Google Page Rankings... How it works

Google Rankings DemystifiedGoogle page rank - SEO - Search Engine Optimization

With search engine optimization or “SEO” the gold standard is you Google page rank. Everyone is shooting for #1. And most websites, even with great SEO don’t get there. So what does a less than perfect page ranking mean to your website.

First you have to consider your keywords, the words that you want people to type into Google to find your website. Often you see SEO firms touting “guaranteed #1 ranking”. Sure… for a specific company name or very obscure keywords. It’s nice ego boost to rank first for “John’s discount travel to Timbuktu” but how many people are actually typing that in? Far more impressive is #6 for “travel agency Vancouver”.

Assuming that you are working with keywords that someone would realistically type into Google in a search for a site like yours, here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Ignore the paid ads. Most likely the first few results (with a very faint pink background) are paid advertising. These sites have participated in an auction for those spots and spend between a few cents to over $20 for each click.

  2. Mostly ignore the directories. For many searches you are likely to see a YellowPages link, Yelp, Angie’s List, BBB, and other directories. Generally these don’t “count”. If a potential visitor is savvy enough to use a Google search they are likely able to use these directories as well and would have if they wanted to search in that manner. (The exception is industry specific directories. These are your competition.)

  3. Google Local beats you… even if it isn’t SEO. Google Local is a service that any business can sign up for. The result is a company listing next to a city map and a pin marking your location. It is integral that you register for this, especially if your clients or visitors are local and your competitors are listed.

Your final page rank. Ignoring the paid ads and general directories,(and assuming that you to are listed in the Google Local section if applicable) how many competitors are above your own Google listing? That is your real page rank for a reasonable keyword.