Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Linking Your Pages Correctly

it is time introduce the concept of Google
PageRank (PR). PageRank will be discussed in more detail in “Chapter 9 - All About
PageRank”, but is discussed here in order to understand why it matters how you link
pages on your website together.

PageRank is a numeric value that Google places on how important a page is on the
Web. PageRank is determined by how many incoming links there are that point to a
page. Incoming links are links that point to a page from another page. Such links
may be located on pages on the same website (internal links) or on pages on
different websites (external links). External links are valued more than internal links
although the exact amount is not publicly known.

Google figures that when one page links to another page, it is in effect “casting a
vote” for the other page. The more incoming links (votes) there are for a page, the
more important the page is to Google, generally speaking.

Note: Google PageRank is but a single factor used in the ranking algorithm. Many
obsess over the importance of PageRank to the near exclusion of everything else.
As such, PageRank and its importance is truly over-hyped.

Proper linking between pages of your website, if done right, will help retain the total
PageRank of your site and will also distribute or channel your site’s overall
PageRank value to your most important pages. Your site’s total “PR” value is simply
the sum of the PR values of all the individual web pages. But remember that PR is
usually referred to on a per-page basis.

Internal links serve to share or distribute PageRank among all pages of your site.
Links on your site that point to other websites can decrease PR from those pages
that contain outbound links (and hence your site’s total PR), while links from other
sites can increase your site’s total PageRank.

In general, the more internal links there are between pages of your site, the more
evenly distributed the PageRank becomes in your site. Let’s see why this is