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Within the past few years, Google has become the far most utilized search engine worldwide. A decisive factor therefore was, besides high performance and ease of use, the superior quality of search results compared to other search engines. This quality of search results is substantially based on PageRank, a sophisticated method to rank web documents.
The original PageRank algorithm was described by Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin in several publications. It is given by
PR(A) = (1-d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + … + PR(Tn)/C(Tn))
PR(A) is the PageRank of page A,
PR(Ti) is the PageRank of pages Ti which link to page A,
C(Ti) is the number of outbound links on page Ti and
d is a damping factor which can be set between 0 and 1.
Regarding the implementation of PageRank, first of all, it is important how PageRank is integrated into the general ranking of web pages by the Google search engine.
It has already been shown that each additional inbound link for a web page always increases that page’s PageRank.
Since PageRank is based on the linking structure of the whole web, it is inescapable that if the inbound links of a page influence its PageRank, its outbound links do also have some impact.
Up to this point, it has been described how the number of pages and the number of inbound and outbound links, respectively, influence PageRank. Here, it will mainly be discussed in how far PageRank can be affected for the purpose of search engine optimisation by a website’s internal linking structure.
Many experts in search engine optimization assume that certain websites obtain a special PageRank evaluation from the Google search engine which needs a manual intervention and does not derive from the PageRank algorithm directly.
It has been widely discussed if additional criteria beyond the link structure of the web have been implemented in the PageRank algorithm since the scientific work on PageRank has been published by Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin.
For many years now, the topic- or theme-based homogeneity of websites has been dicussed as a possible ranking criterion of search engines.