Website Authority And PageRank: How They Relate And Apply To Your Site
Search engines, like Google, consistently monitor, rate and generate search engine page rankings based on criteria that essentially measure factors like website authority and their subsequent PageRank.
As an example, a website with lower quality content and construction is less likely to rank as high as its higher-quality counterpart. These ‘higher-quality’ counterparts are considered to have more web authority to search engines like Google.
The Authority of a Website
Websites need some kind of authority to rank higher in search engines results pages, commonly known as SERPs. Websites with authority provide valuable, reliable information to its corresponding web visitors. These same websites also eventually gain a high page rank through search engines like Google—more or less becoming the top websites ranked within the first two pages in most SERPs.
Websites with an authoritative nature develop their authority from several criteria, including ‘healthy’ backlinks, specialized knowledge about certain subjects, in addition to hosting information that’s legitimate and/or verifiable. The most authoritative websites also frequently update their content for users, essentially keeping their content up-to-date.
Users who type in any search term into a search engine are likely to find several sites with significant authority. As another example, typing in casserole recipes is likely to bring up several authoritative sites, such as AllRecipes.com and several food-related sites. Searching for tablet buying guide shows similar results, including several verified technology sites and blogs.
The authority of a website can actually affect other intrinsic factors of a website, like a single factor that others may overlook—the worth of its page rank.
Google, Page Rankings and the PageRank Metrics System
Web traffic, in its simplest definition, refers to the visitors that visit a website each day. These daily visits are measurable by several factors, generally including how long a person spends on a site, what they read on said website and what advertisements they click. These measurements more or less help webmasters produce a better overall web experience for their visitors.
Websites can get web traffic through a variety of ways, though the most common involves link sharing and link building. Many Internet users share links via social media, link aggregation websites or their own websites and email addresses. This type of link sharing eventually transformed how search engines produce search engine page rankings over the past decade.
As a result from changing their search engine algorithms, Google created what’s known as Google PageRank. PageRank is Google’s way of ranking different websites and/or web pages on the web. Pages with a higher PageRank, as an example, are more likely to rank higher than pages with a lower rank.
According to Google, PageRank ‘relies on the web’s democratic nature, using its large link structure to perceive a web page’s value.’ The system works through Google interpreting a link from one page to another as a vote—in the simplest terms, a vote from the first page to the second page. Google interprets these ‘votes’ through a set of criteria, such as analyzing the voted-for page and the pages casting said votes.
In accordance to this system, pages with significant website authority have ‘heavier’ votes, which can help another voted-for website gain a better PageRank. In contrast, lower authority sites don’t help the voted-for website gain anything in return. Google allows webmasters to see the PageRank of their website or web page using the Google Toolbar.
Website Authority and PageRank—and Your Site
A lot of experts in web and search engine optimization (SEO) believe website authority is actually the most important factor, in regards to gaining better search engine rankings. Is this fact more true than false, however?
As recently presented by SEOMoz.org, ‘around 24 percent of a host domain’s trust and/or authority is responsible for its overall ranking through most search engine algorithms.’ This information implies that at least a quarter of a website’s perceived authority affects its overall search ranking. Even though that might be true, there are other factors that might make a more significant impact.
Google’s own algorithms prevent most websites from getting measured using a single, specific set of criteria. They instead look at their distinguishing factors in accordance to variables that ultimately affect their perceived value and authority. These factors generally include the age of a website’s domain, its size, its authoritative experience and the number of inbound/outbound links ‘pointing’ to said website.
A high page rank doesn’t come without making an effort to make your site more authoritative. Most webmasters tout high quality content, a well designed website and effective optimization as the ‘trifecta’ of gaining valuable web exposure. Web exposure, in turn, leads to web users finding a website valuable and relevant to their interests. Over time, this interest can snowball and help a website gain a higher Google PageRank.
Gaining website authority and a higher PageRank can take years—in fact, most of the Internet’s most authoritative websites are over ten years old. Webmasters nowadays have plenty of time to make their websites ultimately more authoritative to today’s web-savvy end users.