Internal PageRank Leak

Internal PageRank (or PR) leak

The previous pages tried to show the effect of linking between sites. A link does not only affect the linking and the linked pages - but has an effect on all surrounding pages.

Still, this doesn't alter our basic understanding of links: We know inbound links are good, without having to know the exact value in real PageRank.

In the same way we know that outbound links cost us some PageRank - but they may be worth it. A link to a good resource may make our site more valuable to our visitors, and maybe the other site will even link back. But there's another trap we should always avoid: the internal PageRank leak.

Hagstrøm's second law: There is not an equal and opposite increase in PageRank for every PageRank leak.

Simple setup with 8 pages Consider a small site like the one to the left.

Simple setup with 8 pages
How to specify the pyramid structure
The spreadsheet is set up like this:

The result is that the site has a total PageRank of 8 - as shown on this spreadsheet.

Introducing an internal leak from Page8
Introducing an internal PageRank leak
Now let's assume that Page8 is a "Copyright" page, an "About Us" page or whatever, and that we have forgotten to add links back to the rest of the site.

As the spreadsheet shows, the site has lost more than 25% of its total PageRank. After 12 iterations the total PageRank is no longer 8 but 5.8955.

These internal PageRank leaks have all the costs of an external link - and none of the benefits. They may be caused by several things, like:

A slight variant in the real Google-world is where a link does not follow the convention used on the rest of the site. Technically the following are four different pages: