ factors Google takes into consideration to determine which web pages best fit the bill is PageRank. PageRank is a link analysis algorithm used by Google to help determine the relative importance of a website. Simply put, links from other quality websites to your website will boost your website in the ranking process. It's all about endorsement. Linking is endorsing.
Without going into technical detail PageRank can be better understood by looking at a football game allegory. Within a game of football the better, skillful players will tend to have the ball passed (linked) to them more from other players. Just like these players in a football game, quality and informative websites with engaging content are boosted in the Google rankings by links from other quality websites (This is PageRank). This is a crucial part of the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) jigsaw. It has to be stressed here - quality websites. By this I mean only links from quality sites, and pages that are relevant to your website, will appear natural and not be subject to penalty with the Google ranking process.
Bad Link Building
In the past many website owners regarded quantity was better than quality. Links from websites unrelated to your business are not much good while links from spam websites are lethal to rankings. Google penalises websites that are linked to from websites dealing in spam. These link portal websites should be avoided at all cost as they simply host thousands of links and may contain virus's or malware. There is no proper content to these websites. Overall the link building process should be natural and involve the sharing of content in an informative, natural way. Plus avoid buying links. Google views links in terms of 'votes' and see's paying for votes as bad link building and penalises accordingly.
Good Link Building
As mentioned, link building is important because it is a major factor in how Google ranks web pages. Google notes on their site that:
"In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages."
Content Creation & Promotion
Write interesting and informative content on your own website that readers will want to reference and link to. The key here is also to tell people about it. This involves sharing your content on social media and linking to the social networks and linking back. Immediately after publishing a new blog post, promote that post on social media. More information on social media for SEO purposes can be found here.
Submissions - Submit your news to press releases, submit your site to directories
This can be time consuming but if done correctly can be highly effective. Seek out local directories and directories that are specific to your business or industry. Submitting links to these in the appropriate category can be considered a quality backlink. This is what you want.
External Bloggers, Reviews & Mentions
These days, many big companies and brands contact influential bloggers to get them to blog about their company or products. Within these blog articles the blogger will undoubtably link back to the website or a specific (product or service) page within the site. Again, more back links which is what you want. A good blogger who can write skillfully and has a massive following has the capabaility to generate massive interest in a website, company and product or service. The follower/reader will follow any links within their blog back to your website. Get influential people involved and they will help you spread the message.
Links from Friends & Colleagues
If you really do have unique and engaging content within your own website people will want to link to you. If friends, and in particular work colleagues, have their own websites this may present an opportunity to link from their site to yours. Again, bear in mind links are only really of use if they are relevant. Actually, if you publish an amazing piece of content that you feel is share-worthy (which should be every piece of content that you write), then you have permission to ask those who consume it to share it whether they are known to you or not.