Usually when I ask marketers what PageRank is, they reply:
“Isn’t this the position of your site in Google?”
Answer: no, not exactly.
What is PageRank then?
PageRank is a numeric value that represents how important a page is on the web. Let’s call it Google’s rating or grade for your webpage (0 = lowest, 10 = highest).
Google is secretive about how they calculate PageRank. In a later post I will discuss what we know of PageRank and how you can influence it.
As a stand alone PageRank doesn’t mean much. Compare it to a grade the teacher gives you for your exam. One exam usually doesn’t determine soley whether or not you pass the entire year. It’s the same with PageRank.
PageRank plays a certain role in Google’s secret algorithm. Along with about 200 (!) other factors. A mix of all these factors determines how high your website ranks in Google’s search engine results. And results are always based on: keywords.
And that’s when we start talking about SERPs
SERP means Search Engine Ranking Page. This is what you look at multiple times a day. It’s the (first) page of results Google gives you when you are searching for a keyword or a keyword combination.
For example: suppose you have the No 3 spot on the 1st page of Google on the term ‘social media marketing’. This means that your website has a SERP 3 on this specific combination of keywords.
PageRank & SERP summarized
PageRank is the grade (1 to 10) your web page gets from headmaster Google.
SERP is the position of your website in Google’s search engine results based on a certain keyword combination.