Google recently announced that the PageRank toolbar won’t be updated anymore. Does this mean that Google won’t use PageRank as a ranking factor anymore? A Google patent that was granted in September indicates that Google might use some kind of PageRank 2.0 to rank pages.
New methods that Google uses to rank web pages
Google’s new patent with the name “Onsite and offsite search ranking results” lists several on-site and off-site factors that Google might use to rank web pages. This could be something like PageRank 2.0.
1. On-site data that Google might use
On-site data is data that can be retrieved from the analyzed web page and the complete website. According to the patent, Google might consider this information:
- The frequency of the searched keyword on the web page or website.
- The location of the searched keyword on the page.
- The placement of the web page in the structure of the web site. For example, the home page might be regarded as more important than a page the requires several clicks before it can be viewed.
- How often a web page is linked from other pages of the same website.
How to analyze on-site data:
According to the patent, on-site data is important for Google’s ranking algorithm. SEOprofiler offers two tools that help you with on-site optimization: the website audit tool analyzes the contents of your web pages.
For example, you will see how many clicks each page is away from the home page, you will see errors that can keep search engine robots away, etc.
The Top 10 Optimizer analyzes the contents of individual web pages. The frequency of the keywords is checked as well as the location, the different web page elements, the links, etc.
2. Off-site data that Google might use
In addition to on-site data, Google also uses off-site data to determine the position of a website. Off-site data refers to ranking signals that can be identified without accessing the web page:
- The number of links to a page or website from other websites.
- The number of times a web page has been clicked in the search results for a particular keyword.
- Other statistical data about the relevance of a site.
- Topical relevance to other sites: if many sites that are relevant to the keyword link to the same site, the linked site becomes more relevant.
- Authoritative relevance to other site: the number of links to the site can indicate a high authority of the site. Websites with a high level of authority could be trusted more.
- Web pages that have links from websites with high authority get a higher authority than websites that are linked from sites with less authority.
- According to the patent, websites with a higher number of links get a higher authority.
How to analyze off-site data:
The Link Profiler tool in SEOprofiler gives you a detailed overview of the backlinks that point to a website. You can sort the links by category, context, quality and keyword.
The link disinfection tool in SEOprofiler shows you the links that can have a negative influence and the hub finder tool helps you to get links from authority websites.
The same website might have more than one page that is relevant to a keyword. In that case, Google might use a combination of on-site data and off-site data to find the most relevant page of the website.
Author: Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach