Understanding Google page ranking is critical for any search engine optimization work at a law firm. Knowing how to check Google Page Rank and what a PR value actually means can make your job much easier when it comes time to decide on marketing plans. You'll find out how to check your Google Page Rank, and how to use your knowledge of Google page ranking to your advantage. One of the best parts of Google page ranking is that these ranks are publicly available—you'll also learn about using a Google Page Rank checker on your competition.
Why Should I Check My Google Page Rank?
Is using a Google Page Rank checker overkill? Some people certainly think so. Google itself has gone on record saying that Page Rank is no longer really all that important. This is something of a misrepresentation.
While Google has maintained for some time that search engine results do not depend on Page Rank, scientific studies involving linear programming for many variables showed that in fact, your Google page ranking is the #1 most correlated factor with where your results are displayed in searches. This means that it's absolutely critical to check your Google Page Rank, at least periodically.
You should also check the Google page ranking for your competitors in your market. It's a good thing to know what you're up against and how far you'll need to raise your PR to be truly competitive with their search engine rankings.
Google Page Rank Checker Software: Google Toolbar
The tool that most people start with to check Google Page Rank is the Google Toolbar. Because this toolbar is created by Google, you can expect a user friendly interface and excellent support and tutorials. Using the Google toolbar as a Google Page Rank checker is actually incredibly easy. All you need to do is hover your mouse over the Page Rank part of the toolbar, and you'll find out the Google page ranking of the page that you're currently on.
Of course, this may not be exactly what you're looking for in terms of functionality. You may want to check Google Page Rank for several different pages, and using this Google Page Rank checker won't do that. You may also want to compare the Google page ranking of your pages and your competitors' pages. The toolbar isn't the Google Page Rank checker you need for these more heavy-duty tasks—it's more of an introduction to checking your Google page ranking.
Google Page Rank Checker Software: Other Toolbars
If you need a more robust tool to check Google Page Rank on many different websites, you should consider a toolbar that offers extensive SEO data. Currently, no other toolbar offers quite as much information in a relatively easy to understand format as SEOQuake. In addition to letting you know the Google page ranking of every website you search for, SEOQuake can tell you Alexa ratings and many other important details about a website's popularity levels.
Google Page Rank Checker Software: Non-Toolbar Solutions
If you don't want to have a toolbar taking up your screen real estate while you surf the web, there are other ways to check your Google Page Rank. For example, let's say that you want to find out the Google page ranking of every different page on your website. If this is the case, you should consider installing a Google Page Rank checker tool on your site. Many different websites offer tiny variations on this theme, and which variation you prefer is largely a matter of personal taste and aesthetic preferences.
Check the Google Page Rank of Inbound Links
For a long time, the Google page ranking of the inbound links you built didn't actually matter very much. Today, you should check your Google Page Rank first, but then you should turn your Google Page Rank checker on the pages where your inbound links are coming from. Why? There are two reasons.
First of all, Google actually bases your popularity and your search rankings on the overall link authority given to you by your links. If you check the Google Page Rank of those links, you'll find that your “link juice” from each one depends on the page's Page Rank as well as the number of outbound links on the page. For example, even a web page with a Page Rank of 8 (extremely high) would give very little link juice if it had 10,000 links on it.
Second, if you have too many inbound links coming from very low Page Rank sites, you could actually find your inbound links becoming valueless. Google sees this as a sign of trying to game the system, often with automated link building, and your site could crash and burn in the rankings if you don't check the Google Page Rank of the websites you're using to build your inbound links.
Increasing Your Google Page Ranking
After you check your Google Page Rank, you may be disappointed in the results, especially compared to your larger competitors. Remember, though, everyone had to start from somewhere. If you want to increase your Google page ranking, you're going to need to start creating original content. Original content is recognized as such by Google and is ranked higher in quality. It's also more likely to get you quality backlinks.
Avoid trying to change your Google Page Rank through automated systems and “get PageRank fast” methods. Often, these are scams or things that will work only in the very short term, but at great potential cost to your website in the long term. Professionals like lawyers can't take chances with their reputations—it's better to have a more conservative strategy for link building that offers a better chance of lasting results.
It's also important to keep in mind that page rank simply isn't everything. If you're still building quality inbound links and are able to build referral traffic through social networks, you may be able to do successful internet marketing even without increasing your Page Rank. As you enhance your other marketing campaigns, your Page Rank will often go up even if you don't try to make it do so.