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Off-Page SEO refers to factors which can impact a website’s rankings that do not involve the modification of the website. Off-Page SEO, in most part, involves link development. So let’s see what links and link development are all about.

What is PageRank?

PageRank is the fundamental algorithm on which Google’s rankings are based; however, it is no longer and hasn’t been for a few years the overwhelming factor in a page’s ability to rank. There are two types of PageRank, one which Google uses internally and is a rational number between 0 and 1. The other is the public PageRank, which is what used to show up on the Google Toolbar, but is now only accessible through third-party browser plugins or extensions, and is a number between 1 and 10. In both cases the higher the number the more ‘powerful’ the website.

If you’d like to learn more details about Google’s PageRank, you can find a detailed article on the American Mathematical Society’s website: How Google Finds Your Needle in the Web’s Haystack.

A web page’s PageRank is calculated based on the incoming links from external pages (either on the same site or third-party websites). Each link from another page is counted as a vote; however, not every vote has the same value and impact on rankings. The PageRank of a web page is dependant only on link value and absolutely nothing else.

The Google algorithm may decide to not assign the value of incomming links to a particular page; however, whatever value it does assign will be based on links, and not content or any other criteria.

Increasing PageRank

Since links are important to a website’s ranking ability, it is an important aspect of search engine optimization. Technically, and at the most basic level, the more incoming links a web page has the higher its PageRank will be. Of course, the PageRank of those pages linking to the site in question is also important–the higher the PageRank of the linking page, the more value it can pass on to the site to which it is linking.

But don’t go running after high PageRank links yet; there is more to it than that. Check our Link Development Guide before doing anything; it will save you a headache.

Note: Just cross-linking the pages of your own website will not increase your PageRank (it will just pass it around from page to page).