Ok, first of all Search Engine Optimization is the area in which I am the most skilled of all the things web development involves but a few my answers are disputed by other skilled SEOs.
I have studied an old Google algorithm (hereafter referred to as "algo) but they tweak the algo quite frequently what I say is subject to change (though the chances that the stuff I tell you here will change are quite remote).
So I will stick to what all the good SEOs agree on.
First let's define Page Rank.
To simplify there is keyword page rank and site page rank.
"Keyword page rank" doesn't really exist but basically it is calculated in the Google algo through the general page rank and the keyword relevancy.
Keyword relevancy is determined through several factors. The following are not in perfect order of importance (because it can vary depending on the keyword and depending on other factors) but close.
A) Inbound links that use the keyword(s) in the link.
e.g. A link to www.cnn.com
helps cnn's overall page rank but does not help them with a keyword like "news" for example.
A link like : news
helps page cnn's rank for the keyword "news".
Therefore using links like "click here" is not advisable. Make sure you link to your own pages with the keywords you want to target.
B) Page title. The title of your page is very very important. By title I mean the title specified in the header of the page, the one that shows up in the browser window.
With phpbb forums I believe I am the first person to strip the page titles all the way down to the topic titles. This was a very important move.
C) URL a keyword in the URL can help a lot in some circumstances. Note that on this site the pages in the root directory all have keywords in the page name (e.g. aa_relationships.php ).
D) Keywords in big hext. Using the <h> tags helps. Make your key words display with large text on your page.
E) Keyword frequency. Keyword frequency does not mean repeating your keyword ad nauseum. Search Engine algos will try to catch that as a form of "keyword spam".
What you should do is make sure that the keywords are as high on the page as possible. A few algos rank words higher on the pages higher in their system.
You should also try to use the keyword in different ways. We get lots of people searching for "Excell" help here because I misspelled it in an early thread.
If your keyword is "dogs" you need to use "canine" "K9" etc in your page.
That is the very simple (VERY SIMPLE) page rank tutorial.
Here is a
tutorial on making forum topics popular in search engines
My next post will cover basic SEO strategy for a new site.