Does Google PageRank Factor Into Link Quality?

SEO Question: I am trying to get a higher listing in Google. I've read a several articles that say the more links that I have, with a high PageRank, the higher up the ranking I should appear. Having said that, what page does Google look at when considering the link to my site? Does Google look at the page that I'm listed on or that websites home page? To say it another way, does Google, when looking at the PageRank for relevant links, look at the page that my website is linked from or does Google look at that websites home page?

SEO Answer: It is hard to say with 100% certainty what all Google looks at when determining link quality, but I think you really want to look beyond raw PageRank score. As a measure of value of a link I think most people place far too much emphasis on PageRank.

These are things I would consider:

  • How natural is the link popularity pointing at the site I am getting a link from? Anyone can buy their way to a PageRank 7 renting a few links here and there. Legitimate sites with legitimate link popularity are going to drive direct traffic and value and if you can get links from those sites in a manner where Google thinks it is an editorial vote of quality that is great.

  • Will anyone click the link? If the links are tucked away they might not get clicked on. Direct value helps pay for link costs, and eventually some search engines may heavily factor user data into their search algorithms.
  • Is the site / page an obvious link seller? If there is a block of links on every page that were bought the odds of Google counting them long term are fairly low.
  • Are the other outbound links of high quality? If not does it make sense to cluster yourself with them?
  • As far as PageRank goes a site which has a high home page PageRank may be able to carry more weight than a site which had a low home page PageRank, but as far as the strength of the vote in terms of PageRank that is related to the page specific PageRank (instead of the home page PageRank) and how many links are on the page.
  • When PageRank started it was pretty close to a fair approximation of page authority. Since then the web graph has been polluted bad, so Google has likely factored in many other things like if they think a link is paid, Topic Sensitive PageRank, TrustRank, and Link Spam Mass when considering how much to trust a link.
Published: January 3, 2006 by Aaron Wall in Q & A


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