In the simplest terms, PageRank™ is a link analysis algorithm used by the Google search engine to measure the importance and relevance of a web page by the external links that point to it. Regarded as a kind of “voting” system, a web page with a high PageRank™ that points to a relevant web page at another site is in effect casting a “vote.” PageRank™ is therefore determined by both the quality and quantity of inbound links pointing to a particular web page.
For example, let’s say a particular web page is selling a weight loss supplement. Pointing to that web page are a number of relevant information sites frequented by readers interested in learning more about weight loss supplements, such as medical information sites, blogs about weight loss, weight loss groups, directories that list weight loss supplement suppliers, news articles, and so forth. These inbound links, already regarded by Google as quality because they have a high PageRank™, are indicating to Google that they regard the web page they are pointing to as important to this topic. The result is Google associates a high PageRank™ to the weight loss supplement page too.
PageRank™ represents an aspect of Google’s overall ranking algorithm. In a comprehensive search engine optimization campaign it is a good idea to acquire inbound links, also called backlinks, from relevant web pages with a high PageRank™ to point to your web pages. Inbound Linking campaigns are time consuming and require skilled dedication in order to avoid potentially harmful inbound links that impede ranking potential or worse yet get the web page excluded from the search engine for violating its policies.