Hi David ~
I can see you're aware that search engines return PAGES (not sites) in
response to a searcher's query, and that individual pages inside a
site can have a different PageRank than the "main" page.
Google explains its PageRank in "PageRank Technology",
"PageRank performs an objective measurement of the
importance of web pages by solving an equation of
more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms.
Instead of counting direct links, PageRank inter-
prets a link from Page A to Page B as a vote for
Page B by Page A. PageRank then assesses a page's
importance by the number of votes it receives.
PageRank also considers the importance of each page
that casts a vote, as votes from some pages are
considered to have greater value, thus giving the
linked page greater value. Important pages receive
a higher PageRank and appear at the top of the
search results. Google's technology uses the
collective intelligence of the web to determine a
page's importance. There is no human involvement or
manipulation of results, which is why users have
come to trust Google as a source of objective
information untainted by paid placement."
Simply put, if you had a lot of pages with a PageRank of 7 or 8 or
even higher linked to your pages, it would help boost their own
PageRank. Notice I said "pages", not your "site" - as Google delivers
relevant pages and not necessarily a 'site' in return to a searcher's
A quick look at your own listing in Google, by entering your URL in
Google's search box, returns the following,
"Find a Lawyer or Toronto Lawyer on LawyerShop
- Canada's Online ...
Ask Jenny Got a legal question or concern? Click
Here, Find a Lawyer or Toronto Lawyer on LawyerShop
- Canada's Online Lawyer Directory. Are you a lawyer? ...
Google can show you the following information for this URL:
* Show Google's cache of www.lawyershop.ca
* Find web pages that are similar to www.lawyershop.ca
* Find web pages that link to www.lawyershop.ca
* Find web pages that contain the term "www.lawyershop.ca" "
When I click on "Find web pages that link to www.lawyershop.ca", it
returns "about 4" results.
However, when I click on "Find web pages that contain the term
"www.lawyershop.ca"", I get "about 13,700" results.
A look shows that most of your pages have been indexed and are
included as a part of those 13,700 results. Obviously, Google has had
no trouble indexing your site, so you can put that concern to rest.
So to answer your question, and knowing that Google returns PAGES, not
necessarily the entire site in response to a searcher's query, the
best way to attain your goal of both raising individual pages'
PageRank and your site's PageRank is to establish a lot more links
from higher ranking relevant sites to your individual pages and/or
your own site.
As noted above, Google's PageRank is based in part on the number of
pages which link to your site and pages within your site.
Articles on Link Popularity
Some excellent articles on how to establish the right kind of links
are available in Traffick's "Ten Steps to Building Links to Your
Site", Craig Fifield - 5/3/2002
Search Engine Watch's "Google PageRank Lunacy" by Mike Grehan, March, 2004,
and his "Link Equity Explained", available in PDF,
"Link Building Is Important", which discusses link building from A to
Z and also provides a good reference page with linking resources.
The information contained in the above articles offer suggestions
which can be easily adapted for use on any website without resorting
to link farms. The differences in "good links" and those which may be
harmful are discussed, and the articles offer simple ways to get
started to the kind of linking search engines prefer.
The one thing you want to avoid is being considered a "link farm"
yourself. You sort of walk a fine line, inasmuch as your site is sort
of a combination "directory" and "search engine" itself.
Off the top of my head, I can see where you might meet with some
resistance from a firm in Alberta wanting to link to a page with other
firms in Alberta; however, it wouldn't be unreasonable for them to
link from their site to your page for a firm in another location,
easily enough without hurting either their own listing, and not
reducing your own site to nothing more than a link farm.
It is something worth considering, anyway.
If you are looking to increase PageRank in an effort to increase your
ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs), that is another matter
You may have noticed during your various searches that sometimes the
results are smaller sites with only a few links to them, and which
only have a PageRank of 3 or maybe less itself.
This is because Google is dedicated to bringing the most RELEVANT
results in response to a searcher's query. There are attempts by some
to "game" or "spam" the system, and sometimes they're successful - for
a while. But Google and the other search engines are constantly
tweaking their algorithms in their endeavor to bring the most relevant
pages in response to those queries.
There may be times, too, where a tweak or change produces results that
are not the optimum response. Those are usually fixed pretty fast in
the ongoing tweak of algorithms. With over 6 billion pages indexed, it
takes time to weed out the nonsense and bring the "cream" to the top.
Your own site is in the unenviable position of being a directory of
lawyers in Canada. The question becomes is a directory the most
relevant site in answer to a searcher's query for (as an example)
Canada lawyers? The simple truth is "probably not".
It would be more relevant for a search "Canada lawyer directory" or
something similar. Would your page for Consumer Protection lawyers in
Calgary be more relevant for a search for "Calgary Consumer Protection
lawyer" - probably yes to that page.
As a matter of fact, it does come up first of "about 14,900" for the
term "Calgary Consumer Protection lawyer",
And that's with a page rank of 0!
PageRank is but one of thousands of considerations that make up where
you place for certain search terms. So don't be too discouraged if
your inner pages have a PageRank of 0. You can improve that with
relevant links TO those individual pages, and that will take time to
build, but it can work.
Chasing PageRank, though, if often like shooting at a moving target.
Since the algorithms change, so can the requirements for PageRank -
and even PageRank's importance in SERPs placement. That's something
you should keep in mind.
Important Google Links For Your Reference
No doubt you are aware of these, but I am including important links
from Google's site. This information will help you understand Google's
goals and responsibility to the web searcher (and not the webmaster or
Webmasters who do follow the guidelines and avoid Google's "Thou shalt
nots" usually have no problem getting listed and showing up under the
search terms they desire.
* Google Today (absolutely the best information you
can read about the "how and why" of Google's results
* How Do I Get My Site Listed on Google?
* My Web Pages Are Not Currently Listed (a good 'primer'
on how and why Google works so well)
* PageRank Information (covers both Google's PageRank and
* Webmaster Guidelines (contains both the dos and don'ts)
* Google Facts & Fiction (can you buy your way to a
high ranking in Google?)
* Search Engine Optimizers (some good advice on what to look
for if you're going to hire a Search Engine Optimizer)
* Frequently Asked Questions (pretty much what it says, but
definitely worth wading through)
* Remove Content from Google's Index (just in case you feel
a burning need to start all over again)
Other Sources of Information
There is also good information from many of the top search engine
optimization experts, such as
* Detlev Johnson, Search Engine Guide
* Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Watch
* Jill Whalen, High Rankings
* Shari Thurow, Web Pro News (and quoted all over the Internet)
who all have columns or newsletters to which you can subscribe and
keep abreast of the best way to use good content for better
positioning in search engine results.
In addition, Webmaster World - http://www.webmasterworld.com/ - has
discussion boards on most of the search engines. While some of the
discussions are anecdotal and/or questions for information, there is
usually enough discussion to keep abreast of what seems to be
There is an entire section devoted to Google at:
It never hurts to keep track of the discussions; but remember, trying
to optimize for search engines only is like trying to hit a moving
target. You'll notice among the more experienced contributors to the
discussions - plus the SEO experts listed above - that there really is
no substitute for content, relevant links and good HTML.
Search terms used ~
Besides those specific searches as listed above, I relied on
information and resources used in the regular course of business.
I hope this both answers your question about PageRank for your "inside
pages" as well as gives you an overall idea on PageRank's part in
overall search engine SERPs.
Best of luck to you,
Google Answers Researcher