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Understanding Page Rank and SERP

By Edited Oct 29, 2015 1 3

This article is written to clarify a few terms that are often mistaken, mixed up and misunderstood when it comes to evaluating how a website is doing. I recently had a conversation with a good friend of mine about this and it became clear just how many misconceptions there are about pagerank and SERP.

Page Rank Explained


PageRank, unlike popular believe, is not named after the page of a website but after Larry Page, a computer scientist and co-founder of Google Inc. The PR is the result of the algorithm analysis that assigns a number between 0-10, with 0 being the lowest and 10 being the most important. This number indicates the relative importance of a page compared to a whole load of pages on the world wide web.

The use of the patented name "PageRank" is exclusive to Google and many webmasters feel it is the most important thing to evaluate the success of their website. This is however not true, because a high PageRank alone does not equal success and it´s importance I feel is highely over rated.

SERP Explained


SERP is short for Search Engine Results Page. The SERP vary greatly and per keyword that is searched for so and basically the most important to know is that only those resulst showing up on the first page get a considerable amount of traffic. So if you are trying to rank for specific keywords you must end up in the first few spots of the SERP, otherwise you will hardly get any traffic for those keywords.

The place in the SERP is much more important than any PR, you could have a PR3 site that hardly shows up for important keyword searches making it pretty useless because people won´t find it, and you could have a PR0 ranking on the first page of the search engines for keywords that bring in traffic, making it much more valuable.

However you of course are the only one to decide whether rankings are important to you. The algorythm in search engines are designed in a way to show search engine results the search engines are important to those looking for information, so if you are a webmaster or are trying to make money writing articles, chances are you want to be on that first page.

You can easily check the PageRank by using an online PR tool like for example the one on seocentro.com, be aware though that you don´t make the mistake of thinking that the PR is the same for a main domain and all it´s pages, so if you really want to investigate how your page is doing, seocentro.com has a tool to check all different pages at once. This same tool could also be used if you wanted to check whether all your articles on infobarrel.com are indexed and what PR they have, as long as you keep track of all the URL´s of all of your articles. You can just copy paste them in the PR checker and get an almost instant update on which articles could need a few links in order to get indexed again.

How to Find Out Your SERP Ranking

If you only want to check your article or website for one keyword, you can go to a search engine and enter that keyword, wait and then start looking for the spot where your article or website turns up. Especially when just publishing that page, chances are you are not going to find it in the first pages, making this a pretty useless way. Another option, more precise and faster, is to use scroogle.org. Faster because it lists the first 100 spots in one look, more precise because it won´t take in account your preference settings which could misrepresent the rankings.

Google thinks they should think for their users and even though that can be good in a way, because it will bring more targeted information faster, it can be a real pain for some users, especially when wanting to do research for a website or traveling to another country, but let´s go back to explaining these rankings.

If you want to check your SERP for several keywords you are better off looking for a SERP rank checker so that you can add different keywords all at once to save some time and see which keywords are ranking where. Of course there are special plugins if you need to keep track of the SERP of your Wordpress blogs, which can really cut down on the time you spend doing SEO for your blog.

Now, the problem with keywords is that many times people think that an article is only targeting one word. However, there are as many keywords for your article as the words you use, more or less, you just don´t see them as keywords if you optimize your articles for the search engines, because they are not the words that will bring in the traffic you want to focus on.

Another thing to remember is that even though your site ranks number one for a specific keyword, if that is a word nobody looks for, or the name of your business, chances are that number spot is pretty useless. So be sure to check your SERP for keywords that are important to your site and that have a higher monthly search volume if you want to get visitors.

How Could You Improve your SERP Rankings?

Now that you hopefully understand the difference between PR and SERP rankings, you will probably want to start checking how your site and articles are doing and which ones need a little push to get into those spots that will ensure more traffic to your articles.

There are a variety of things you can do to get a higher SERP ranking, either on-page or off-page. On-page you could improve SEO by making sure the keyword density is good, the keyword is in the title tage, there are H2 and H3 tags containing the keyword and the occasional bolding, underlining and italic is applied. However it is said that on site SEO should only be 20% of your focus and that 80% of getting better SERP rankings comes from building links to your articles containing the keywords or a variation of those keywords in the anchor text.

These backlinks can be achieved by linking other articles, by bookmarking, using comment linking, forum linking, adding your sites to directories etc and of course if the content you are trying to rank is of high quality, you will be receiving links from other sites that find your article linkworthy.

Important to remember though is that SERP rankings are the key to your online success and you should really focus on getting on that first page if you want to earn money online. I do hope that after reading this article you understand the difference between PR and SERP ranking and realise that the PR rank really is not what matters most.

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Comments

Nov 30, 2010 8:29am
Deborah-Diane
Wow! This was a very helpful and interesting article, and really did explain a lot of important terms for me. Thank you for this detailed explanation!
Nov 30, 2010 8:57am
MayaTenney
tnx Deborah, I do hope you found it usefull :)
Dec 4, 2010 8:32pm
LoveSpaces
Thanks a lot Maya for the info!
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