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      Improve your site's PageRank with contextual back-links

      Published on Dec 10, 2007 by Jon Payne

      I've briefly touched on this in my previous article on Link Popularity. To reiterate, link popularity is used by many search engines to calculate the importance of a particular web page, and therefore that page’s rankings in the search results. And when I talk about back-links I mean those links from other websites that link back to your web site.

      Since it’s by far and away the market leader, we’ll concentrate on Google’s PageRank system (go to this site to find out your site’s PageRank if you don’t already know it), to get a handle on your website’s link popularity.
      This diagram hopefully gives an idea of how PageRank calculates the popularity of your web pages.

      In the diagram above, Mathematical PageRanks (out of 100) for a simple network (PageRanks reported by Google are rescaled logarithmically). Page C has a higher PageRank than Page E, even though it has fewer links to it: the link it has is much higher valued. A web surfer who chooses a random link on every page (but with 15% likelihood jumps to a random page on the whole web) is going to be on Page E for 8.1% of the time. (The 15% likelihood of jumping to an arbitrary page corresponds to a damping factor of 85%.) Without damping, all web surfers would eventually end up on Pages A, B, or C, and all other pages would have PageRank zero. Page A is assumed to link to all pages in the web, because it has no outgoing links. (Thanks Wikipedia)

      So, it’s important to remember that PageRank is Page to Page, not site to site.

      Getting your PageRank improved then, is a matter of getting more back-links to your web pages from more sources each with a high PageRank.

      There is an additional (and possibly more important) way to boost your PageRank. Include your most important keywords in the anchor text of the back-link. The anchor text is the text which the visitor would click to follow the link... For example in this link: www.bbc.co.uk the anchor text is www.bbc.co.uk , but in this one: News and information the anchor text is news and information. Both links point to the same page, but the second example will boost the landing page’s relevance for the keywords news and information.

      So utilise this knowledge about anchor text to boost to place well for your chosen keywords. The best way to take advantage of this is to request that your keywords are placed in your back-link anchor instead of your domain name.

      Here’s the code you need, just fill in the relevant bits about your web page:
      <a href="http://www.mydomain.com/" title="keyword">Keyword</a>

      There’s a lot to take in, so if you need more help call Noisy Little Monkey

      Jon Payne

      Founder and Technical Director of Noisy Little Monkey, Jon blogs about SEO and digital marketing strategy.

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