You can't surf for long on the internet without coming across the concept of page rank. In fact if you use a google tool bar like firefox you can see a little widget with pagerank displayed for each page you visit. What is Page Rank?
Why is it important?
The page rank goes from a scale of 0 through to 10. Most new sites start off at 0 and can stay there unless the operator takes some steps to improve it. Article-Gems at the time of writing this article has a page rank of 3, not huge but not bad for being online 3 months. One of the largest article directories ezinearticles has a page rank of 6-7, and not surprisingly Google has a page rank of 10. Page rank is a way google determines how important a web page is in relation to every other page on the internet. It is believe each step up the scale is significantly harder to achieve. The page rank is normally written up as PR0, PR1, PR2, etc. Sometimes it appears as a green bar.
One way to improve your page rank is to have other well ranked pages link into your site. Its like a vote for your site by these other sites. However before you go submitting to every link farm out their note that google will penalize you for these types of links. Quality is more important than quantity. It can get quite complicated. For example even if a PR9 site ranks into yours, this may not be as valuable to your site if that PR9 site has a 1000 links. A PR6 site with just one link to your site might be of more value. The number of pages on the site is also believed to be a contributing factor to page rank as well.
So why is page rank important? Because it is one of the factors Google uses to determine where in their search engine results your page will be featured. Obviously keywords and SEO plays an important role, but if there are two near identical pages in every other aspect the one with the higher page rank will be displayed higher in the search results.