Google is the Web's well-liked search engine, powering not only the popular Google.com Website, but also Yahoo!, Bing, AOL etc... Being listed in Google is very important, and being listed highly in Google can bring great benefit to your website.
However, there are many myths about how Google works and, while fairly harmless in themselves; these myths tend to allow people to draw incorrect conclusions about how Google works. The purpose of this article is to correct the most popular Google myths.
Myth #1: The Higher Your Google Page Rank (PR), the Higher You'll be in the Search Results Listing
This myth is common, and is the source of many complaints. People often notice that a website with a lower Page Rank than theirs is listed above them, and get upset. While pages with a higher Page Rank do tend to rank better, it is perfectly normal for a website to become visible higher in the results listings even though it has a lower Page Rank than competing pages.
Page Rank aside, there are also other factors that contribute Google search results -- though Page Rank remains the dominant one.
Myth #2: The Google Toolbar will List Your Actual Page Rank
When Google created their toolbar it was a boon for many Webmasters as this was the first time we got to see any value related to our Page Rank.
However, the toolbar has also caused some confusion.
The toolbar does not show your actual Page Rank, only an approximation of it. It gives you an integer rank on a scale from 1-10. We do not know exactly what the various integers correspond to, but we're sure that their curve is similar to an exponential curve with each new "plateau" being harder to reach than the last. I have personally done some research into this, and so far the results point to an exponential base of 4. So a PR of 6 is 4 times as difficult to attain as a PR of 5.
Myth # 3: Page Rank is a Value Based on the Number of Incoming Links to Your website
This myth is a common source of incorrect assumptions about Google. People will often see that a site with fewer incoming links than their own site has a higher Page Rank, and assume that Page Rank is not based on incoming links.
The fact is that Page Rank is based on incoming links, but not just on the number of them. Instead Page Rank is based on the value of your incoming links. To find the value of an incoming link look at the PR of the source page, and divide it by the number of links on that page. It's very possible to get a PR of 6 or 7 from only a handful of incoming links if your links are "weighty" enough.
Myth # 4: Searching for Incoming Links on Google Using "link:" will Show you all Your Backwards Links
Similar to Myth #3, people will sometimes look for backwards links to a site on Google and fine none, but if the site does have a PR listed and it is in Google's cache, they know that the toolbar isn't just guessing.
The reason for this is that Google does not list all the links that it knows about, only those that contribute above a certain amount of Page Rank. This is especially evident in a brand new site. By default, all pages in Google have a minimum PR. So even a page without any incoming links has a PR value, albeit a small one. If you have a brand new site with 20 or 30 pages, all of which Google has spidered, but you have no incoming links from other sites, then your pages will still have a Page Rank resulting from these internal links. As your home page is likely linked to from every page on your site, it might even get a Page Rank of up to 1 or 2 from all these little boosts. However, in this situation searching for incoming links will likely yield 0 results.