What Is Google Page Rank? How is Page Rank Calculated?

Many people think Page Rank is simply where their website ranks in the search engines. Google Page Rank would then mean where they rank in Google. For example, if I had a Google Page Rank of 5, that would mean that I ranked #5 in Google for my keyword.

This is completely wrong… Google Page Rank has nothing to do with where you are ranked in Google for your specific keyword or keyword phrase.

What is Google Page Rank?

Google Page Rank is simply Google’s way of displaying how important a web page is. Google assumes that when 1 web page links to another web page, it’s actually “casting a vote” for the web page. The more votes you have for your web page, the more important your web page will be.

Google also takes into account the importance of other website’s pages linking to your own web page. If many web pages link to the website’s webpage linking to you (i.e. They have a lot of “votes”) then their vote will be of more importance and will increase your Page Rank more.See images below for a visual representation of what I mean.

In the pictures below, Site A will pass more Page Rank to your website because more websites are linking (voting) for them.



Site A has 4 votes (links), therefor Site A is more important than site B which only has 2 votes (links).

For example, let’s say that a town was voting on whether or not they wanted to pass a certain law. There were 3 parties voting.

  • The Leader (Ruler)
  • The Council
  • The Citizens

Now, whose vote would count for more? I would guess that the Leader’s vote would count for much more than both the council and the citizens. The leader is obviously more important that both of the others. The council and the citizens’ votes would still count for something, but just not as much as the Leader’s vote.

Page Rank works in a similar way. A link or “vote” from those pages that are more important will increase your page rank and “count for more” than those pages that aren’t as important. Remember, in order to tell how important a web page is, simply count the number of pages linking (voting) to that page, AND also the importance of those pages voting for that page.

Make sense?

How is Page Rank Calculated?

Ok, now let’s talk about “almost” EXACTLY how page rank is calculated. Over 99% of the webmasters on the internet do not understand how Page Rank(PR) is calculated. I’m going to refer to Page Rank as PR throughout the rest of this lesson, for the sake of not having to type it over and over.

So, why does it matter how PR is calculated?

It matters because you can use this knowledge to actually funnel PR throughout your website and give different pages on your site a higher PR. The higher your PR is, the higher your web page will rank in Google.

Here is the Google Page Rank Formula, and I’m warning you… This might get a little nerdy, but bear with me. I’ll make everything very understandable.

Page Rank Formula

0.15 + (0.85 × (a “share” of the PR of every web page that links to it) ) = Your Webpage’s PR 


0.15 = The lowest PR a web page could ever possibly have.

0.85 = A dampening factor… This is just the number that Google uses for their PR formula. 1

“share” = the PR of the page linking to you divided by the total number of links on that page.


Now, let’s look at a quick example.

Say we’ve created our website and it has 3 pages in total. For sake of making the math easy, we’ll start each web page with a page rank of 1.

  • Page A 
  • Page B
  • Page C



None of the pages link to each other. They’re just pure content web pages with no links to any other pages within our website. Let’s quickly calculate the PR of our pages by using the formula above.

 0.15+ (0.85 *0) = 0.15

Because no webpages link to our pages, there is no “share of PR”… hence it is 0.

So… If we do the math, we come up with a PR of .15 for each of our pages. Not very good huh?

Now, let’s see what happens if we link to page A to page B.



Using our formula we get:

PAGE A : 0.15 + (0.85*0) = 0.15

PAGE B: 0.15 + (0.85*(1/1)) = 1

PAGE C :  0.15 + (0.85*0) = 0.15

You can see that by just linking page A to page B, we’ve changed the PR of page B from .15 all the way up to 1. Big difference!

With our newly calculated Page Ranks for all of our pages, let’s do the calculation again. By doing so, we’ll slowly get to the “true page rank” of all of our pages… The more iterations we do, the more gradual the change will be between each iteration.

PAGE A : 0.15 + (0.85*0) = 0.15

PAGE B: 0.15 + (0.85*(15/1)) = 0.2775

PAGE C :  0.15 + (0.85*0) = 0.15

You can see that after another iteration of our formula, the PR of page B dropped significantly… This number is closer to the actual Page Rank that Google would give page B.

Note: You can keep going through the formula and you’ll notice that the change will be smaller after each iteration…

Now, let’s try something different and link all pages to and from one another…



PAGE A : 0.15 + (0.85*(1/2)) = 0.575

PAGE B: 0.15 + (0.85*(1/2)) = 0.575

PAGE C :0.15 + (0.85*(1/2)) = 0.575

After 1 iteration the Page Rank of all pages is .575.

So, by linking ALL pages together we have maximized the page rank from within our website!

You can play around with your linking throughout your website and by doing so, you can send more PR to pages you want to rank higher for, and lowering the PR of those pages you don’t care much about their ranking 🙂

This can be extremely powerful.

Remember that in the Page Rank formula:

0.15 + (0.85 × (a “share” of the PR of every web page that links to it) = Your Webpage’s PR 


The “share of PR of every web page that links to it” is calculated by taking the current Page Rank of the web page and dividing it by the total number of links on the page…

So, by removing ALL unnecessary links on a page, you will be able to pass more Page Rank to the other pages that you link to… Why is this important? Remember, the higher the Page Rank a page has, the better it will rank.

So, what are unnecessary links? Unnecessary links could be when you link to another website (link partner) and they don’t link back to you. By linking out to a “link partner”, you’re giving them a percentage of your Page Rank that you could be passing to other pages within YOUR website. If this “link partner” isn’t linking back to your website, there is no need to ever link to them. You’re just hurting your ranking by doing so!

I have seen websites move up hundreds of positions by simply looking at their links pages and making sure that their link partners are all linking back. If they’re not, then you should ALWAYS remove them from your links page. In doing so, you are guaranteed to benefit from this.

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