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Google PageRank – Is it worth all the fuss?


Written by:
2009/11/30 05:26 PM RssIcon

Google PageRankPageRank is a technology developed by the Google search engine to measure the importance of web pages. Well at least how important other people view your website. It was meant to be a measure of the web’s vote of confidence on your blog, website or any particular page on your site.

With Google being the number one search engine in the world, there’s always a lot of emphasis on optimizing your website or blog to rank high in the search results.  One of the metrics that Google uses is something they have coined as page rank.  PageRank is the way Google ranks pages based on the relative importance of a particular website. Your page rank is directly related to the quality of web pages that directly link to your site.

Because of this many webmasters, web developers and even your average Joe is obsessed with trying to increase their page rank. Which has led to a variety of questionable practices to do so. Because PageRank is measured on back links or inbound links, there has been a lot of effort put in by many to beg, borrow, buy or steal back links to increase their PageRank. As a result Google has over the years been forced to re-evaluate their algorithm and improve it to sift out this bad element.

Random reciprocal linking will not help.

In days past just going out there and getting any links from any manner of sources would give you an increase in page rank. However, this is no longer the case.

Page ranks are now calculated on good quality and relevant websites. So the more relevant a website is to your website and your page, and the better the quality of that link, the more chance you have of improving your PageRank.

Furthermore, it seems that reciprocal linking is now given much less weight than before. Reciprocal linking is when your website and another mutually exchange links.

Bought links and link swapping is illegal.

Because so many were obsessed with page rank they went out and bought incoming links and swapped links to influence Google's Page Ranking system to their advantage. Google soon picked up on this and changed their algorithm. It is now considered illegal and black hat practice if you try to influence your page rank un-naturally.

Meaning that linking back to your site should be the result of a natural process whereby other internet users vote your page according to how they like it. This was the whole purpose of page rank.

Little effects on search results.

So why is PageRank important many would ask? Well, SEO experts will say, is so that you can rank well on Google's SERP’s or Google's Search Engine Results Page. But in my experience, this is simply not true.

Page rank doesn’t seem to have much effect on the search results in my experience. I have had blog posts that are less than an hour old, rank high on Google's first page, with out even a 0 PageRank.

Possible the only time PageRank will get you a higher result is if there are competing pages that are very similar or exactly the same as yours with regards to content. Then Google will rank you higher if it has a higher page rank than a competitor.

Google’s ranking algorithm places far less emphasis on page rank than it once did.

Is it worth the effort?

Well I don’t think so. Too many people spend far too much time worrying over page rank than writing good quality articles. Listen,  if people like your article they will mention it and link to it. This is the natural process that Google intended.

Don’t worry about page rank at all.  If you write quality content and run a successful business, your website will naturally get one-sided links.  You have to trust the system.  Even if you manage to manipulate the rankings somehow, Google is constantly on the lookout for abuse and can shut down your rankings at any time.

PageRank does have it’s importance. But we won’t discus those in this article, suffice to say that PageRank is not totally worthless.

What have you learnt?

Well, in general a high PR means good things, but if you want good rankings you need good page value. The best thing is you don't need a degree in nuclear physics to:

  • Write long, rich content
  • Not link out excessively
  • Get inbound links from a variety of relevant quality sources
  • Use keywords well, use a variety of synonyms (get a thesaurus)
  • No keyword stuffing – Don’t overuse keywords to the end that it becomes un-natural.
  • Write for your readers and not for the search engines.
  • Be patient – things get better with age.

By creating really valuable content, you will please both the readers and the search engines and your overall page value will be rewarded with top 10 rankings more often than not, so long as you do the right thing.

Related Reading:

Does Google penalise back links from bad neighbourhoods or bad sites?

Is outbound linking worthwhile? Does it add to PageRank?

Alexa Traffic Rank. Is it useful or useless?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for Absolute Beginners

5 Simple SEO tips for Bloggers

A successful blog takes hard work

The top SEO myth of all time.

I Dare You to Link.

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