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PR (Google's Page Rank)
PR, or Google's Page Ranking system, is a way to keep track of how popular your site is. This is determined through traffic to your site as well as amount of related sites linking to your own. The complexities of this system have not fully been discovered yet, but main thing to know is that more related links and more high quality traffic you have coming to your site higher your PR will be. With links from high PR sites, your own PR will skyrocket, bringing you ever higher in Google's search results.
The algorithm also takes your PR into account when working out rankings. The higher PR your site has (on all of its pages), and longer your site has a high PR, more likely you are to get in top rankings with Google. Even with a page ranking of 6 (out of 10), results can be astounding, and your ranking within search results will continue to grow.
Traffic is also monitored to and from your site, and even how long your visitors stay. This allows Google to accurately gauge amount of "real" traffic you get in any given month, as well as type of visitors you receive and overall popularity of your site. Now, for younger sites that only get a few hits a day at most, this will not effect your rankings as much as larger sites with hundreds or thousands of visitors a day. Instead of focusing on amount of traffic you get to your site, focus on quality of traffic you receive. With more visitors that stay longer and actually stay to view your site and purchase your product or sign up as users, you should be able to get better rankings than some of sites that have three times volume of traffic but one tenth amount of time spent by that traffic on your site.
Quality is king, while quantity is simply an added benefit on today's internet. Work on your quality and then you can focus on quantity.
Spiders from Google also check frequency your site is updated with their new algorithm. The more your site is updated, in essence, with fresh and unique content, higher it will become ranked in Google search engine. If you take a month vacation, leaving your site to gather dust until you come back, be prepared for a drop in your rankings. If you update your site daily, on other hand, you can expect to be ranked much higher (provided you have fresh, related content) than sites that only update once a week.
Basically, as old adage says, "You reap what you sew." Or, in other words, more work you put into something, better results will come of it. In general, this remains true for not only Google, but other search engines and directories as well.
Even IP address is considered in Google Algorithm, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on other websites that are currently sharing your IP. If you are on a specific IP address that is dedicated to your site, you have little to worry about, but if your IP is shared between multiple websites, you could have a real problem. IP addresses are recorded and compared between your site and others on web. If, for example, your site just happens to be on same server as a spammer who shares your IP, not only will Google delete spammer from their rankings, but they could also delete your site simply for being related to Spam site.
Obviously, there are some simple solutions to this problem, including talking to your hosting company to get a dedicated IP address specifically for your own site. This might cost a bit more per month or year, depending on your billing schedule, but benefits will be numerous. If you simply don't have cash flow to pay extra money per month, you can search through sites that share your IP and report spammers to your hosting company. In nearly every case they will be ready and willing to get rid of spammers on their server.
Again, basic idea is to keep your site reputable in its promotion practices. Stay away from anything that could possibly classify your site as a Spam site, and keep good, relevant links and content coming. For more information, please look at our articles below:
Check out Understanding Google's Algorithm for basic information on Google Algorithm Check out Final Optimizations for Google's Algorithm for final article in this series on using Google Algorithm to your benefit.
You can see other articles by Claude Beavers on this topic at: Online Promotion Articles at Superfaster.com