Online Media Consultant and Web Publisher
Thought I'd post about an oldy but goody, since there still seems to be a lot of confusion about the subject of PageRank leakage. My position is that it does exist, just not in the form that many envision it. I'm open to debate, so if you see anything here that you disagree with, please let me know.
Because each web page only has a finite amount of PageRank it can use to distribute to other pages, this has caused many SEOs to be concerned about their pages "leaking" PageRank by linking to other pages. This, in turn, has led to the SEOs being reluctant to link to other pages for fear that they might be damaging the PageRank of their own page. This is a bit misguided for several reasons.
First, PageRank is like time, you can't lose it, you can only spend it. The question is - where should you choose to spend it? If you're linking to someone else's page, you're giving them PageRank that you could be giving to one of your own pages.
For example, let's say you have a page with a PageRank 5. If that page had a single link which went to your homepage, then your homepage would receive the full benefit of that PageRank. However, if your PageRank 5 page also linked to someone else's page, then the PageRank would be split, and your homepage would get only half of the PageRank it would receive otherwise.
Note: I'm generalizing a bit here. The actual PageRank algorithm is a bit more complex. If you're interested in the technical details, you can read the design of the first version of the Google search engine in original research paper written by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google:
There's also the original PageRank paper, co-authored by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in cooperation with other researchers:
Phil Craven probably summed up the misunderstanding of PageRank leakage best in the following DigitalPoint post:
Pages do not leak PageRank. When a page links out of a site, the site leaks PageRank. Precisely which pages lose PageRank depends on the linkages within the site, but the amount of PageRank within the site is reduced, and one or more of the site's pages suffers a reduction in PageRank, after a link out of the site is placed on a page.
Fear of PageRank leakage causes some SEOs to only link to pages on their own site, in order to maximize the PageRank they distribute to their own pages and prevent PageRank from leaking in the form of links to pages on other sites. If they do link to other sites, they use a variety of tricks to hide those links from Google.
My personal feeling is that PageRank leaks are not as much of a problem as most people seem to think. There are easy ways to manipulate your site's internal PageRank, such as focusing your site's PageRank on your homepage by seeing to it that every page on your site links back to your homepage. Most sites do this anyway and it certainly isn't difficult to do.
Using tricks to hoard all of your site's PageRank is likely to backfire on you in the long run. Sites which become aware that you're using these tricks will realize that links from your site are worthless in terms of PageRank, and may choose to respond by refusing to link back to your site.
If a site is good enough to link to, then they have earned that PageRank, either because they've paid for it, they are reciprocating with a link of their own, or they're just providing great content. Earning a reputation as someone who is depriving them of the PageRank in that link is likely to eventually hurt your own ability to accumulate incoming links.
It also helps to understand that Google places less emphasis on inbound links that originate from within your domain than on links that originate from outside domains. Obsessing over the manipulation of internal PageRank flow within your site is much less productive than simply acquiring links from outside domain sources.
I run a website consulting agency called Kua Bay. This is my personal site.
Please use this contact form if interested in consulting.
ArchiveMy Favorite Articles
|Copyright 2003- Esoos Bobnar|