Ian Lurie // Sep 27 2010
Whenever I try to explain the concept of true Pagerank – not the fake number you see in the Google Toolbar – I find myself going into all sorts of metaphorical gymnastics. PageRank is like a tree… no, it’s like a fountain… no, wait, an electrical grid… or is it a squid…?
At long last, I’ve hit on a metaphor that works. It requires pipe, water, and some goldfish.
Stay with me…
Imagine your website is a pipe, carrying water from the bucket that is your home page to some happy goldfish that are at the bottom. PageRank is the water in the pipe.
Your home page concentrates most of the PageRank (water) because it typically gets the most links.
As long as enough water makes its way down the pipe, the fish are happy:
Every link you place on a page is a hole in the pipe, diverting the water elsewhere. Those holes might be important – they aren’t necessarily bad. They might even be watering flowers or something. But if you’re the goldfish, you don’t care:
More holes means less water for you.
The real lesson: PageRank is precious. Don’t waste it. You can steer PageRank around, just like you can pour water through pipes. Smart site architecture sends PageRank (authority) where you need it.
You want as much PageRank as possible flowing to your most important pages. The more links you have on every page of your site, the less of this resource you’ll have getting to those pages, and the less you can control it.
If you’re a client, or a 10Things client, you’ve heard me say “you’re leaking pagerank” more than once. Now it should make a little sense. Links ‘leak’ Pagerank – they draw away some of the authority of a page, leaving less authority to ‘flow’ to other linked pages.
So link wisely, and consolidate links whenever possible. For example:
So remember: Home page is a bucket. Like water, PageRank is a limited resource. You control the pipes. Be smart about it.
Ian Lurie is founder and CEO of Portent Inc., an internet marketing agency that has provided internet marketing, including PPC, SEO, social and analytics services, since 1995. Read More