PageRank (PR, for those in the know) is to bloggers what the Holy Grail was to the Knights of the Round Table. Websites, blogs, social networks and the rest are all in constant quest of PR. They hope it will bring them eternal wealth in the same way the knights hoped the Grail would grant them eternal life. PageRank is in fact an absolute precondition for making a website profitable, or for making your fortune on the internet. It’s mainly what determines the popularity of a website, which, in turn, determines the amount of advertising that site generates. In other words, a website that is not very popular, with a low PR (1 or 2) will have a hard time attracting advertisers and can’t expect to earn much in advertising revenue. PR is actually an algorithm, a method of calculation invented by one of the founders of Google (Larry Page, what better name for the inventor of PageRank!) that enables Google to decide on the order of the search results it displays on the internet. The term PageRank just means the position (or rank) of the webpage, on a scale of 1 to 10. A website with a PR of 1 might be expected to appear at the bottom of page 1 on Google or even on the following pages, while a website with comparable content but a PR of 8 has a strong chance of appearing at the top of the first page on Google.
What is the basis of this PR algorithm? In fact, Google is as tight-lipped about the PR formula as Coca Cola is about its drink. Which is understandable, since the minute the formula is made public, it will be hard to prevent it being abused. Nonetheless, a certain amount of information has filtered out which makes it possible for website publishers to know how to edge closer to the Holy Grail. We know that the PR of a website is higher the more other websites have links to it. Imagine you have a blog. If handbag.com, NetDoctor.co.uk or, say, Jeremy Clarkson’s website, all of them extremely popular, mention your blog in a post and add a link to your blog, you have the magic key to open up the web and bring you advertising revenue! Purists will tell you, though, that to speak of the PageRank of a website is a misuse of language, as it refers just to the home page, while some of the other pages on the website may be more popular. In theory, you can calculate the PR of the different pages on your blog. Just to make life more complicated, Google has developed the PR formula in such a way that it now takes account of more quality-based criteria, such as the seriousness and quality of the websites giving links to your blog… If you want to find out the PR of a website or blog (or rather, what Google chooses to tell you), it’s easy, as there are a number of websites that will do the calculation for you, such as http://www.prchecker.info. All you do is enter the URL of the website whose PR you are looking for, and the information appears in a matter of seconds. You can also download the PR calculation tool offered by Google, which you will find in the Google Toolbar .