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A lot of people aren’t familiar with the method behind how Google ranks pages, which can generate a good deal of confusion. Often times, they think that a high page rank means that they will show up higher in search results for keywords related to their site’s content, but this is not neccessarily true. In fact, it is not uncommon for a page with a higher overall rank to show up below another with a lesser rank, for various key words.

The best example of this would be Google’s home page, which is ranked 10/10. If you search for “googly eyes” on Google, no page even containing a “google” related URL will show up in the top results. The reason for this is that the Google home page contains no content related to googly eyes and, furthermore, contains very little content at all. The Google home page contains next to no specificly targetted content, and yet the page is ranked 10/10. Of course, this is because Google owns many other sites, and therefore it is possible that a page beloning to Google, containing information about googly eyes, will return a related page from them, due to the general page rank of their pages.

While higher page rank does weigh in on search results, the relevance of your site to the particular key word or key phrase triggering a search is equally, if not more important – and it’s a two fold process. Even with a high overall page rank, if your on site SEO is well executed, just because you’re site contains “Teak Furniture” in the title bar, header tags, meta tags and body content, this does not neccessarily mean you will rank well for the keyphrase “Teak Furniture”.

Since inbound links generate rank, it is important to know what anchor text to use, and to which page those keyword links should point to. Also, where those links are coming from can be very important as well, as links coming from related pages are more beneficial.

If you are optimizing your home page, linking keywords related to your other pages is important, as they may contain more relevant information related to that keyword, and also because each one of those sub-pages are (or should be) linking back to your home page. Internal linking is not as important for page rank or keyword rank as external linking, but for navigation purposes, it is crucial.

So, in short, rank is measured in many areas, but two main ones to remember:

  1. General Rank – Pages linked to you, whether they use your URL as the anchor text, a string of coded numbers that leads to your site, or what-have-you. This is measured by incoming links.
  2. Keyword Rank – Before you even attempt optimization for your site, come up with a list of keywords – not too long, not too short – but all very relevant and specific to your site, what its purpose is, and what is contained within your on site content: title, headers, text, tags, etc.

Still confused about SEO? Have more questions about Internet Marketing? Contact Reciprocal Consulting fo any questions you might have. We like to talk about this stuff.

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