Search engine optimization is an extremely important aspect of virtually every digital marketing strategy. SEO is used to generate more traffic, can boost PPC campaigns, works in tandem with social media, and brings in highly optimized ready-to-convert visitors that leads to more sales. But that doesn’t mean it is easy or can’t be confusing.
Getting into the intricacies of SEO can be difficult, especially with all of the different terminology that gets thrown around on a daily basis. Not only are these terms hard to keep track of in the first place, they are constantly evolving so the use of a term today may not be the same as what it is used for next year.
One common example is Page Rank and Domain Rank. These terms are often used, but often confused. Here is what you need to know about the two and how they differ:
What Is Page Rank?
Page Rank (typically written as PageRank) is actually a system developed by Google’s Larry Page as a way of ranking websites based on how many links point from one website to another. PageRank was a very measurable, easy to understand system that ranked websites.
While there have always been multiple factors that determine where a website ranks in Google, PageRank was one of the most important for a very long time. That is, until people figured out how it worked and how to game the system. By artificially generating links from pages with a high Page Rank score, websites were overinflating their own PageRank to outrank their competition.
Because of that, Google has slowly been devaluing the importance of Page Rank in the last few years. In fact, Page Rank data that used to be updated publicly every few months is rarely updated now. While it still has some value (very little compared to the past) in the overall ranking algorithms Google uses today, the public PageRank score of a website is a very weak metric by today’s SEO standards.
What Is Domain Rank?
Domain Rank is a term that sometimes gets thrown around under a variety of different circumstances. In some cases, when people say Domain Rank they are referring to the Page Rank of a website’s main domain. While Page Rank can different on every single page of a website (your landing page may have a PageRank of 6 while one of your blog posts may only have a PageRank of 3), in this sense Domain Rank is only the Page Rank of the base domain of your website, making it an even weaker metric to gauge your website’s performance.
On the other hand, some people use the term Domain Rank when they mean Domain Authority. In this case, Domain Authority is much different than PageRank and considered to be a much more valuable measure of a website’s value in the eyes of search engines.
What Is Domain Authority?
While PageRank was created by Google itself, Domain Authority is a type of metric that was created by one of the leading SEO marketing resources, Moz.com. Unlike PageRank that was originally a simple measure of how many inbound links a website had, Domain Authority is a measure that includes a wide range of criteria. Some of these include:
- The amount of links coming into a site, and their quality.
- The amount of links linking out to other sites.
- The number of domains that are registered to the same person.
- How long you have owned the domain.
- The types of links coming in from various sources (such as social media).
- And more, including traffic data, broken links, website uptime, speed, etc.
In fact, Domain Authority actually includes Page Rank as a portion of their metric when determining a website’s value. So in the end PageRank refers to a rank given by Google itself to every individual page on a website. Domain Rank may refer to the Page Rank of a website’s domain (www.yourwebsite.com) or may refer to Domain Authority, a metric created by Moz that utilizes a wide range of criteria to determine a website’s authority.
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