PageRank Isn’t The Question – But Here’s Some

Earlier today I published a post titled “PageRank Isn’t The Questions; Page Rank Is”. I got posted on Sphinn and ended up causing a bit of an issue with the user Halfdeck. His comments were too difficult to respond to in the chat area of Sphinn and so I will reply here. Below you will find his comments and my replies:

“So we’ll focus on the real business and it’s very clear that what we’re really after is rankings, not PageRank. Once upon a time PageRank had a strong influence on rankings – that is not the case anymore.”

This article is out of date. If it was written last year maybe it would have held some validity.

Last year I would have written that PageRank had more value. I don’t quite get what you’re saying as PageRank has, if anything, been declining in importance over time but to me it sounds as though you’re saying that if I had said it was losing value last year I would have been right but to say it this year is inaccurate. PageRank certainly hasn’t increased in importance over the past year.

While I agree that business owners would do better to think in terms of marketing, traffic, and brand awareness instead of bulk buying high TBPR links with keyword stuffed anchor text, PageRank is and will always be to Google what gravity is to you and me.

Then explain this:;=off≷=us&q;=seo&btnG;=Search

At the time of this posting there are PageRank 3’s beating out PageRank 7’s.

If one reads the entire post they’ll note that I do say PageRank is a factor, just one of hundreds not “the factor” as it once was and certainly not so important as to stand out as much as it does.

Authority, or high total domain PageRank (e.g. Wikipedia, with a slew of TBPR 5 deep pages), by itself may not reward you with any ranking boost, despite popular myth that authority is a dominant ranking factor.

Really? Then why does Wikipedia (PR7 page) rank #1 and SEOMoz (PR7 page) rank #10 for “seo”?

But who would argue against the fact that a site that has 100,000 pages in the main index doesn’t have a huge advantage over a site with 10 pages in the main index, simply because that’s 100,000 pages of real estate with internal anchor text that you can use to nail highly competitive rankings?

Deep index penetration is one of the most efficient, powerful SEO tactics. And what is the gatekeeper that keeps unpopular sites from getting 100,000 pages in the main index?


What? I have no idea what this means. A site with a PageRank 2 can have 100,000 pages in the index if the owners or contributers are very very busy people. Generally a site isn’t going to get to 100,000 pages until it’s been around for a long time and by then, it likely has lots of links which will undoubtedly lead to a higher PageRank. I think you put the cart in front of the horse on that one.

Should you chase after PageRank? No. But if you are trying to make the case that gravity – which you aren’t conscious of – has no effect on your life then you’re making an indefensible claim. Sure, you don’t need to think about gravity to be able to drive a car to work. But without gravity, how will you manage to climb into your car?

Well I suppose that’s it then. I suppose it’s time to call up Rand Fishkin, Danny Sullivan, Neil Patel, Jill Whalen and all the other SEO’s who contributed to SEOmoz’s “Google Search Engine Ranking Factors” list and let them know that their work was for naught. PageRank is the gravity that holds sites in the rangs (despite that fact that over all the top SEO’s they averaged it at 2.4 out of 5 importance).

BTW, Toolbar PageRank (TBPR) is NOT PageRank.

And here we agree. As I wrote, the lack of updating of Google’s toolbar PageRank is causing many of the questions from people who have been doing link building recently but haven’t noticed any increase in ages.

You bring up a good point I failed to include which was a note:

Google is constantly updating their internal PageRank, they only push it to the toolbar periodically but internally they’re using up-to-date values constantly.

“If you had a thermometer that never moved”

Yes bwelford, but the green bar does move. If it doesn’t move for certain pages, you can either assume that the toolbar isn’t being updated as it should be or you can assume that the page isn’t important enough to have an up-to-date green bar. As you might have noticed, popular sites tend to have their toolbar updates before anyone else.

Haven’t noticed much of that anywhere with the exception of some sites losing PageRank a couple weeks back and that was about it. Maybe you have a different toolbar than the rest of us. 😉

As much tongue-in-cheek as I may have put across in this post I would sincerely like to thank Halfdesk for the feedback. He forced me to clarify and to include points previously missed. And also important to note, SEO – while based on math – is not an exact science and won’t be until someone over at Google answers my emails and finally gives me the algo. 😉 It’s the exchange of ideas that keeps us all learning and while I may disagree, Halfdeck brings up some decent arguments that I’m glad were brought up so my readers can remember to analyze this debate for themselves.

I didn’t become and SEO by copying others, I learned by reading, testing, and judging what others said and then using my own brain to figure out what made sense. I recommend the same for others.

Comments are closed.