Page Rank (as in where your site appears in search engine results pages) is a complicated and somewhat secret SEO formula that determines how well your site appears in Google search results. While we’ve been working diligently to understand why one website ranks over another, one thing we know for certain that helps improve your search ranking is getting inbound links from relevant, high-quality websites.

An inbound link is a hyperlink coming from another site to your own website. "Inbound" is generally used by the person receiving the link.

But what about when you are just starting out and have no links to your new business website? Is your site doomed to poor Page Rank until you luck onto a high quality inbound link?

Fortunately, the answer is no.

There are many other signals that Google considers when determining your rank, and you can start to increase your Page Rank even without inbound links.

Matt Cutts, the authority for webmasters on all things Google and the search giant’s “ head of search spam” recently discussed this topic in a Webmaster Help video. He answered a user’s question about how content is evaluated when no inbound links are present. Watch for yourself:
 

Cutts said that the quality of the content is the most important factor, but that keywords also play a big role. To understand what the page is about, Google’s search spiders would look at the first word on the page and give it the most prominence. If a word is seen a second time, it is given more prominence. If a word is seen several times, the spiders understand the page to be about that topic.

Seems simple, right?

For the most part, it is. The trouble is that webmasters and site owners who overuse keywords can get their sites penalized for keyword stuffing, which is seen as spam. The exact keyword density that tips the scales is unknown, so for now, most stick to a density of about 1 percent.

Cutts also said that the domain of the page has a big impact on page rank, as well as whether or not the content answers “an obscure query.” That makes a lot of sense since it doesn’t seem likely that a ton of websites out there will have answers to such “obscure”queries. If your site is one of the only ones, you’re going to appear higher in search results.

The bottom line remains unchanged: If you want to rank your site high in search results, write good content. Use keywords appropriately, but don’t overdo it.  And, of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a high quality website design that’s built for search engine optimization. These are the rules that will likely never change for online content marketing.