Have you ever wondered how Google search works? How and why certain links are on the first page instead of the second or the third?
If you’re curious, the answer is PageRank.
PageRank is essentially an algorithm, and was developed in 1996 when Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford. At that time, search engines typically linked to pages that had the highest keyword density, which meant people could exploit the system by repeating the same phrase over and over to attract higher search page results. Page and Brin decided that was a no-go and developed PageRank as a solution to that problem.
PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.
There are a couple of websites out there, such as PageRank Checker, that can help you determine your website’s PageRank.
But PageRank isn’t entirely bulletproof; smart alecks have all the same managed to game the system. A good example is Google bombing. Google bombing involves linking to a site by a key phrase and artificially elevating a website in the Google search results for that particular phrase.
Apparently, the most infamous Google bombing incident involved the phrase “miserable failure” and a certain former U.S. president called – no points for getting this right – George Bush. For a period of time in 2003, the link to Bush’s White House biography was the first search result for “miserable failure” on Google search. Haha!
To wrap things up, your life would basically suck without PageRank.
And that’s all for now, folks! I hope you’ve gained a little more insight into what goes behind the works of our indispensable search engine. Until next time!