Does Page Rank Still Have Any Value?

Its like pulling a rabbit out of a hat these days if you want to predict what is coming in the next Google update and an impossible task of knowing when that will be.  The same goes for the hidden world of Google Pagerank updates. There are rumours however that pagerank is due to be updated before the end of August or September, with the last one having been back in February.
As a ruff estimate, the PR of pages changes around every 3 months.  Its often the home page of sites that see the least change but checking internal pages can often show a bit more fluctuation.  With the recent Google Penguin 2.0 updates and continuous algorithm changes it will be interesting to see what impact this has on sites that have received an algorithmic penalty who I would expect to be lose most or all of their page rank.

To be honest I see very little influence in page rank and the correlation with a sites position particularly in low competition niches. I regularly see sites with page rank as little as 2 at the top of search results above sites with 4 or 5 and this is down to so many other algorithm factors and the amount of SEO being carried out.  However sites with ‘0’ page rank will find organic ranking a little tougher for a while.

Google actually says “Webpages with a higher PageRank are more likely to appear at the top of Google search results.”

Google page rank update confirmations

  • 4 February 2013
  • 7 November 2012
  • 2 August 2012
  • 2 May 2012
  • 7 February 2012
  • 7 November 2011
  • 1 August 2011
  • 15 July 2011
  • 12 June 2011
  • 5 January 2011
  • 10 December 2010
  • 3 April 2010
  • 31 Dec 2009
  • 30 October 2009
  • 27 May 2009
  • 1,2 April 2009
  • 30-31 December 2008
  • 27 September 2008
  • 26 July 2008
  • 29 April 2008
  • 9,10,11,12 January 2008
  • 26 October 2007
  • 28 April 2007

A page could start receiving page rank as soon as it goes ‘live’ and has another link pointing to it.  But you wont see this until the pagerank toolbar updates around every 3 months.  A page can lose pagerank if sites pointing to are either penalised or backlinks removed so its a knock on effect.

The Toolbar PR itself has minimal impact regarding the amount of visitors Google will point at you.  A reduced PR however could mean less web pages being indexed and deeper site pages being crawled less often.

So if you are wondering how do you get a higher Pagerank, then its really quite simple, you get a lot of other pages with PR to link to you.  In the old days you could buy high PR sites and link them together for results.  These days Google is far more savvy and recognises these type of spammy backlinks and patterns of sites linking with unrelated topics on pages.  So if you get a site to link to you for PR make sure it is natural or at least related.

What does Page Rank mean for you?

Pagerank is passed on by pages that backlink to your site funneling the page rank authority to you.  So the more pages that have pagerank linking to an individual page of yours the more likely it is to receive that PR benefit.  But the PR is watered down on pages that are linking out with lots of outbound links.  This means you may benefit more from a page linking to you that is a PR3 with only a couple of outbound links compared to a PR6 page that has 50 outbound links.  This in essence means that an internal page on a site can often have a higher pagerank than the homepage.  This can often be the case with e-commerce sites that are driven by a couple of products that get all of the inbound traffic and the homebase is of less importance with less links pointing to it.

 

The History of PageRank

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were at Stanford when they developed page rank. In these early days when Page and Brin met, search engines had less factors in the algorithm and often linked to pages with the highest keyword density, so this was easy to beat the system repeating the same phrase across pages to attract higher search page results. These days you are more likely to be punished for this type of over optimising content on pages. PageRank is patented by Stanford, and the name PageRank likely comes from Larry Page.

Do you care about pagerank and do you expect yours to go up or down in the next update?

***POST UPDATE***
As of October 2014 it has been confirmed by sources within Google that page rank is very unlikely to ever be updated again.  For this reason we no longer see it as a reliable metric for reviewing websites and PR rating that we can visibly see will have little or no bearing on the SEO value of a website.

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