Dennis Benjak



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PageRank is a Google algorithm that analyzes and weights the linking structure of a web page.


PageRank is a method that allows the evaluation of websites around the world, based on a specially developed algorithm. In particular, it takes into account incoming links on the respective target page. The process got its name from the two Google founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin.

The following basic principle underlies this: The more high-quality links point to a website, the higher the PageRank of this page . And the higher the PageRank, the more important the website is classified. However, this says nothing about the content quality of a website.


They developed the calculation process while still students at the world-renowned Stanford University and patented it in 1997.

The name is originally based on the name of Larry Page. A year after patenting in 1997, Page and Brin published the corresponding algorithm. The method is based on a theory from sociometry. This is a method from the complex field of empirical social research.

As early as 1949, scientists used a similar mathematical approach to explain, for example, the status of a person or a thing. Google’s founders drew on the ideas of that time and adapted the algorithm to the modern realities of the digital age that each of us now deals with on a daily basis.

Function of the PageRank algorithm

The PageRank algorithm rates a published web page based on inbound links to determine the importance of a page. Basically, the procedure serves the search engine optimization.

The core of the invention is that the algorithm determines a rating factor based on the deposited linking structure. Both the URL and the actual content of a page do not play a major role in this context.

Internal and external links are also not taken into account. Meanwhile, more and more evaluation factors are incorporated into the algorithm to determine the relevance of a website. As a result, this algorithm itself now has much less influence on the rating than it did at the time of its invention.

Relevance for SEO

Google already announced some time ago that the PageRank algorithm now only plays a “very small role”. As the former basis for determining search results, the algorithm has to admit defeat to an Internet technology that has become much more complex.

The US search engine company also recognized the signs of the times and combined the process with numerous other influencing factors. Today, the focus is on the experiences of users of a website, among other things.

Due to numerous manipulative methods – for example Black Hat SEO – that were supposed to influence the algorithm, Google looked around for alternatives.

Although the link exchanges of the time don’t work the same way today, it’s wrong to say that the process is no longer relevant. With current SEO measures, only other focuses prevail for the ranking of an internet site.

PageRank is an important metric not only for evaluating websites on the World Wide Web, but also for prioritizing landing pages on websites. By calculating the internal PageRank you can see if the pages with the highest priority also have corresponding links.


Nowadays, PageRank no longer has the form it had in the beginning, as many new algorithms have been added, such as TrustRank . Nevertheless, the PageRank algorithm was the foundation of the time.

The Hummingbird algorithm used today incorporates PageRank.


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