Google PageRank: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land has written a terrific introduction to Google PageRank that deserves to be read by anyone who’s interested in learning the details behind how Page Rank (PR) actually works as well its relevance to your blog or website.
With most webmasters eagerly anticipating the upcoming PR update, this article dispels several unfounded myths and situates the focus on PR within a balanced link building / SEO strategy.

Written for both internet searchers and webmasters, Danny uses a large variety of official documents from Google to come up with various explanations which define PageRank and examine it’s relationship with search rankings.
The article also highlights the key differences between the actual internal PR and the “Toolbar” PR, which is what you see if you use Google Toolbar or the brilliant SearchStatus Firefox extension, a extraordinarily helpful SEO tool which I highly recommend.

Here is a excerpt from the article, on the difference between internal and toolbar PR:
Internal PageRank are the PageRank scores that Google uses as part of its ranking algorithm. Those scores are constantly being updated. In contrast, the PageRank scores that Google allows the world to see — Toolbar PageRank — is a snapshot of internal PageRank taken every few months.
The conclusion to Danny’s excellent writeup is also noteworthy because he brings out an important point that can be overlooked when building links for your website:
If you really want to know what are the most important, relevant pages to get links from, forget PageRank. Think search rank. Search for the words you’d like to rank for.
See what pages come up tops in Google. Those are the most important and relevant pages you want to seek links from. That’s because Google is explicitly telling you that on the topic you searched for, these are the best.
So if you’re trying to rank well for those lucrative keywords that help you make money, remember to not only buy relevant ads that send you strong referral traffic but also search optimized keyword links from similar websites in your niche.
While an attractive Page Rank will help you make more money from link selling, a more important long term strategy is to ensure that your website consistently receives organic search traffic, which you can monetize through on-site ads or affiliate recommendations.