Back in Google’s very early days, Larry Page developed an algorithm with fellow Google co-founder Sergey Brin. It was dubbed PageRank (which ended up being a wonderful name because it is a metric that measure web pages) and became a key metric for how Google ranked pages in its search results.
Despite such rich beginnings, PageRank is now considered by many SEOs to be a less meaningful metric that too many people focus on for all the wrong reasons. As Google has shaped and refined its algorithm over the years to include hundreds of different factors, PageRank just isn’t as important as it used to be, but it still has some interesting value to SEO.
As you may know, the formula for calculating a PageRank is based on linking. Essentially, every page in Google’s index receives a PageRank, based on the number of websites linking to it and the relative quality of these links. Scores come in a logarithmic scale from 0-10, with 10 being the highest and most elusive PageRank (not even google.com ranks at 10).
When Google assigns a PageRank to a site, it’s assigning a level of importance. Pages that look important get crawled and re-indexed more frequently than others. Getting your content crawled at a higher rate means that it can be ranked by search engines more quickly — which can give you a leg up on the competition.
PageRank is also a good indicator if your site is having a problem. If your site is being exploited by hackers or if you are engaging in unscrupulous SEO, Google is likely to warn you by dropping your PageRank before dropping your ranking in searches.
Although PageRank is not the be all end all of SEO anymore, it is still a useful indicator for certain aspects of your site.