Is The Difference Between PageRank and Search Rank Clear In Your Mind?


PageRank and Search Rank… What is the difference?  I find there is much confusion about these two terms.  Some think they are one and the same… but they are not.  Let’s take a closer look.


PageRank was created by Google.  In fact it was named after co-founder Larry Page.  Google found a way to determine relevance and importance.  In other words… an authority site.  An authority site is one that Google specifies as having quality content and lots of it.  It’s a site that is jam packed with great information or has so much public appeal that folks link to it.  It’s popular.

Page rank does not determine Search Engine rank.  It does, however, add to it.

Google has a PageRank tool bar that ranges from from 1 to 10.  It’s fairly easy to move up the toolbar in the beginning.  However, as your PageRank number increases, it gets progressively harder to move up a Google tool bar point at the higher end of the scale.

A couple of ways that Google PageRank is determined is the number of pages the site has and the number of quality links coming into the site.

Ezine  has a PageRank of 6.  If someone clicks on a link in your “Resource Box” that directs them to your blog, your site receives a “backlink” or “incoming link from Ezine.  That link to your site is more valuable for your PageRank than getting a back link from a site with a  page rank of 2.
A very good reason for writing articles are the backlink benefits you receive from Ezine or another high ranking article site.

Search Rank

Search Rank is the ranking the individual Search Engines give a site or blog for page placement.  These rankings are determined by keywords.  In other words, the sites that rank the best are sites that have outstanding content and use the relevant keywords  that folks… like you and me… enter into the Search Box of the browser.

To find valuable content, web sites are crawled by the search engine spiders, looking for keywords and relevant keyword phrases. Sites are then indexed and place in a ranking system for those particular keywords… or keyword phrases… for the benefit of readers.  The sites the search engines place on the first page are the sites that they feel will give the searcher the best information for a particular keyword.

There are other variables that influence each of these ranking systems but these are just the basics.  Just remember,  these two words frequently get interchanged.  You just need to be aware that they are different and plan accordingly.

Happy Marketing and Promotion!

Til Later,

Kathryn Griffiths

P.S.  Make sure you check out my post on how to avoid bleeding the Google PageRank from your site.

You must learn to pick and choose your outbound links wisely.

Categories : SEO


  1. I have often confused these terms. In fact I had to go back a fix a report I wrote that had them mixed up.

    Once you understand the difference it is not hard to come up with a plan for both Page Rank and Search Rank.

    What I do find interesting is that there seems to be different camps for SEO and Social media. I say why not do both.

  2. Hi Kathy

    Thanks for sharing this important information with us. Something to remember when I am blogging. I had only seen articles on page rank before. Much appreciated.

    Patricia Perth Australia

  3. Tristan says:

    This is a solid post and is pretty much all that a beginner needs to read in order to understand the difference.

    Great job, Kathryn!

  4. Peter J says:

    Another way to put it is, search ranks is what will bring in the traffic.
    Page ranks aren’t really relevant anymore unless your trying to sell an ad spot or be out there to impress someone.

    Thanks for a great post, will help many people.

  5. Bryan says:

    Hey Kathy,

    An easy to understand post. Glad you clear this out of our heads. I think people should also pay less attention on page ranks but of course bear in mind that getting backlinks from higher authority sites like ezine is better than some site call

    What I’m trying to say is it’s better to focus on getting better quality backlinks than trying to focus on higher page ranks. I think if you were to focus on getting quality backlinks the page ranks will indirectly go higher.

  6. Kathryn says:

    Peter and Bryan
    I agree… Our attention should be in getting traffic to our sites…. and many are using social media to do just that. But, I also take SEO seriously…. because I’ve seen how successful a site can be by carefully planned SEO…. which is really not hard to do.

    PR is just one SEO strategy that can be useful in driving traffic to your site. Folks pay attention to authority sites. That’s why we all would love to have a back links from them.

  7. Kathryn says:

    Patricia and Tristan

    Thanks for your comments. Knowing the difference between the two allows one to make decisions about blog promotion that they might not otherwise make. Knowledge is power. Thanks again.