In the SEO industry, the structure at which the website is built upon is very important. Aspects like content and overall presentation have a large factor in determining the PageRank of websites. This PageRank basically is the ranking of the website, in comparison to other websites and determines the order it is placed on the search engine results page. In this case, PageRank is the algorithm that is used by the company Google. Other search engines use similar algorithms to determine rankings among websites as well which is why there is a sort of universality of guidelines or rules in website design that developers tend to follow.
Even though Google has not released the algorithm for PageRank, many analysts have determined to increase PageRank scores based on the performance of websites. As such, they have more or less reverse engineered the PageRank algorithm to create a rough estimation of what constitutes the bulk of PageRank scoring. There are two big things that determine the score of a website’s PageRank, the first being its content. Of course, search engines work around search words or keywords that people type in. The content and subsequently, the relevance and relatedness of content within the website are heavy parts of PageRank scoring.
The other factor of the PageRank scoring is the way links connect within and outside the website. This is called a website’s Link Profile. PageRank not only determines the score based on the content but how the website is linked together (I.e. how the links are arranged and are interconnected). Links have to be connected in a way that allows content to be properly accessed. It could be links that are found in one page that connects to another part of the same page or a link that connects to another webpage of the website. It is also important to note that PageRank also considers the links that connect towards your website; the more links that connect to your website, the better (at least in general). In a way, this helps PageRank determine how much the content in the website is relevant and will be able to rank it accordingly. There are many ways to determine how good the links on a website can be (it need not be PageRank alone) but here are a few things that must be carefully constructed to ensure an attractive Link Profile.
Dos and Don’ts of a Link Profile
There’s no definitive list of elements that make up a Link Profile. That being said, the following elements that will be mentioned are the ones that have been observed with the most impact on PageRank.
There are many types of links that can be added in a website; examples are one-way back links and reciprocal links. These 2 links make up the majority of the Link Profile and thus will most likely have the greatest impact. Reciprocal links are links that will link 2 websites to each other. For example, a blogsite agrees to link itself to another blogsite on a condition that the other blogsite must link back to the first one. This is reciprocal linking; it is basically an agreement to link to one another, usually to share content. A much more powerful link is the one-way backlink. As the name suggests, this link is one-way and is more often than not, unsolicited. Google devalues reciprocal linking simply because it is very easy to have an agreement with other sites to link to each other and thus boosting the PageRank score without effort or regard for content. Greater value is given to one-way backlinks. Think of it as referencing; which translates that the website content is solid enough to warrant a “shout out” from another site. It is usually always best to create a greater portion of one-way backlinks than reciprocal links.
Regardless of the change in algorithm or the introduction of a newer security algorithm to ensure linking is not abused; content of the backlinks is always a big portion of the PageRank score. By association with the earlier discussion, one-way backlink relevance gives a higher weight than reciprocal link relevance. The old saying “quality over quantity” applies to Link Profiles. With that old saying, one must also avoid bad sites or bad neighborhoods. These are websites with less than sound reputations. By linking to them, they will tend to bring down the PageRank score and may even put off site visitors from returning to your site.
Lastly, link age also plays a key role in the Link Profile. A link that has been active and being constantly backlinked has a higher value than new ones. To put another anology, it is somewhat like wine, wherein it gets good with age.