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Q: My Page Rank ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: My Page Rank
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: golfer1-ga
List Price: $75.00
Posted: 01 Jul 2003 02:58 PDT
Expires: 31 Jul 2003 02:58 PDT
Question ID: 223807
Could someone tell me why Google has given my website: a page rank of 0?  All of my pages have a ranking
of 0.  My site is indexed by Google and does appear in searches.  I
used Hypersubmit, to submit my site to search engines.  If Google
didn't like the use, why has it indexed my website?

My site does appear to be clean, but maybe I've done something wrong. 
Any help would be appreciated.
Subject: Re: My Page Rank
Answered By: larre-ga on 02 Jul 2003 22:56 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for asking!

Google Answers Researchers do not speak officially for the Google
Search Engine, however, I am familiar with the published information
about Google's PageRank, and have a long-time webmaster's
understanding of its practical aspects. I will gladly share my
knowledge with you.

The Google Answers Question/Answer format doesn't lend itself to
saying "Interrupt me if you have a question" but I will be happy to
answer any questions about the material presented through the use of
the Clarification Button.

First, I doubt that Google has penalized you for using HyperSubmit.
regardless of the service level you've selected, multiple search
engine submitters are quite commonly used. I find a few of
HyperSubmit's claims to be exaggerated, particularly in regard to the
individual behaviors of the major search engines, but I can't see
anything in their services which would actively injure your site's
rankings, unless they submit your site to what Google has determined
to be "link farms". Even so, inbound links can't injure your position,
only reciprocal links would be able to accomplish that.

Second, your site appears to be very new. It takes minimum of six
weeks, and often as long as three or four search engine spider cycles
(which are 4-6 week intervals each) after first submissions to search
engines for the effects to show up. The sites that link your own must
be spidered by the Googlebot or the Freshbot before the inbound links
will be counted in your PageRank. Not every updated webpage is
spidered on every single crawl. The spidering schedules of the various
search engines are observed, rather than a constant known in advance.

For additional information on Google Spidering see:

Webmaster World
Googlebot - Deepbot and Freshbot


In its very simplest form, the major portion of the Google PageRank
calculation is merely a tabulated vote for the popularity of your
website by all the voters (other websites) in the Web. Websites "vote"
by linking to other websites.

To properly explain the voting/tabulating process, we need to be using
the same definitions:

Actual PageRank (PR)
The real, actual PageRank for each page, as calculated by Google. The
range is thought to be 0.15 to billions.

Toolbar PageRank (tPR)
The PageRank displayed in the Google browser toolbar. Range is 1 to
10, and is believed to represent a logarithmic scale. The most
familiar logarithmic scale is the Richter Scale, which measures
seismic events. In a similar manner, each number of the Toolbar
PageRank represents a range of values, each successive range many
times greater than the previous one. Example:

     Toolbar PageRank        Real Page Rank
   (with a log base 10)

             0                    0 - 10
             1                  100 - 1,000
             2                1,000 - 10,000
             3               10,000 - 100,000
             4                 and so on...

Inbound and Outbound Links
These are links leading to your website (Inbound links) or from your
website (Outbound links). Inbound links enhance PR, Outbound links
drain it.


Each Inbound link to your website counts as a "vote" of how important
that page is. No link, no vote, however the absence of a link only
counts as an abstention, rather than a vote against. Only positive
votes are used in calculating PageRank.

Though every webpage -has- a PageRank, and if linked to one of your
own, adds to your accumulation, Google only shows inbound links of PR
3 or higher.

Google's Current Link Popularity Snapshot of

Your site, using the Google link: search shown above, turns up one
inbound link, at Linktrader, which appears to be a simple directory.
The page that links your site has a Toolbar PageRank of 5, and
contains approximately 100 outbound links. Every outbound link gives a
portion (0.15 or greater) of its Actual PageRank to the page it
"votes" for. This number is a proportion of its own PageRank, divided
equally among all of the outbound links on the page, in this case, 100
or so. In addition, you have at least six links outbound from your
homepage, which drain away some of your PageRank.

I found additional sites linking your own using AltaVista. These links
have not yet been indexed by Google, which still primarily operates on
a monthly indexing cycle, though this is currently thought to be in
the process of change to a more frequent or continual indexing of new


While Actual PageRank is calculated for each webpage, sometimes the
Google Toolbar -guesses- PageRank. For instance, in a hierarchal site
structure, with homepage PR of 5, the first subset of pages might be
assigned a tPR of 4, the second subset, a tPR of 3, etc., simply based
on the site structure as perceived by the Toolbar, rather than on
Actual PageRank.

Some speculation or guestimation further questions -all- Toolbar
PageRanks of zero, interpreting them as a toolbar quirk, rather than
actual PageRanking.

Counterargument, by Ian Rogers states: "Given that the average of
every page is 1.0 we can see that for every site that has an actual
ranking in the millions (and there are some!) there must be lots and
lots of sites who's Actual PR is below 1.0 (particularly because the
absolute lowest Actual PR available is (1 - d)).

It may be that the Toolbar PR 1,2 correspond to Actual PR's lower than
1.0! E.g. the logbase for the Toolbar may be 10 but the Actual PR
sequence could start quite low: 0.01, 0.1, 1, 10, 100, 1,000 etc..."

IPR Computing - Ian Rogers
Page Rank Explained
The Google Pagerank Algorithm and How It Works

Also, "It has been widely discussed if additional criteria beyond the
link structure of the web have been implemented in the PageRank
algorithm since the scientific work on PageRank has been published by
Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin. Lawrence Page himself outlines the
following potential influencing factors in his patent specifications
for PageRank:

--  Visibility of a link 
--  Position of a link within a document 
--  Distance between web pages 
--  Importance of a linking page 
--  Up-to-dateness of a linking page 

First of all, the implementation of additional criteria in PageRank
would result in a better approximation of human usage regarding the
Random Surfer Model. Considering the visibility of a link and its
position within a document implies that a user does not click on links
completely at haphazard, but rather follows links which are highly and
immediately visible regardless of their anchor text. The other
criteria would give Google more flexibility in determing in how far an
inbound link of a page should be considered important, than the
methods which have been described so far."

Additional Factors Influencing PageRank

It is extremely difficult to determine empirically whether these
factors are indeed a part of the PageRank calculations, however, some
sort of additional factoring would account for variability of Google's
calculation vs. use of the the "straight" PR algorithm as perceived
from the outside to a given page. Almost all of the PageRank
calculations on the Web has been derived from early papers, the patent
application, and reverse engineering. Google keeps the exact details
to themselves.

Linking Strategies

There are various linking strategies that may be employed to raise or
concentrate PageRank. Obviously, inbound links are the key to highest

"From the Brin and Page paper, the average Actual PR of all pages in
the index is 1.0!

So if you add pages to a site you're building the total PR will go up
by 1.0 for each page (but only if you link the pages together so the
equation can work), but the average will remain the same.

If you want to concentrate the PR into one, or a few, pages then
hierarchical linking will do that. If you want to average out the PR
amongst the pages then "fully meshing" the site (lots of evenly
distributed links) will do that..."

"Getting inbound links to your site is the only way to increase your
site's average PR. How that PR is distributed amongst the pages on
your site depends on the details of your internal linking and which of
your pages are linked to."

IPR Computing - Ian Rogers
Page Rank Explained
The Google Pagerank Algorithm and How It Works


To master the art of linking for PageRank, I recommend the following
papers, articles, and tools:

Google's PageRank Explained is Phil Craven's contribution. He explains
the PageRank algorithm in the simplest terms possible, as well as
providing illustrated examples, and a PageRank calculator that offers
the opportunity to determine a close approximation of the PageRank of
any webpage. Note, this page sometimes loads slowly, or requires
several tries before full display. It's worth the effort.

Web Workshop  -- Phil Craven
Google's PageRank Explained and how to make the most of it

Phil Craven’s PageRank Calculator

In Page Rank Explained, Ian Rogers also offers a detailed explanation
of the Google PageRank algorithm, along with illustrated examples. The
examples are accompanied by Perl programs that demonstrate the
iteration of the calculations.

IPR Computing - Ian Rogers
Page Rank Explained
The Google Pagerank Algorithm and How It Works

In A Survey of Google's PageRank, eFactory's Markus Sobek also
deconstructs the PageRank algorithm, offering additional insight into
linking strategy. The secondary links available in the twelve page
article are also highly recommended. Sobek also provides in-depth
discussion of PageRank of Zero (PR0), however, do note that most of
the information given in this section applies primarily to established
sites, rather than new ones.
Google's Page Rank - A Survey (English)

Once you've absorbed the basics of PageRank linking strategies, and
applied them to your website, you'll be well prepared to interact with
other webmasters and search engine optimization specialists in topic
Forums. These forums provide a wealth of information in archived
discussion threads, as well as the opportunity to participate or
follow current discussions of search engine trends and issues.

Webmaster World

Search Engine World

Search Engine Forums at JimWorld 

The following resources are a bit more basic, but I'm sure you'll find
them helpful if you've not run across them previously.

Search Engine Placement Tips 

How To Use HTML Meta Tags 
Search Engine Watch Webmaster Info  
Danny Sullivan's Search Engine Watch is highly reputable and
recommended as a prime source of up-to-date search engine news and
Tips from Google on developing a Google-friendly site: 

Webmasters Help Directory 

Available information includes: 
  Guidelines: :// 
  Facts/Fiction: ://  
  SE Optimization: :// 
  FAQ: ://   
You'll also find Google wisdom and advice at: 
User Support Discussion Forum

Google Dance Information/Updates: (slow to load)


My answer was compiled from site research of, as
shown by Google and other search engines, from my own bookmarks, and
from knowledge of search engine optimization, earned as webmaster and
web developer, working in tandem with SEO specialists on website

If anything I've said is unclear or if you (egads!) discover a broken
link, please let me know. I'll be happy to make it right.

--- larre

Request for Answer Clarification by golfer1-ga on 03 Jul 2003 03:36 PDT
That's certainly alot of information to take in.  Just to clarify, is
my website ranking 0, because it's a new site and not because Google
has marked me down for something?

How long must you wait on average before you get a ranking, if that is
something you can answer?

Finally, do you get marked down, if websites with poor rankings are
linking to your website?

Clarification of Answer by larre-ga on 03 Jul 2003 10:15 PDT
Thanks, golfer1, I'm glad to provide clarification.

I think it most likely that the PageRank of zero is due to the newness
of the site and the known "guessing" quirk of the Google Toolbar. I
could not find any reason or violation of rules that would cause
Google to assign a PR of zero as a penalty.


The "average" wait time for initial PageRank can range from four weeks
to four months, based upon what I've seen in various search engine
forums. The average is probably somewhere close to the middle of that
range, and longer than four months is not unheard of. It depends
almost entirely upon quality or quantity of inbound links. Often,
websites must acquire hundreds of links before their PageRank moves
upward. As new pages are added to the Web, it decreases the value of
the "vote" of every page, so it's an ongoing process to work at
increasing PageRank -in relation- to all the newer pages, as well as
those already available at the time you launched your site.

Also remember that each link must be spidered at one or both ends,
before it is counted in your PR total. Though none of us enjoy this
waiting interval, it pretty much goes with the territory. The launch
phase for the average new website usually involves an interval of six
months to a year. It generally takes that long to become well
established, unless one has a -very- large advertising budget.

An inbound link from a page with a PR of 4, with only a single
outbound link to you on that page, will most likely net you a greater
addition to your own page rank than an inbound link from a page with a
PR of 5 and 50 outbound links. Quality of links, especially within
your own industry, figures prominently in raising your PageRank,
however -lots- of inbound links from many sources will serve the same

For real examples of website models for obtaining PageRank, see
Example 13 (a little more than 3/4 of the way down the page) in Ian
Rogers PageRank Explained. Rogers contrasts link farming vs. the
legitimate techniques employed by BBC and phpBB.

PageRank Explained


No, your site isn't marked down for sites linking to you (inbound
links). These links might be ignored by Google in PageRank
calculations, but Google recognizes that inbound links are not
controlled by the site's webmaster. Phil Craven confirms this

"Not all links are counted by Google. For instance, they filter out
links from known link farms. Some links can cause a site to be
penalized by Google. They rightly figure that webmasters cannot
control which sites link to their sites, but they can control which
sites they link out to. For this reason, links into a site cannot harm
the site, but links from a site can be harmful if they link to
penalized sites. So be careful which sites you link to."

Web Workshop  -- Phil Craven 
Google's PageRank Explained 


I realize I've given you quite a bit of info to sift through,
amounting to nearly a small course in promotion for Google. I'm going
to add one more new resource, because it can introduce you to the
'other side' of new site promotion.

You might take a look at Overture as an addition to your site
promotion strategy. --Not-- necessarily for additional traffic, but
because Overture results are propagated to a number of additional
search engines. A "targeted links from highly ranked pages" strategy.
A look at Bruce Clay's Search Engine Relationship Chart shows how
search results are distributed from both Google and Overture.

Search Engine Relationships - Bruce Clay  

--- larre

Request for Answer Clarification by golfer1-ga on 03 Jul 2003 12:38 PDT
One last question.  Could you give me an example of what you mean by
link farms?  Like a site for example so I know what you mean by saying
Link Farms.


Clarification of Answer by larre-ga on 03 Jul 2003 13:24 PDT
I don't track or bookmark link farm URLs. However, in the context of
another answered question, the following site has been identified by
another of our search engine knowledgeable Researchers as a link farm:

AJ Real Estate

The following search link will provide a small listing of Questions
about other sites in which Researchers have identified particular URLs
as cause for link farm concerns.

To identify a link farm, evaluate the proposed listing using the
following criteria:

"--  The site has no possible connection to your subject matter

--  The page they put your link on isn't linked to FROM any page,
meaning it's floating out there in never-never land and is a ploy to
get you to link to their site.

--  The page where they put your link is on a URL a mile long and
several directories deep so engines will never find it.

--  The page looks like a farmer's field with nicely arranged rows of
links to hundreds of sites which aren't necessarily organized in any
logical manner, but that doesn't matter because someone told them the
link is all that counts.

--  It's a link and a link only. No description. No proof the person
ever actually reviewed the site.

--  They don't seem to know that links leak PageRank in Google, not
the other way around or that the link that does you the most good is
the one that shares space on a page with about 2 other outbound links,
not 3596 other ones.

--  Signs they'll accept anything that shows evidence of being a
"live" link. A true Directory has criteria, frets about the quality of
sites it links to and doesn't have people out begging for links.
Instead the reverse is true, with people begging to be let in.

--  They ask you for a link on your links page, even though you don't
have one.

--  Watch for scams such as sub-domain one-way traffic feeders where
the page your site is linked to isn't part of the main website. Study
the URLS carefully before you decide to accept a link request." - Warning Link Farm Ahead

---INBOUND Links--- are not damaging to your PageRank, as long as
there are no corresponding ---OUTBOUND--- links back to the same site.
Google recognizes that competitors, or just about -anyone- can submit
a URL to a linkfarm. For the most part, you would need to actively
participate in such a scheme by reciprocal linking in order to be
penalized for trying to obtain link popularity in a shady manner. Just
as a precaution, you might take a look at the list of 400 search
engine sites that are listed by HyperSubmit, and compare any you don't
recognize to the criteria above. If you suspect that any such sites
may be linkfarms, make sure that your site does not provide even a
temporary reciprocal link.

--- larre

Clarification of Answer by larre-ga on 03 Jul 2003 13:41 PDT
If you are worried about another site's links to your own, you can
fill out a Google Spam Report, which essentially notifies Google that
you are aware of "suspicious" inbound links, but that you do not
control the inbound linking process. Be sure to give as many details
as possible in each report.

Google Spam Report

--- l
golfer1-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $15.00
Great researcher.  Clarified all my questions promptly and made the
answers easy to understand.  Gave me loads of material to look at and

Subject: Re: My Page Rank
From: larre-ga on 03 Jul 2003 15:26 PDT
Thank you for the rating and the tip. It's been a pleasure to work with you.

Subject: Re: My Page Rank
From: robertskelton-ga on 03 Jul 2003 20:30 PDT
If you submitted your site within the last month or so, it seems to be
just a case of waiting for Google to index your site. Submitting it

:// the only way to be sure they receive your submission. Using a
3rd party to do such a simple task is pointless, for you never know,
your submission might never get to Google.

Regardless of when you submitted to Google, you need to remove any
association you have with:

Both are link farms and you run a strong risk of penalty or removal
from Google's index when they notice the links.

Subject: Re: My Page Rank
From: golfer1-ga on 04 Jul 2003 03:22 PDT
Thanks for the advice Rob, I've removed them from my site.

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