HomePage PageRank Boost

Only a minority of small or medium sized business websites achieve PageRank greater than 4. HomePage PageRank – The Top Factor in the Google AlgorithmMany SEO experts consider PageRank to be irrelevant because the PageRanks of many webpages on the top Google results page for competitive terms is 0. Here is a typical quote – “There are millions of low (or ZERO) PR pages rankings VERY prominently in search for competitive terms – what more proof do you need?
(Page 1).”search-engine-optimization-secretsDanny Dover has led the SEOmoz team. In his book Search Engine Optimization Secrets (2011) he makes the following comments:”domain popularity is extremely useful for raising the power of weak pages. Even if the number of links to a given page is low, it can still rank hiughly if this metric is large. Currently, we see this all the time with Wikipedia.” (p 75)”Google makes scraping (automatically requesting and distributing) the PageRank metric difficulty.” (p 10)

The google.co.uk results page for ‘York decorator’ showing 6 directory websites – all internal pages – and 4 small business websites – all HomePages.

Handicap-boost-HPR[1]In the following table, the PageRanks of the above top webpages for ‘York decorator’ and the corresponding HomePage PageRanks have been included – Columns B and C.

In the above table, two webpages (#4 and #5) on the top Google.co.uk results page have PageRank0.

The #5 page is an internal page on a directory website and my contention is that the top factor in the Google algorithm is the HomePage PageRank which for this website is 5.

The webpage in #4 is itself a HomePage so without adjustment the HomePage PageRank remains 0.

The second factor in the Google algorithm (IMHO) is a hidden boost given to HomePages with PageRank 4 or less when they are competing for keywords and my best estimate is 4.5 as seen in column D.

HomePage PageRank is the Top Factor On Google – Development of a Theory

I opened a medical website 11 years ago based on my information leaflets that I gave to my patients.

Some of my webpages, themed on relatively low difficulty keywords, were regularly in #1 on Google.

At various times, three of my webpages dropped from #1 to #2 for a few months.

  • The question was “What did the pages that were now in #1 position have that my demoted, #2 pages, did not?”
  • From a clinical point of view, not one of the new #1 pages was as technically correct as my own.
  • From an on-page search engine optimisation (SEO) point of view, they did not seem to be particularly impressive.
  • Scoring checks with Website Auditor and Internet Business Promoter confirmed that my webpages had significantly better scores.
  • That left off-page optimisation – links from websites – as the other option to be checked.
  • The new #1 webpages had one or two incoming links with minimal link value (SEO Spyglass) and PageRanks 0.
  • Again, my pages had more link juice and PageRanks 1 or 2.
  • There was no obvious explanation for the new webpages achieving #1 position according to the literature.
  • Here was a fascinating opportunity for research.
  • There was one common element to the three webpages that had pushed three of my #1 webpages to #2:
  • They were all articles published by journalists in a variety of national newspapers’ websites.
  • Whilst the PageRanks of the new #1 webpages were all 0, the Homepage PageRanks (HPR) ranged from 6 to 8.
  • It became apparent that it was not the authorities of the individual webpages that were pushing mine down, but the authority of their respective websites as indicated by their HPRs.
  • Many SEO experts suggest that PageRank is irrelevant in SEO because there are many webpages with PR0 that are on the top page of Google for highly competitive keywords.
  • Their observations were confirmed but all the internal web pages they were quoting with PR0 had HPRs 4 or more.
  • The PageRanks of the URLs of the top 10 webpages for numerous keywords and their corresponding HPRs were recorded on a spreadsheet.
  • HPR was clearly the #1 factor as far as Google was concerned; however, it did not explain a few exceptions to the rule occurring with some medium difficulty keywords.
  • These exceptions to the rule became the next focus for attention.
  • Most of these top page positioned webpages with PR0 for medium keyword difficulty were themselves Homepages.
  • Google has been all about “authority” as indicated by links from other websites and is clearly assuming that the HomePage of a website has that website’s greatest authority.
  • The conclusion was that Google is providing a boost in effective PageRank to Homepages when they are competing for a keyword (the second factor in the Google algorithm – G-Factor 2).
  • It proved impossible to give a numerical value to this HPR boost by manual input into a spreadsheet – it was too time-consuming.
  • The first version of a program that finds the PageRank of the URLs and the corresponding HomePage PageRanks for a list of keywords on the top Google SERP was produced.
  • The output could be transferred into a spreadsheet such as Excel for further analysis.
  • It became apparent that the boost to effective HPRs for HomePages competing for a keyword was between 4 and 5, but for HomePages with PageRanks of 5 or more, there was no discernable boost.

Confirming the top two factors on Google.

To test the validity of the top two factors as explained above, you can do a search on any keyword on Google with either Internet Explorer or Firefox with the Google toolbar active.

  • Check the PR of any of the webpages on the top Google SERP and also the corresponding HomePage PageRank.
  • If one of the top webpages is a HomePage with PR less than 5, add the G-Factor 2 boost so that the adjusted HPR becomes 4.5.

The Boost in Effective HomePage PageRank to HomePages that are competing for keywords – like handicap in golf.

In this study, there were 2,486 webpages on the top Google results page with PR0 but only 214 were on websites with HomePage PageRank less than 4 or they were not themselves HomePages.

Google must be providing a boost in effective PageRank to HomePages that are competing for a keyword. This can be compared to the handicap system that allows golfers at different skill levels to compete. From an SEO
perspective, this means, for example, that small businesses with websites that rarely achieve HomePage PageRank greater than 3, can compete with locality or trade directory websites that typically have HomePage PageRanks between 4 and 7. In practice, the boost to HomePage PageRank is to about 4.5.


HomePage PageRank is the top factor in the Google algorithm.

The internal webpages with PR0 on the top page of Google for high difficulty  keywords, however, are invariably found on websites with HPR of at least 4  and often 6 or more. It became apparent that whereas the PageRank of an
internal webpage has no major influence by itself in the Google algorithm, the  HomePage PageRank of the website is the top factor.

There are also examples of webpages with HPR0 having top page positioning for medium difficulty keywords but careful observation shows that it is the HomePage itself that is competing. This observation formed the basis for the conclusion that Google assumes that the HomePage of a website has the greatest authority and Google is providing a boost to its competitive PR.
HomePages with HPR0-4 have their effective HPR boosted to 4.5. There is no visible increase when the HPR is 5 or greater.

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Best Keywords Selection – Internet and ComputersPosted on10:33 am - Sep 19, 2014

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