Internal PageRank Optimization Strategies – Portent

Internal PageRank is the other side of the coin from external PageRank. Internal PageRank is the ability of pages on a given website to influence the PageRank of other pages on the same website. Internal PageRank is a fundamental part of an organization’s search engine optimization strategy. The best way to understand the concept of Internal PageRank is to think of it as a set of algorithms that use other pages on the website as inputs to their calculations. Internal PageRank affects the number of links that are being directed to a given page. The more links that are being directed to a page, the higher the PageRank of that page is likely to be.

Internal PageRank Optimization Strategies – Portent

This book will guide you through the different strategies used to improve the popularity of your website, by using Internal PageRank Optimization (IPR) strategies.

“Make sure your website has a solid link structure,” experts in the search engine optimization field frequently say. Nobody ever explains what it means. We’re frequently taught that a good link structure is extremely flat, with no more than a few clicks between any page and the homepage. However, what makes something valuable or useful?

Flat site architectures are beneficial to visitors since they can move about the site fast regardless of whatever page they arrive on, but they also have an algorithmic purpose. Because they are closer to the homepage, flat websites tend to distribute more PageRank to key pages than deep websites.

The homepage is unique in terms of PageRank since most websites get more backlinks pointing to it than any other page. If the homepage gets the most PageRank from the rest of the web, the majority of that PageRank is allocated to the sites linked from the homepage. The pages one click away from the homepage have the second-highest PageRank, and the sites they link to have the third-highest PageRank, and so on.

Outside of a website, the homepage receives the most PageRank, and it has the most information to share inside.

What should we do if the website we’re working on doesn’t have a flat link structure? If we have a key landing page that is four or five clicks away from the homepage, we’ll have a tougher problem ranking it since just a little portion of the external PageRank is shared with it.

We’ll need to redirect how PageRank travels on the website a little utilizing some internal PageRank optimization techniques to assist sites like these rank. To get the most out of the PageRank coming into our websites, this guide includes best practices, reporting, and an implementation methodology.

A Quick Overview of PageRank

Google’s first breakthrough algorithm was PageRank. It was named after Larry Page and was the result of their initial study at Stanford to extract anything valuable from the web’s link structure. They discovered that sites that get links from other pages with a lot of links have a better quality.

The Google search engine gained an early advantage over its established rivals by including this quality indicator into their results. But how does the web’s connection structure have anything to do with quality? People are more likely to reference, promote, and share information that they find helpful. Newspapers, governments, and institutions with editorial rules will pay more attention to whom they link out to, so verified connections imply more credibility and authority.

From a mathematical and computer science standpoint, how PageRank works is fascinating, but we don’t need to get into all of the details. If pages get links from pages with a lot of links, those pages receive links from sites with a lot of links, and so on, they will have a high PageRank.


Google’s early research and patents are likely quite different from what PageRank looks like now. The method of computation, how connections are weighted, and which links are included are all distinct. A patent for PageRank that is based on the location and context of links, a patent for a “seeded” PageRank, and how Googlers used to speak about topical PageRank are all available from Google.

This article will discuss utilizing the traditional method to model PageRank across specific websites rather than the whole web. Is that even helpful in light of what we know? Anecdotally, I’ve found this technique to be helpful and successful. This leads me to think that whatever link-based signals are used in the production algorithms are influenced by local link structure, and that PageRank is an excellent way to improve that local link structure.

Link Structure Improvement Techniques

In general, the best method to boost a page’s ranking in the site’s link structure is to connect to it from sites with higher PageRank or from a large number of smaller pages.

Here are some ideas on how to go about it:

1st Strategy: Make Big Links

We’re looking for situations where a few modest adjustments may have a big effect. A single “big” link from a higher PageRank website may push a page to the top of the SERPs.

  • Is our primary landing page significant enough to merit inclusion in a global navigation? When the primary navigation was chosen, certain pages were overlooked, such as important product and service pages. Adding them will increase PageRank distribution and make it easier for people to discover them.
  • It may make sense to have a contextual link on the homepage or another tier-one page.
  • HTML sitemap pages are an excellent location to include sites that need more link love. Because every page in the footer links to HTML sitemap pages, they acquire a considerable quantity of PageRank.

Create a large number of little links (Strategy 2)

PageRank rises as a result of a series of modest improvements. We wish to add relevant and helpful connections to a lot of tier three and below sites.

  • PageRank rises as a result of a series of modest improvements. We wish to add relevant and helpful connections to a lot of tier three and below sites.
  • PageRank rises as a result of a series of modest improvements. We wish to add relevant and helpful connections to a lot of tier three and below sites.
  • PageRank rises as a result of a series of modest improvements. We wish to add relevant and helpful connections to a lot of tier three and below sites.
  • Add a related content section to your blog posts to automatically crosslink pages about the same topic. You may select which links display on a page using several plugins for this.

Place Links on Pages With a High External PageRank (Strategy 3)

Some of our pages will inevitably get connections from other websites, and we will be able to spread that PageRank to our other pages.

Make More Pages Count (Strategy 4)

Making important pages indexable is an often neglected method to enhance the site’s link structure. In order to minimize “thin content,” many SEOs continue to use noindex tags on pagination pages, tag and category pages, and faceted navigation sites. These pages play an essential role on the site and, in many instances, should be indexable.

  • A blog post may depend on a pagination page that is 25 clicks distant from the homepage for its sole internal connection on a site with hundreds of pagination pages. Category, tag, and author pages are excellent methods to offer a significantly shorter alternative click route. Tag and category pages should be indexed as long as they are well-formed and helpful as navigation for users.
  • In a faceted navigation, the number of potential filter and option combinations may quickly grow, creating a crawl budget issue. Some SEOs deal with this by making every filter unindexable, but this limits the number of potential landing sites they may employ needlessly.
  • The number of permutations in a faceted navigation may be maintained to a crawlable level while giving URLs that can serve as landing pages by carefully limiting which filters are indexable. If a subcategory for men’s running shoes includes a color filter, for example, the filter URLs for black and green shoes should be indexable, but the URL for black or green shoes should not. Filter URLs for black shoes, as well as sort ordering and price, do not need to be indexable.

Take Advantage of Your Other Websites (Strategy 5)

Big companies often hold several websites, and they are frequently ignored when it comes to PageRank optimization. Investor relations websites, career subdomains, parent or subsidiary company websites, and external blogs are all common examples.

  • Find methods to provide helpful and relevant connections to these websites for your visitors, such as adding links to the footer navigation or establishing a hub of subsidiary businesses.
  • J2 Global’s portfolio hub is one example of a website that accomplishes this effectively.
  • Amazon has been adding nearly all of their brands to their footer with a slogan in the anchor for a long time. Although this is an extreme case with plenty of PageRank to distribute, most companies might get away with mentioning a couple of their siblings.

Internal-PageRank-Optimization-Strategies-PortentWhen connecting to other sites, most companies don’t need to go to such lengths.

How to Check PageRank Distribution Internally

We need to know if there are any pages that are broken before we start updating links. We want to know whether the pages we consider to be significant are getting a fair share of internal PageRank. To accomplish so, we’ll need a method to calculate PageRank for our website’s pages alone, rather than the whole web.

We utilize RainGage, a proprietary crawler from Portent, to examine our clients’ websites. One of the features developed by Matthew Henry is an internal PageRank modeling tool that uses a method quite close to what Google stated in the original patent to compute the PageRank score of each crawled page.

RainGage isn’t a public tool, therefore only a few individuals have access to it. Other commercial programs compute PageRank in a similar manner, but Screaming Frog is the most user-friendly.

Internal PageRank Estimation Using Screaming Frog Link Score

Screaming Frog uses a measure called Link Score that is similar to PageRank. It’s not difficult to get, but the function is tucked away. They offer a link score guide here. After the crawl is finished, run Crawl Analysis to get Screaming Frog to display Link Score for URLs in the crawl.


1627412111_535_Internal-PageRank-Optimization-Strategies-PortentIn Screaming Frog, this feature is often ignored.


The link structure of the site determines the majority of the internal PageRank distribution. Our key hub sites often appear in our website’s main and footer navigations, resulting in connections from every other page on the site. If you look at your link score report, the pages in your global navigations are likely to have the greatest ratings. These will be referred to as tier-one pages.


Pages in the second tier of PageRank distribution get links from tier-one pages or have a sidebar navigation someplace. Tier-two pages are usually subcategory or hub pages that aren’t significant enough to be included in the global navigation.

Tier-two pages are more likely to link to tier-three pages, which are the better-connected leaf pages in the site’s tree structure. They seem to be goods, services, blog articles, industry pages, and whitepaper pages, all of which are part of the site’s main user journeys.

Blog articles, product description pages, press releases, whitepapers, webinars, data sheets, and other bottom-tier pages are confined to getting connections from pagination pages. Their link scores will be low since they only get links from pagination pages or tag pages.

Using Link Score to Create a Content Inventory

We’ll add data to our list of URLs and Link Scores to examine how our sites rank in terms of internal PageRank distribution, backlinks, and conversions. This list will come in handy later when we’re searching for sites that need internal links fixed or that have high internal or external PageRank to share.

  1. Export the Internal Pages report from Screaming Frog, open it in your preferred spreadsheet application, and whittle it down to the link metrics that are important to you.1627412114_273_Internal-PageRank-Optimization-Strategies-Portent
  2. Next, we’ll require an estimate of external PageRank for our domain’s URLs. Export the Best Pages by Incoming Links report from Ahrefs (or a similar service).1627412115_714_Internal-PageRank-Optimization-Strategies-Portent
  3. Using vlookup, index-match, or any other lookup function in your spreadsheet program, join the columns for URL Rating (Ahrefs’ estimate of external PageRank), referring domains, and dofollow links to our table. Because nofollow is now simply a suggestion to Google, you may include the dofollow and nofollow links from Ahrefs.1627412116_978_Internal-PageRank-Optimization-Strategies-Portent
  4. Export a landing page report from Google Analytics that includes traffic (sessions or users), conversions, conversion rate, and revenue if available. Add them to the list we’re putting together. Use a date range that is suitable for your needs or indicative of your pages’ performance. Here, I’m utilizing a year’s worth of traffic.1627412116_560_Internal-PageRank-Optimization-Strategies-Portent

We’ll utilize this inventory sheet to look for examples of:

  • Pages having a low Link Score yet high conversions or income. We’ll provide connections to these sites in the future.
  • Pages with little conversions or revenue yet a high inbound PageRank from elsewhere on the internet (high URL Rating, referring domains, and backlinks). To distribute the external PageRank to other sites, we’ll create links on these pages.
  • Pages having a high Link Score yet little conversions or income. These pages will have links added to them so that their internal PageRank may be shared with other pages.

1627412117_861_Internal-PageRank-Optimization-Strategies-PortentInternal PageRank improvements for sites like these will help them rank higher for their keywords and generate more conversions.

Internal Link Creation Improves PageRank

Having a method to keep track of individual connections becomes more important as you discover new chances to add them. To keep track of the links I wish to put on the sites I work on, I’ve been utilizing a spreadsheet template. Here’s a sample template that you may use.

The steps I take to work with this spreadsheet are as follows:

  1. Locate a page that need an internal PageRank boost. To identify excellent prospects, go back to the content inventory we created in the previous step. Alternatively, I’ll work on pages in groups based on campaign, season, or priority.
  2. Make a list of the target keywords for the page. Refer to your keyword mapping or ranking report if you’ve previously done so. Otherwise, enter the URL of the website into Google Search Console to check which keywords it gets clicks for and for which it might rank higher.
  3. Look for sites to connect to. Return to the content inventory to check whether any sites with a high internal PageRank or a high external PageRank are relevant to the page to which you wish to connect. If you Google “subject,” you’ll discover blog entries on your domain that are related to the topic of your page.
  4. Determine where the link should be placed. Google has been looking at the context of a link for a time now. According to Google’s Reasonable Surfer Model patent, the company has been investigating methods to apply weights to how links transmit PageRank depending on the likelihood of a user clicking on them. Link to a website that makes sense to visitors and helps them out, since Google has undoubtedly searched for methods to detect whether a link isn’t going to be helpful to them.
  5. Determine the link’s anchor text. Google utilizes anchor text to identify the topic of a page, although they advise using “reasonable anchor text.” For us, this implies that the anchor text in our links should explain the page, assist visitors understand what they will discover on the page, and boost the ranks of our target keywords. This isn’t always the same text as the keywords we’re aiming for.
  6. Determine what needs to be added or rewritten in the material. To make a link fit within the content of a page, it may need to be modified a bit. Adding a description of how text needs to change to the spreadsheet is very useful for anybody I hand over the implementation to.

Organizing the links you wish to generate in this way also makes it easier to obtain permission and monitor when they go live to see whether they improve performance.

Your Landing Pages Shouldn’t Be Buried

It should be unnecessary to create links to enhance internal PageRank distribution. We would have previously determined which pages need the greatest attention and properly positioned them in the site’s information architecture.

However, not every website is built with this in mind from the start, and we’ll have to lead them in the correct way when parts are added and modified.

Hopefully, going through this process will prepare you for when you need to rebuild your website, and you’ll be able to suggest a site layout that prioritizes the most essential landing pages.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • site architecture
  • what are hub pages
  • what is a hub page
  • hub pages seo
  • hubpages login

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