There are two big pieces of the puzzle when search engines try to calculate your page rank and determine where to place your site in the rankings; those two pieces of the greatest puzzle involving online success are Popularity and Relevance.
Relevance is quite easy to determine according to search engines, which you might know as looking for keyword density, but don’t overdo it, keep reading. Once a query is placed, the search engine will go over your site looking for repetition of the key phrase used in the body of the text, headlines and subheadings, thus calculating the relevance of the query.
Popularity is what you might call off page linking. To put it simply when another person links to your site with an anchor text or even a description, article or blog, that person gives a vote of popularity to your website, which is looked upon favorably by the search engines.
Calculating Page Rank
So it boils down to link analysis and content analysis. Link analysis shows which site is linking to your site; it also shows what that site has to say about your site, which is a very important part. There are sites that search engines prefer and consider as authority, link from a site like that is worth a fortune, of course we are talking about .gov .edu sites.
Content analysis search and show if the important keyword phrase is placed in the important parts of the document, title, meta, body. There is also a very complicated algorithm that tries to measure the quality of the content. Once these two pieces of puzzle are put together search engine will calculate your standings in the overall search and place you in an appropriate place on the results page. The higher your popularity and relevance are in the eyes of the search engine, the higher will your ranking be on the result page, and we all want to rank high.
When search engines try to figure out the quality of your website they tend to focus on two things, what your site is saying about itself and what other sites are saying about your site. The first one is shadowed due to overuse of keywords, but that is almost in the past as search engines have new and more powerful algorithms. Search engines will first see what your site is saying about itself, all in all it will check the relevance and density of your keywords in all of the important parts we mentioned earlier.
But then comes the part when search engines check what other websites are saying about your site. What it all comes down to is that if there are thousands of sites linking to your site, search engines will see it as popular, but it all depends on what sites link to you and what they are saying about your site. Links from high PR sites have more value than a low PR as we already said, and some sites are even blacklisted as link farms and may negatively influence your rating. So caution when gathering links is highly advised.
The most important part is not just the site that links to you, but the fact that search engines will try to evaluate the worth of the link itself, here is how that works.
The first thing search engines look when evaluating link value is the anchor text. For example, if someone links to my site with anchor text Practical SEO, search engines will automatically recognize that as a relevant link and they will add value to it. But if there are several links to my site with a keyword that I do not wish to rank for, like SEO Exposed, search engine will rank me for that keyword, because there are multiple sites that say my site is relevant for that keyword.
Next in evaluating link value is the rank of the site that provides the link. A site that has thousands of links pointing to it is a perfect place to get a link from, while on the other hand a site with a few links pointing to it has little meaning as it’s not present on the web.
After that search engines go to the relevance of the site that provides a link, if the site providing the link to your site is in the same niche, same topic, the link will have a bigger value. If the site is on some other niche that has nothing to do with your site the link will hardly get any value. So another thing to look out for is where you place your link, choosing a site related to SEO is a great place to ask a link from for Practical SEO, while asking a link from Weight Loss niche website is more of a waste of time.
Place of the link is also very important in evaluating link value, we all know that a link from the title is great, but most of the times a link from an article can have a greater value. That is because of the relevance of the text that surrounds it.
That is basically everything about calculating page rank, popularity and relevance and evaluating link value, next stop for you on Practical SEO is Keyword Tutorial.