Posted by: Calmseas (Mike) | November 15, 2007

Pulling rank

For those who share a good portion of their lives with the internet, search engine page ranking rates right up there with a good steak dinner. When we think “page ranking,” we think order of relevance to our search words. When you do a search on “hot water heaters,” for example, you will get in return a list of relevant websites such as Bradford-White, Noritz, Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, and the all-important “howstuffworks.com.” (How can anyone live without howstuffworks.com.) The search engine returns your query with a list of websites in its own mysteriously determined order of relevance. Nifty!

So “page ranking,” then, means exactly what you think it means—a ranking of web “pages,” right? Not exactly. It turns out that the term “page ranking,” or more accurately “PageRank” traces its origins to one of the founders of Google, a guy by the name of Larry Page. So page ranking is less about some generic ordering of web pages, and more about how Larry Page himself would rank your website (or according to how much money a sponsor paid Larry Page and company to secure a high listing in the sponsored links). For a little bit more about this and a couple of other curiosities, check out this little article.

So the next time someone asks where your page ranks in the search engine listings, tell them about Larry Page. They will look at you a little weird, but then you are a little weird anyway; aren’t you?

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