Friday, December 4, 2009

Mathematics a Must-Have for Internet Marketers

Many marketers have reverted from studying traditional market research to studying a perceived mathematical formula in order to attract customers. Understanding PageRank[1], the algorithm Google patented in 2001[2], is the golden ticket in internet marketing.  In this article, we’ll discuss how the algorithm works and how it has changed marketing.

Google and Marketing?

Google holds 80 percent of the US search market share and 90 percent globally.[3] Millions of searches are made per day at, the most visited website on the internet. Google founders and Stanford dropouts, Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page, probably didn’t realize that their algorithm change the face of marketing. Marketers who can get their company’s websites listed on the first page of Google can often double, triple, or quadruple sales.

How Does it Work?

Although more than 200 factors contribute to Google’s algorithm, it was originally designed with two distinguishing components: (1) page ranking and (2) anchor text.[4]

Page Ranking
Google ranks a web page based on how many inbound links (also called backlinks) from other websites are linking to that page. Each link may be considered one vote, according to Google. Google then innovated further by placing a specific weight on each vote. Sites with more links receive higher rank. In turn, links from these higher ranking sites receive more weight.

To illustrate page ranking, analyze the number of links from two large websites, and has 3,380 backlinks and has 46,600 backlinks. A link from would be worth more than a link from

Anchor Text
Anchor text are the words actually being linked. If a link were placed in this article to (Microsoft’s search engine), it might look like the following: Visit another search engine. In this case, is the link while “search engine” is the anchor text. Google assigns relevancy of the websites in its search results based on the anchor text of those websites’ backlinks. Should the above example be an actual link, a search for “search engine” should be more likely to return in the results.

What Does this Mean to Marketers?

Marketers who understand page ranking and anchor text can build traffic to their companies’  websites by employing numerous methods of link building and using keyword-targeted anchor text.

Continual Research

However, the buck doesn’t stop with proper link building and anchor text. Because spam is always trying to get into Google’s search results,[5] Google engineers must constantly update the algorithm.[6] Thus, internet marketing always requires continuous research and testing.

[1] Wikipedia, “PageRank,”

[2] Lawrence Page, “Method for node ranking in a linked database,” Google Patent,

[3] Reuters, “CORRECTING and REPLACING: Bing US Market Share Stabilises but Yahoo! Continues Fall – StatCounter,”

[4] Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page, “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine,” Stanford University,

[5] Zolt Gyöngyi and Hector Garcia-Molina, "Spam: It's Not Just for Inboxes Anymore," Computer, vol. 38, no. 10, pp. 28-34, Oct. 2005, doi:10.1109/MC.2005.352

[6] Matt Cutts, “Explaining algorithm updates and data refreshes,”

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