PageRank & Penguin Algorithm Explained in a Metaphor

The PageRank Algorithm & High School Popularity


page rank explained easily - pagerank


  1.  If one person said “hello” to you in the hallway 100 times would that mean that you are popular?
  2.  What if 100 people said hello to you one time that would make you more popular, correct? Ok Now….
  3. What if most of the POPULAR kids also knew you and said hello?
  4. Better yet – What if 100 really popular people said hello to you in the hallway, plus the teachers know you and you’re known known to play two sports.  The parents of the other kids in your class say hello to you and perhaps comment about “The Team” when they see you in the grocery store or at the mall?  That would make you even more popular, correct?

Now you are starting to understand PageRank!

A link is just like someone saying “hello” to you in the hallway in high school.  It is an acknowledgement of your existence.

The more people that say “hello” to you AND the more popular those people are, the more popular YOU ARE.  Simple.

The more links you have to your site and the more popular the sites that link to you, the higher you will rank for specific keywords related to your site… Because you are popular. This is what allowed Google to differentiate themselves from all the other directories and search engines in the late 90s…. very late 90s.

The Negative Side to PageRank is the Penguin Algorithm

Google had to create an algorithm to combat the “cheating” that was taking place by SEOs, Webmasters and other marketing professionals. The Penguin Algorithm seeks to find sites that seem to have an “unnatural” link profile. Here are some examples:

  1. What if you paid somebody to say hello to you?  Does that make you popular?  No, it doesn’t.  It makes you a poor desperate man (or woman) seeking attention for the sake of it.   That is why paying for links is a violation of Google best practices and will get you banned or the frequency that your site appears in the SERPS will be purposely decreased.  Lower Visibility!
  2. What if you got a bunch of people at your high school together and you all agree: “Hey let’s all say hello to each other in the hallway so it’ll seem like we’re popular!Does that make you popular? If that really happened, it would look pretty awful, actually.   Google also Devalues Reciprocal Linking.

The way to become popular in high school is to be different, be interesting, have something interesting to say… to offer others something of value.

Creating fantastic and interesting content that helps other people solve a problem, find information to help them in some way or if you present information in a more usable format, it will help others to recognize your site and link to it, share it on social media (indirect popularity).

You can take interesting content that might be posted in other places and present it in a extremely user-friendly way like a

  • Graph
  • Info-graphic
  • An interview
  • A Podcast
  • A Video
  • Animation
  • Tutorial
  • You can create content by coming up with 5 or 10 questions and sending those questions to 5 or 10 experts to a field of experts asking each one to answer those questions.  Then post their answers.  Entire books have been written this way.

    OR you can read their answers in a video and show their picture while you read their answer.. Put it in a podcast or both.

    You can take a vaguely worded 500-word blog posts and expand upon them so you create the most comprehensive piece of content on the web about that subject.

    You can interview one expert and then send that person your article and they will tweet it to all of their followers and that will allow you to get more people on your blog and as a result you’ll get more inbound links to your site. That’s called EGOBAIT.

    You can have how-to articles or videos, you can have a message board that will bring people to your site and others will link to it.

    Depending on your business or site, there are multiple ways to have something to say that makes your site link worthy.


    There is so much more to outreach that can be written and likely will be the subject of many blog posts on Clickhail, but for now, you can conduct searches on Google to find pages with lists of companies like yours and contact those webmasters.  Here is a very simple email that can be sent to them (you might want to make it unique and customized… we’ve all seen this one a million times).

    “Hey I noticed you have [your competitor] listed on your site as a resource on [example.html]… We have 250 blog articles that your visitors might enjoy including this one that was posted on [].

    Events, training seminars, contests, responses to someone else’s position (a well-known person) on a subject, list of things (top 5 lawnmowers for single moms)… What are your top 3 boxing gloves and why (send to 25 professional boxers and then list them).

    Reviews or products or services…. Techniques you use to be more efficient or productive, book reviews of popular authors that write about your area of expertise, video testimonials… Video progress of students (first day, first month, first quarter, first year)..

    I did this for one of my businesses and clients posted to their social media…it got great responses and a few referrals.

    There are so many ways to make your site popular..which brings in links.  Begin today to create that fantastic content.

    I hope this helps the newbies… Be strong, be proud and for God Sakes be prolific!

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