A. Google ranks a page based on its importance and its quality, as well as on the number of links other pages make to it. Think of a link from another site as a vote for your page — If I find a page on your website to be important and I think it will be relevant to readers on my site, I will link to your page. Google tracks this and also will look at MY page to see how relevant it is to the content on YOUR page.
This is why eeep! productions doesn’t recommend web rings or random link exchanges. Try to encourage natural linking to your site by offering good, solid content and information that will encourage readers to link to you and to return to your site often. Ways you can do this include participating on topical bulletin boards and mailing lists, developing a mailing list for a regular newsletter or keeping a blog. Always include links in your posts, responses, and newsletters that guide the reader back to the relevant pages on your site.
Page Rank should not be confused with your search results ranking on Google for a given keyword or phrase. Having a high Page Rank does not mean you will automagically rank high in search results for any given keyword, but that if you optimize your site around that keyword AND have a high Page Rank, you will likely rank well for that keyword.
Visit Google to learn more about Google technology and page rank. Download the Google Toolbar and use it to view your site’s page rank.
(Special thanks to Brad McGee of Introspect Development for sharing his wisdom on all things SEO.)