It is very common for the Webmasters to mix up the real differences between Google Page Rank and Search Engine Result Position (SERP). Also known as the Search Engine Result Page, SERP is the main algorithm for web pages ranking. The most common misconception is that the PageRank is directly equivalent to the search rankings. This is not the case. This article discusses the real definition of both terms and clarify some common misconceptions.
A main difference between Page Rank and SERP is the frequency of update. As stated by the Google Engineer, Matt Cutts, Google updates Page Rank approximately once every three months. The updated Page Rank is shown on the Google tool bar. However, Google uses the latest Page Rank value of every page when calculating rankings for search queries. Therefore, Page Rank is only one of the many factors that were included in the SERP algorithm.
Other than Page Rank, SERP also includes other important factors such as content relevancy and freshness when it comes to ranking of a page. Keywords in domain names also contribute to the rankings. Hence, having a high Page Rank does not guarantee a good SERP. In fact, it is very common for a page that bears Page Rank of 4 to receive no search engine traffic.
It is also important to understand how Page Rank is calculated since it affects the SERP. The only factor that determines the Page Rank value is the inbound links. Inbound links are incoming links that point to a page. These links are extremely valuable especially if they contain relevant content. A page will have high Page Rank if it has a good amount of high quality links pointing to it.
Although Page Rank is only part of the main SERP algorithm, it is important to also attract quality inbound links so as to achieve a good SERP. In Google’s perspective, the more the high quality inbound links a page has, the more important is that page. Having a low Page Rank will make achieving a good ranking difficult especially when the competition is strong (ranking for highly competitive keywords).
To conclude, Page Rank is only part of the whole SERP algorithm. Webmasters should always aim for a high Search Engine Result Position (SERP) rather than Page Rank. A good SERP will receive good traffic from search engine as long as the targeted keywords are commonly searched.