The most recent surveys are in, and Google has come out on top once again in the search engine wars. Over 66 percent of searches on the internet today are conducted through Google. If you're trying to improve where your results are displayed when people search for law firms on Google, you need to do a Page Rank check for not only your website, but also for web pages belonging to your competitors and to the people who are sending you inbound link traffic. In this guide, we'll explore how to check Page Rank and why you should do so on a regular basis. Keep reading to find out not only how to do a Page Rank check, but also how to improve your PR with the results you get.
What Is Page Rank?
When you do a Page Rank check, you're actually looking at the core of why Google search results were so different from other search engines' results when it was first released. Page Rank is Google's way of deciding how popular a particular web page is, and this popularity index is put into an integer from 0 to 10.
There are very, very few sites with PR of 9 or 10, and many with much lower PR ratings. It takes exponentially more work to get to each new Page Rank level. The higher a web page's PR is when you check Page Rank, the more authority each of its links will confer. A Page Rank check won't tell you exactly how much authority a page can give, though, because the amount of total link juice delivered is divided among all the outbound links on a page.
Understanding your PR through a Page Rank check will help you make solid decisions about your search engine marketing strategies. Now, let's take a look at how to actually check Page Rank.
How Do I Check Page Rank for the First Time?
First, some good news: unlike many other types of analytics, you won't need to insert any code on your website to do a Page Rank check. In fact, you can check Page Rank for not only pages on your own website, but also for any other web pages that you might be interested in analyzing.
Probably the easiest way to do your first Page Rank check is to download Google's free toolbar. This toolbar will simply work in your browser, and allows you to check Page Rank by hovering over the PR icon.
What Page Rank Check Tools Should I Use?
There's a chance that you'll want to check Page Rank with something other than Google's toolbar software. For example, let's say that you want to be able to do a Page Rank check as well as checking a large number of other SEO measures. A toolbar like SEOQuake gives you all the SEO information you need, including a check Page Rank tool, at your fingertips and overlaid on every website you use.
There are also a number of tools for doing a Page Rank check without using any kind of toolbar. Most of these programs are actually built into websites. Just doing a Google search for the kind of thing you want to check will usually give you some of these websites—there are many clones and imitators, because making a program to check Page Rank is so easy. Any of the available tools will have the same accuracy when doing a Page Rank check, so you may want to choose based on the display and other features that matter to you.
Using a Page Rank Check for Pages You Don't Own
If you want to improve your search engine optimization, you should start using tools to check your inbound links. Then, check Page Rank for the web pages that are giving you these links. Why? Because you get the most link juice from high Page Rank links that have high PR values, and you want to know where to try to put your links in order to maximize the return on your link building investments.
You may also want to check up on the Page Rank of your competitors. When you check Page Rank for your closest competition, you can get a good idea of whether they're overall doing better or worse than you at creating search engine optimized content. You can then check their inbound linking with your inbound link checker to find new reseources for building links and staying competitive.
How Often Should I Check Page Rank For My Sites?
While Google's toolbar only infrequently updates Page Rank information for websites, Google is actually monitoring Page Rank dynamically in real time. Generally speaking, you should consider doing a Page Rank audit of all of your existing web pages about once every month. Checking Page Rank more often than this may give you data that jumps around too much without really telling you what your longer term trends are.
What Do Changes to My Page Rank Mean?
If your page has a higher PR than when you last checked it, congratulations—this means that your web pages are becoming more popular and confer more authority. If you're noticing that your Page Rank has slipped by a point, it's possible that you're still getting exactly the same number of links, but that the internet has, in essence, grown bigger around you. Only a certain percentage of websites can have each Page Rank value.
Even if you don't notice an actual change to the integer representing your Page Rank, there's a good chance that the value itself has changed. Google simply rounds Page Rank numbers up or down to get to an integer, but it is always calculating to several decimal places. Keep in mind that just because you don't see motion doesn't mean that it isn't there below the surface.