How To Keep Your Google Page Rank From Bleeding To Death.


Now, I know you came to this page to find out how to keep your Google Page Rank from bleeding to death or at least from losing substantial link juice… and we’ll get to that….  But First!

How Google Page Rank Works!

Google uses an algorithm to measure the importance of each page on your blog.  It’s one of the many factors that the search engines use to determine where your page or web site appears in the search results.

Your web site has a maximum amount of PageRank.  The PR is distributed between all the pages of your site.

The more pages you have in your site… the higher the Page Rank is for your over all web site.  (It’s like having 1 point per page, so to speak)  Therefore, an older active web site would naturally have  greater maximum PageRank for the entire site than one that has only a few pages or posts.

Google Page Rank In The Beginning

In the beginning, page rank was measured by keyword density.  However, people learned they could game the system by repeating the same keywords over and over again.. thus… getting a high Page Rank for that page.

So… Google changed the game plan.

How To Improve Google Page Rank

Now, Page Rank is largely determined by “Internal,”  “Incoming,” and “Outgoing” links.

Internal Links

Internal links give some pages more authority than others.  If I write a post, and add an internal link… in the form of Anchor Text… and point that link to another page on my site… Google assumes the page I linked to is a pretty important one.  That post or page gets a little more of the over all Page Rank juice of the site.  Other pages give up some of their ranking.

If you have a page you are trying to get a high keyword search ranking for…use an internal Anchor Text link that points to that page to boost its page rank.

Inbound Links

Inbound links are powerful!   They are the best way to increase a site’s total Page Rank.   Incoming links are highly valued by Google… especially if they are links from sites that are related in content.

Now Google knows you can’t control who links to your site…so you are not penalized if a Dog Training site links to your Internet Marketing site.

If the link comes to the site’s home page, the rank is spread throughout all of the pages equally.  However, if a particular page receives the inbound link, it receives the greatest gain.

Anchor Text inbound links or backlinks are much more powerful that links that come from comments etc.

Use Outbound Links Wisely

If you’re not careful, outbound links can drain a site’s Page Rank juice pretty quickly.  Each outbound link leaks a little bit of Page Rank from your site.

The only way to counter balance this is to add more pages, include more internal links within your site and best of all… receive a lot of inbound links or backlinks from other sites.

Also… Google watches very carefully to whom you link too.  If you are an Internet Marketing site and you link to a Gardening site…  it sends a red flag to Google.  You lose PR.  Very many of these kinds of outbound links can result in Google penalizing your site.

By the way…  just having outbound links on you site that are never or infrequently clicked… still leak PR.

Is Your Site Bleeding Unnecessary Page Rank Juice?

Let’s be serious here.  We all have links from our site to other sites.  It’s just part of the Internet or blogging game… but, just how much Page Rank do you want to give away?

If you’re getting tons of inbound links and you post to your blog everyday… or have plenty of pages… you can afford to leak a fair amount Page Rank juice from your site.  It will balance out in the end.

It’s important to know what you’re giving away so you can make an informed decision.

Blog Page Rank Vampires!

Beware of some of the following linking strategies.  They may build great relationships and get tons of readers… but it may not be worth the friendships if it bleeds your site dry. You’ll never move up in the rankings…. and you be forever working your fingers to the bone getting and keeping readers.

Let’s List A Few Of These PR Vampires

1.  DoFollow Blogs: Generally the purpose of a DoFollow Blog is to encourage lots of comments.   That’s understandable.  However, some folks look extensively for DoFollow Blogs just so they can comment on them.  They hope other comment readers will click on their name or links for the purpose of getting a backlink from you.

Many of these commenters don’t add valuable content or information.  These…”Nice site,”  “Love your post”  kind of comments are just there for the “click.”

If you have a DoFollow Blog…you may be trading a lot of PR for the comments.  A DoFollow blog may attract a fair amount of commenters… but it also allures spammers like crazy.

A NoFollow blog, does not give Google backlink PR juice to the off site post.  You will have to use a different strategy to attract commenters to your site.

2.  Blogrolls: Every site… you’re kind enough to feature in a blog roll… is a leak.  Ever take a look at some of the “Mommy Blogs.”  Oh my goodness!   Everybody they knew from Elementary school and beyond is listed.

3.  ComLuv: Have you every noticed the little + in the middle of the ComLuv heart.  Hover over that + and see what happens.  A little bio of the person will show up and you may see several outbound links to other sites.  Good for them… but not you!

4.  Top Commenters: A list of top commenters in the side bar.  There you go…more PR leakage.

5.  Information links: We all want to share what we find on the web.  However, be wise on how you choose to deliver this information.  Offering long lists of outbound links is not wise.  You can bleed your PR rapidly.

6.  404  Error Page. Make sure all of your links work.  When the Google spiders index your site and they hit a 404 error page… they stop and run away.  You not only lose immediate indexing but you lose link juice as well.  I suggest you use the WP 404 plugin to avoid having a 404 error page show up on your blog.

7.  Social Media Promotion: There are many social media widgets that are being promoted these days.  Beware of having too many of these extras on your site.  They all link to pages off of your site… which mean…. you’re loosing one heck of a lot of link juice.

Choose Your Battles

Having outbound links can be a good thing if you are wise in how and who you choose to link to.   Choose your outbound link battles carefully.  Don’t use so many vampire relationship strategies that your site Page Rank bleeds to death.

Til Later,

Kathryn Griffiths

P.S.  I’m seriously thinking about removing ComLov from my site.  I’ll have to weight all of my options and make a decision.  Google Page Rank is important to me!  How about you?

Technorati Tags: google page rank, inbound links., Internal links, link juice, outbound link

Categories : SEO


  1. Tristan says:

    SIGH. PageRank really bothers me. There’s so much conflicting information out there. I recently read a book called The Truth About Search Engine Optimization, and the author (who has been an editor of SEO publications, etc.) said that PageRank doesn’t really matter. That obviously conflicts with pretty much everything else online.

    And I remember a post about PageRank on DailyBlogTips here: The post is all about how linking out will NOT reduce your PageRank.

    The thing that bugs me about SEO is that it’s so… mysterious. Since no one knows what algorithms Google uses, it’s impossible to find out for sure about some of this stuff. I think a lot of it has been propagated simply because people repeat what they read online, thinking it’s correct.

    As for me, I have no idea what really is correct any more. SEO is definitely not a strong point of mine. I do know a guy who works at, so maybe I’ll contact him about some of these conflicting issues in SEO and see what his take is.

    Oh, and one more thing. Did you know that PageRank is apparently named after Google co-founder Larry Page? I thought that was a fun little tidbit…

    Anyway, thanks for the thought-provoking post, Kathryn!

  2. I don’t worry about PageRank. It doesn’t have an impact on search results, which I consider one of my top priorities. I have several keyword phrases that outrank sites with very high PR. That’s what brings me traffic, not my PageRank. Even Google says we should worry less about PageRank,–crawling–indexing—ranking#pagerank.

    I have also read quite the contrary when it comes to leaking pagerank. Linking to irrelevant or shady sites may impact your PR, but linking to high value sites may actually raise your PR, I believe the bigger concern with too many links is leaking readers. The more options they have to go elsewhere, the less time they may be spending on your site.

    I do not think that I will become a NoFollow blog, stop linking to others and turn off ComLuv any time soon. I’m a believer in you get what you give. If I stop linking to others of relevance, I can only expect the same in return.

  3. Kathryn says:

    Tristan and Angie. Thank so much for your comments. And yes, I believe there is a lot of conflicting information out there about SEO and Page Rank. All I can pass on is what I have learned from others and my own experiences.

    I have a blog in the family niche that is several year old. I have been very careful about implementing SEO principles. 80% of my readers come from organic Google searches. This blog has been neglected for some months now because of I’ve been so busy with other things.. yet some days I have over 400 readers… mostl coming from the search engines and backlinks. I just know SEO works. I love free traffic. Being careful about who and how I link to others has been part of the strategy of this blog format.

    Yes, Angie… it is good to link to blogs with relevant content. We would be foolish not to use outbound links to build good relationships as well as give our readers additional information. However, I’ve seen blogs that are just packed with excessive outbound links that can’t help but hinder their page rank. As you said, part of the danger of having too many outbound links is that folks can click on the links and leave your site. That can certainly effect your bounce rate. Wisdom in all things.

    Tristan, I’m part of a Utah Word Press Geek group that have been meeting every month until recently. Group member, Ash Buckles, works for Some of my information comes from listening to him from across the table as well as at WordCamp and other time’s he has shared information with the group. He may be a good contact for you. He has really been a SEO boon for me.

  4. One of the things I did was use a NoFollow extension for Chrome or Firefox to track which links were going out on my site that were DoFollow and which were NoFollow. Really restrict the number of outgoing links especially on your homepage to prevent pagerank loss. Building inbound links to your homepage are crucial as well, linking to your homepage from higher ranking subpages with better PR can help boost your homepage PR as well.

  5. Thanks for the heads-up. It can give you a headache to keep up with all the changes, and it’s so refreshing to see a summary, plus tips on what I can and should do for my own sites. 🙂

  6. @Angie,

    Thanks for the Smashing Mag reference. It cleared up a couple of things for me.


    Seems like the bounce rate and people leaving your site would not be a good ROI.
    I like to make sure all of my out going links open a new page.

  7. Google keeps changing the game. That’s all well and good except when we don’t know what to look for. I had no idea so much of my site might be “bleeding!” There are several “bleeders” over there! Sorry to hear that about the blogrolls. I think that’s a nice touch to many sites! As usual, you have done your homework and we are grateful you choose to pass on the results 🙂

  8. Oh, my goodness – Oh, my soul!! You’ve done it again, Kathy. This is an amazing post that prompted some amazing comments.

    What you’ve shared here gives us a whole lot to think about. I’m a real dufus when it comes to SEO and Page Ranking and getting conflicting information makes me want to crawl under a blanket and stay there. I oftentimes wish I could borrow your brain for a week.

    However, thanks a heap. You’ve got me thinking. I’m not sure I’m ready to say goodbye to using Comment Luv or displaying the top commenters on my blog. By the same token, I’m not a big fan of bleeding. 🙂

    Cool graphic with this post and I love the new look of your blog!!

  9. Harry Monell says:

    Hi Kathy,
    This stuff really does get confusing.
    I have a really important question or two regarding outgoing links:

    1. On a wordpress blog, does it matter whether the links are listed on a blog Page or blog Post or in the “Blogroll”. Will the links be just as visible to Google in either?

    2. If links are in the “Blogroll”, does it actually have to appear in the sidebar for Google to recognize the links?

    3. I’m setting up my blogroll to have do follow links for Home page only, but it would be much easier to simply have a page or post that lists all the links.

    How bad is my thinking regarding all this?
    Thanks for your help,
    Harry Monell

  10. Kathryn says:

    The best outgoing links are in the content of your posts in the way of Anchor Text. Check out my post on this. Make sure your links are keyworded and go out to blogs that are related to your subject.

    Also… I would never use a blog roll. This bleeds your site like crazy. All the big guys don’t use them.

  11. Hi Kathryn,
    This is my first time in your blogsite and all I have to say is wow. You gave a lot of valuable information here on those Blog Page Rank Vampires. I just wrote a blog on backlinks and this post will definitely complement it. I learned a what to watch for and definitely I will forward this.
    Thanks for sharing!

  12. There is a big difference between toolbar PageRank and actual PageRank. Toolbar PageRank is the number that Google publishes via Toolbars and is availbale to the public. However, it is horribly out of date, having not been updated since April 2. Google’s actual secret PageRank which they almost certainly keep up to-date is extremely important. It influence how deeply and often your site gets indexed. Given how out of date publicly available PageRank is, it is not worth stressing about.

  13. Dawn says:

    Hi Kathryn,

    Thank you for the info! I don’t worry too much about PR although I probably should. I haven’t noticed a difference in search engine traffic at the moment. I did have my PR on my 1st blog (I have many) drop down on me and then back up once I eliminated a few things off of my blog. I eliminated some things as they were just taking up space and were not receiving any clicks anyway. I have a blogroll on one blog, only a couple links listed tho. I think I have 4 links listed. Long story short-I have noticed the difference you are speaking of but I didn’t realize what it was that caused the drop until you pointed out here 🙂