Today’s question is a little bit about PageRank sculpting.
The question goes like this.”Hi Matt.
If we add more than one links from page A to page B, do we pass more PageRank juice and additional anchor text info? Also can you tell us if links from A to A count?”
So first I will answer your question, and then I will tell you why you probably shouldn’t be worrying about it at this level.
So let’s go back to the original formulation of PageRank as published by Larry and Sergei way back in the day–or at least Larry.
So PageRank, the way that you compute it is you take all the incoming PageRank, and so now you have PageRank at a page.A certain amount of it evaporates or decays, but don’t worry about that, that just makes it so that everything converges.
And then you say, given the number of out links to this page, take the remaining PageRank and divide it by that.So if I have four out links, the PageRank that’s left on that page will be divided by four, and the PageRank will flow equally across each one of those links.Makes sense.
So now the question is what will happen, if say, two of the links go to page B and these two go to other places?
And the answer is–at least according to the original formulation in the PageRank paper–both of those links would flow PageRank. I’m not going to get into anchor text, but both of those links would flow PageRank.
And so twice as much PageRank would flow through that link.
So that’s the way that things worked in the original PageRank.
And then the other part of the question was does a link from A to A– so a self-loop–does that count?
And the answer is that in the original formulation of PageRank, yes it does count.
So those are your answers to your question.
But let me just try to pull you back a little bit to the 10,000 foot view. And the 10,000 foot view is this.
If you’re thinking about that level of minor amount of PageRank sculpting, you’re probably not spending your time in the most effective way at the point where you’re trying to say, how can I get as much PageRank as possible?
How can I hoard my PageRank, or recirculate it through my site, or something along those lines?
That’s probably not as effective as concentrate on making great content that a lot of people will link to, so you get more PageRank, and then it just flows naturally throughout your site.
So there are a couple of common sense things you can do.
If you have your site, and you have a little logo up on the top left or something like that, making sure that if you click on that logo, you go to the root page, that’s just good for users.That’s good navigation.That’s a very nice thing to do.
If you have pages that you think are important on your site, don’t bury them 15 links deep within your site, and I’m not talking about directory link.
I’m talking about actually– you have to click through 15 links to find that page.If there’s a page that is important, or that has great profit margins, or converts really well, escalate that.Put a link to that page from your root page.
That’s the sort of thing where it can make a lot of sense, because your user lands on a page, they find a product they’re interested in, they convert, they buy,that sort of thing.
But worrying about how can I ideally formulate my site to get the maximum amount of PageRank circulating, so that I keep all my PageRank, and I maximize all my internal anchor text and that kind of thing, it’s safe to assume that we’re looking at ways to make sure that all that PageRank–if everybody were hoarding it, it wouldn’t do anybody any good.
And so we look at mathematical, and algorithmic,and different ways to make sure that you don’t get that much benefit by paying that much attention to PageRank sculpting.
So I absolutely would emphasize, rather than worrying about issues like that, worry a little bit more about how can I make something that’s really compelling, some content that people love, because that’s the sort ofthing that attracts the links in the first place, rather than worrying about the second order effect of what can I do with my PageRank once I have got it.
Quick Answer: Maybe, maybe not. Your time would be better spent elsewhere