PR in G+ - PageRank is Still The Guts of Google Search.
If the words "Google Search" matter to you, "PageRank" is why.

① Just how important is this PageRank?
② I speculate PR citation will be foundational to AuthorRank.
③ In the beginning Larry said, "Let there be PageRank."
④ Yes, I know some people say it was an evolutionary process.
⑤ I'll be covering more examples on ranking for a wider audience.
⑥ The PR Toolbar is an abbreviated expression of PageRank.
⑦ "Results vary." The average user likely has no PR for a year.
⑧ Do not delete circles, G+PR has nothing to do with follows.
⑨ Create authority with quality, experts in your own field.
⑩ FYI, if this seems a little much, I also do private mentoring.
Part 4, of my Google+ PageRank (G+PR) series.
If new to series you'll want to read Part 1-3 at the bottom.
If this series helps you please share it! As I explain why educating your connections to increase their G+PR in turn improves yours.
My disclaimers...
Some things I write (ie. PR) are facts well known among SEO experts, others are just ideas & opposing theories are all welcome below.

① Just how important is this PageRank? Is this a new feature, or just another Google update? Should I be concerned about this?
Many people reading this series are just hearing about PageRank for the first time, including some people who've been working to improve their search rankings & have been active in Google+ for a long time. Some are surprised, or even skeptical at the importance I'm putting on this topic, so I feel I should give you a little background to explain why it is the foundation of Google Search.

② I speculate PR citation will be foundational to AuthorRank
In a follow up to this, I want to explain more about why I believe PageRank will continue to be the backbone of future algorithms, including AuthorRank & why I "speculate" that ranking Authorship (possibly beginning to be) expressed through G+ PageRanking could be the next evolution of this. If it looks like I've been leading up to this debate it's not an accident, because I believe they are inseparably combined.

[Update: A few hours ago an excellent HOA with Max Minzer, Mark Traphagen & some other renowned experts, discussed this subject of Authorship, AuthorRank & PageRank which I recommend to follow up.]

But let's continue with a different story on the background of PageRank to give some perspective & some education to new readers on this topic.

③ In the beginning Larry said, "Let there be PageRank."
Notice the first picture of this series (in case my allegory was lost) is of Aslan in, The Chronicles of Narnia...
"It means," said Aslan, "that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned..."

The other day I looked up when Google first started using PageRank, because I recalled its use close to some of my earliest web developing after 2000. 

Ironically my allegory was even more appropriate, because Google never "first started using PageRank", Page started using Google (you already know it was named after Larry Page, but did you know... 
"The first paper about the project, describing PageRank and the initial prototype of the Google search engine, was published in 1998: shortly after, Page and Brin founded Google Inc."

So PageRank literally goes back before the dawn of Google's time. Some of us remember those early years with a twinge of nostalgia? There was Excite, DMOZ, Lycoos, AltaVista, Overture, & Inktomi powered Yahoo! & MSN Search (to name a few). And of course there was Google. See also: 

Why did Google pass the crowd of early search competitors? Many have pointed to one main reason. PageRank!

So just for fun, let me take you to how it actually happened...

☼ In the beginning the Internet was without form, and void; And Larry Page was in search of a dissertation. Then Larry said, "Let there be PageRank," and Larry saw that it was good.

☼ On the second day, Larry divined Google in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters (let's abr. 3 waters to WWW).
☼ On the third day, Larry had been working so hard he needed help with BackRub, and was soon joined by Sergey Brin. Quite randomly they decided they would finish in six days.

☼ On the fourth day they created, the confidentiality agreement to hide The Tree of Algorithms they were creating. They feared its fruit would be so popular they wrote something really scary on it so no one would try them.

☼ By the fifth day, they decided they were going to need a lot more help to finish in time. Therefore they asked Matt Cutts, to help them keep The Garden Of PageRank pure. And Matt said, Let the waters bring forth Panda and... a Penguin?! Well, he was still kind of new at this.

☼ Then Larry, or his friends said, "Let there be Authorship and maybe later an AuthorRank, after our likeness: and let it have dominion over Matt's Pandas and Penguins (by this time they were multiplying), and over every creeping Spider that creepeth upon the WWW. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

☼ And on the seventh day Larry, Sergey and friends, decided they needed a resteth, from all the work which they had made. So they turned some water into cold ones & blessed the seventh day, because in it they had rest from all the work which they created.

④ Yes, I know people say it was an evolutionary process.
So for those of you who need a more scientific explanation, here is that story, but of course you'll agree mine was better. ;-)

At Stanford University, Page was in search of a dissertation theme and considered exploring the mathematical properties of the World Wide Web, understanding its link structure as a huge graph. Page then focused on the problem of finding out which web pages link to a given page, considering the number and nature of such backlinks to be valuable information about that page, with the role of citations in academic publishing in mind. In his research project, nicknamed "BackRub", he was soon joined by Sergey Brin, a fellow Stanford Ph.D. student.
Page had reasoned that the "entire Web was loosely based on the premise of citation – after all, what is a link but a citation? If he could devise a method to count and qualify each backlink on the Web, as Page puts it 'the Web would become a more valuable place'.

the Web comprised an estimated 10 million documents, with an untold number of links between them. The computing resources required to crawl such a beast were well beyond the usual bounds of a student project. Unaware of exactly what he was getting into, Page began building out his crawler. The idea's complexity and scale lured Brin to the job.

To convert the backlink data gathered by BackRub's web crawler into a measure of importance for a given web page, Brin and Page developed the PageRank algorithm, and realized that it could be used to build a search engine far superior to existing ones. It relied on a new kind of technology that analyzed the relevance of the back links that connected one Web page to another. In August 1996, the initial version of Google was made available, still on the Stanford University Web site.
Condensed by me from:
Also interesting, a History Of Google Algorithms:

☢ You Can Skip This Algo➘ It may look daunting to non-mathematicians, but the [original] PageRank algorithm is in fact elegantly simple and is calculated as follows:
          PR(A) = (1-d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + ... + PR(Tn)/C(Tn))

where PR(A) is the PageRank of a page A
PR(T1) is the PageRank of a page T1
C(T1) is the number of outgoing links from the page T1
d is a damping factor in the range 0 < d < 1, usually set to 0.85
The PageRank of a web page is therefore calculated as a sum of the PageRanks of all pages linking to it (its incoming links), divided by the number of links on each of those pages (its outgoing links).
Mark Horrell, 11/28/2001 While it is divided by outgoing links, links are also ranked in seniority proportion to their position on the page, thus the link +HousesFast showing up above the link +Joshua Berg & +CompleteFactory will receive proportionally higher PR credit.END ☢

⑤ I'll be covering examples on ranking for wider audience.
I started this series more to weigh in on an active algorithm debate, rather than as a Google SEO training course for everyone. Starting with Part 1 last week, explaining my observation (last few months), that there was a viewable G+ PageRank. For some reason no one had yet been writing about it. So I used industry jargon at more of a professional level to introduce my observation to provoke further discussion & theories among some of the experts on this.

This topic however, was more popular than I had realized, with many people recognizing it's importance, but not understanding it. People would share it to friends & say, "Wow! This is important, but I don't really get it." To name just a few of the comments.

With seeing hundreds of shares since I started the series in the last week, to millions of users followers, I'm seeing the need for covering some of these topics in simpler terms for a broader audience. For example, just one of those shares was from +Lynette Young (with 1.5 million followers) exclaiming, "When people ask me my 'secrets' I'm just going to point them here from now on!" Well that's just too kind Lynette, then I hope I can do a better job explaining the "secrets" for everyone.

Special thanks also to +Mark Traphagen, +Ronnie Bincer, +Yifat Cohen, +Gareth Mark, +Thomas Power, +Max Huijgen+SEO, not because I love these people any more than the rest of you, but because they had the most reshares so far of this series. And everyone else, thank you for sharing this as well.

⑥ The PR Toolbar an abbreviated expression of PageRank.
When I refer to PageRank in the context of this series & also as it is used throughout related material, we are not specifically talking about the PR Toolbar rank, but the algorithm behind those results. In fact we often use the words PageRank (I've also used G+PR) when we are in fact referring more specifically to your PR Toolbar rank, but just so you understand, there is a difference.

If you go to check your PR as I explained in Part 1 for example, what you will see is a little green bar that ranks between 1 and 10. In reality, these numbers are much longer & the ranking system far more complex, but the PR Toolbar as it is called, is the only visible indicator that we have from Google of this rank.

The first Google Toolbar 1.0, came out on Dec 12th, 2000.

Google has not disclosed the specific method for determining a Toolbar PageRank value, which is to be considered only a rough indication of the value of a website.

PageRank measures the number of sites that link to a particular page. The PageRank of a particular page is roughly based upon the quantity of inbound links as well as the PageRank of the pages providing the links. The algorithm also includes other factors, such as the size of a page, the number of changes, the time since the page was updated, the text in headlines and the text in hyperlinked anchor texts.

The Google Toolbar's PageRank is updated infrequently (quarterly), so the values it shows are often out of date. The next update is late June.

⑦ "Results vary." Average user likely has no PR for a year.
What I'm saying regarding the PR Toolbar means, if you've checked your G+PR and it's blank, those results are average. Remember Google+ is still new & it takes time for any significant engagement that you've had on G+ to accumulate. Then on top of that, once it has accumulated in the form of significant tags, backlinks to your profile (including hyperlinks from the wider web), it will not show up in the PR Toolbar for months.

This is why it would not be wise to focus primarily on your G+PR, but on the principles of quality engagement that build it.

⑧ Do not delete circles G+PR has nothing to do with follow
PR is a backlink analyzing algorithm, not a counter of followers.

If you've read this series well enough, you'll already know this, but I'm going to say it in caps so you won't forget it. YOUR G+PR HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW MANY PEOPLE YOU FOLLOW, WHO YOU FOLLOW, OR HOW MANY PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU. As you can see from this Wikipedia description here...

PageRank is a link analysis algorithm... used by the Google web search engine, that assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, such as the World Wide Web, with the purpose of "measuring" its relative importance within the set. The algorithm may be applied to any collection of entities with reciprocal quotations and references.

The value of incoming links is colloquially referred to as "Google juice", "link juice" or "Pagerank juice"

So if there's NO links, there's NO PageRank. It's that simple. I brought this up, because some people from my last posts "Example: User A vs. User B." Understood it to mean, we should delete all the people with no, or low G+PR. This is not so, because they will have it soon enough. Also, for the purpose of explaining that concept of "User A vs. User B", please understand those were extremes on either end of the spectrum, not average.

⑨ Create authority with quality, experts in your own field.
I had planned to start this article focusing on a most important point I want to emphasize about quality trumping quantity, but I tend to get sidetracked by the multitude of aspects that still need covering. As you may have noticed from this series, the topic of search, algorithms & ranking is very deep, in fact I haven't covered the half of what I have in mind to.

After the last post however, it became apparent I needed to emphasize this key point I want to get across. Some people may have missed this, even though it was the starting paragraph of my last post. So let me say it again:

I believe knowledge of this topic may even change the way many people use G+ for the better. Firstly by encouraging people to post shareable higher quality content & engaging with those who do. Second, to understand the value of engaging more with ranking G+ experts within your field of interest.

+AJ Kohn kindly commented on that post, which says this very well.
"...I want to caution people that the object is not to acquire Page Rank - that's the result of doing the right things: creating great content, sharing great content, interaction with those in your community."
"If the intent of your actions is simply to try reach that PR6 or whatever, the odds of you really being perceived as an authority (which is what PR is really supposed to convey to a large degree) are reduced."

To which I replied:

"Glad you brought that up. If acquiring PageRank is the important message the most important message people take away from this, they will have this a little out of perspective. Readers should notice I'm not saying those people have to have high PR, plenty of them won't & the only usable PR metric is far behind."

"In fact, with the tremendous growth curve G+ is currently experiencing, people are going to find there are probably a lot more "experts in their field", with no, or low G+PR. As more people have joined G+ recently than were previously doing so."

"What I want to say is that, as a natural result of doing the right things & engaging with the right people, you should get good PR. In my example of User A, they are doing the right things, but not engaging enough with experts & instead with too many spammy people."

"So the important point to take away from those examples is,"
"These friends have also learned to seek out, engage with & reciprocate with experts on G+ in their field of interest."

"Notice engage with "experts in your field of interest", absolutely not every random person with high PR. But yes, I see a number of people are already running with the more statistical aspects of this & that's not the important aspect I want to bring to this."

Important Note: Experts in your own field are certainly more likely to engage with you in discussion, or content sharing. So focusing only on users with a high G+PR, but not within your own field of expertise, or interest, would likely not be a successful strategy. Also, even popular experts joining G+ now will not have a high, or even any G+PR yet. But you can be sure they will soon enough and affect of that on your own G+PR will be realized later.

           So let me spell this out for everyone more clearly...

The high G+ PageRank will be the natural result of quality & intelligent engagement, not figuring out how to game the system, as I mentioned in the last article was a concern of mine. The increased awareness I'm bringing to the table of the aspect of G+PR is only a small part of the equation to help people understand somewhat statistically the result of your activities & also to be aware of those who may be gaming you with it, draining your G+PR with trolling & phony "pass this on" posts.
[Plan to cover more on this aspect of cons & spam, but real briefly: Share quality, don't pass on every "Help my baby by sharing this" post you see. If you must do so, verify it at, or search it.]

AJ Kohn has also written an article I recommend related to the topic of Authority we've been speaking about. "Build Your Authority; Not Your Author Rank".(

⑩ FYI, if this is a little much, I also do private mentoring.
I hope you have been able to grasp a lot of the concepts I've shared thus far, because if you want to improve your search rankings more effectively, then I believe these foundational topics should not be ignored.

For a lot of readers this may still be a little too advanced & so I'll throw out a lifeline here & a promotion of custom services I have available. If you've read this far & putting this together seems a little much, or even if you are advanced, but would like to go further, then I want you to know that I do provide private mentoring services & custom SEO work. So you're welcome to send me a private message anytime for more details.

Apart from that, stay tuned to the next article coming soon...

Lastly after sharing this, read & share the following as well.
Pt 1: Is Google+ Page Rank the culprit behind the current ...

Pt 2: How PageRank in Google+ is Earned. G+ Link Myths...

Pt 3: Why PR in G+ Matters To You & Your Connections.

#pagerank   #googlepagerank   #pagerankupdate   #Gplusseo   #seotips #googleplusseo
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