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  • Is Google PageRank Still Relevant?

    by Dan DeRoeck on December 25, 2011

    Google PageRank has been around seemingly forever, at least in relative terms of the Internet; it was once a very important measurement of a page’s ability to rank in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) and closely tied to the ultimate success of a site.  It was first made public by Larry Page and Serge Brin, and later went on to be one of the most significant marks in Internet history.

    google pagerankWe as SEO’s had come to respect PageRank, almost revere its ever-presence that had the power to seal our fate.  The toolbar was a way to measure ourselves against competitors.  And for many years, this was true.  However, as you well know, everything must come to an end.  PageRank has lost much of its credibility and appeal, due mainly to the ability to game the system.  This ultimately led to Google’s diminishing focus on it.  Nevertheless, like the mystique of the Loch Ness Monster, PageRank still carries an almost cult appeal to many that still swear it corresponds to site performance.

    But, is Google PageRank still relevant?  Does it still measure the ultimate success of a site?  The answer is yes and an astounding no.

    We’ve been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it’s the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true. We removed it because we felt it was silly to tell people not to think about it, but then to show them the data, implying that they should look at it.

    Even though Google used PageRank extensively in the early days of the search engine, it’s simply now one of hundreds of signals Google uses to rank websites.  No more, no less.  Google now has no choice but incorporate a large dose of Link Analysis and Trust Rank into the mix to offset some of the inherent weakness.

    Benefits of PageRank

    But lets not forget, there are still benefits of carrying a heavy PageRank.  Websites with a high rank still command higher advertising rates.  It’s a known fact, advertisers like to pitch websites to clients for the perceived higher value, most likely for convenience and ease to sell it to customers as a valid metric.  Another obvious advantage is sites with higher PageRank do have much higher crawl and indexation rates.  Google is much more apt to crawl a website with high PageRank more frequently than one with a low one.

    Overall, PageRank can be used to eyeball popularity of a site and gain some intrinsic benefits.  However it does not take into consideration other devaluing characteristics, such as spam and theme relevance.  This was the reason Google abandoned PageRank.

    Using MozRank as a substitute for PageRank

    So it’s true PageRank is no longer deemed the performance indicator it once was.  In fact, many have turned to “Google-like” algorithm models instead.  One such model is MozRank, a real-time, comprehensive set of metrics that can be used to guide SEO’s through the treacherous waters, giving us real-life depiction of site strength while providing us ways to improve…

    “MozRank represents a link popularity score. It reflects the importance of any given web page on the Internet. Pages earn MozRank by the number and quality of other pages that link to them. The higher the quality of the incoming links, the higher the MozRank. “


    Overall, Google PageRank is now a venerable indicator;  a ghost of the once baron of search engines.  As indicated, there are still benefits to having a website with a high PageRank.  But all in all, it’s simply one that now deserves respect and a nod of  unspoken greatness.  Having a website that produces strong and unique content will gain in popularity and strength and always trump PageRank.  We as SEO’s must now look to the future and continue our fight to gain respect through quality content.  This is truly the only way to success.


    { 11 comments… read them below or add one }

    Latoya December 27, 2011 at 10:03 am

    I have been toiling for three years now to boost my web sites’ Page Rank. This is getting to be a perplexing question for me. In light of the fact that Page Rank is now just one factor in the search engine ranking algorithms, it seems that Google has implemented a way that prevents anyone from gaming the system with just one black hat technique. I think this is a comforting fact to know. Since each factor, such as Page Rank, is only awarded a small amount of points in the overall scheme of things, it means that you cannot really use one technique to game a system. In order to jump in ranking, you really have to implement (or even game) a number of techniques to account for many factors. This essentially amounts to good old hard earned SEO foot work. I think this news is great for the little guys. It evens the playing field.

    Jimmie December 28, 2011 at 10:03 am

    This is the first time I have ever heard of MozRank. I’ve noticed that Page Rank has always been more known among SEO experts more so than among customers. The one source for measuring traffic, which I constantly notice customers and less technically inclined web blog owners refer to, is the Alex ranking of a site. Does MozRank rate sites in a similar way as the Alexa rankings? Which is more reliable and which one of these would be more beneficial for your site to rank high in?

    Dan DeRoeck December 28, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Hi Jimmie,

    Alexa is a very arbitrary method of factoring traffic. Quite honestly, it’s not very accurate, but again can be used as another “rule of thumb” method of determining a site. I prefer MozRank because it is a simulated algorithm if you will, to determine the strength of a site.


    Adam December 29, 2011 at 10:48 am

    This is such an interesting subject for those who are willing to try anything to gain an advantage in the search engine rankings. I have to wonder if this development in any way affects the makers of the fire fox browser extension, SEO Quake. For those who don’t know, this extension has a tool that reads the Page Rank of any web page you are currently visiting. For people like me, who use it to evaluate web sites, should we stop using it?

    Jonnie December 30, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Dan DeRoeck mentioned that MozRank is a simulated algorithm’. What does that mean exactly? Just based on the meaning of the word, tt would seem to me to indicate that MozRank is very similar to the Google algorithm. This brings up another question. Are there any unique optimization methods that are different from the techniques some one would use to optimize your web pages in order to achieve higher rankings with the Google search engine?

    Dorothy December 31, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    If the Alexa rankings are not a precise method of measuring traffic, why is it that this directory is so popular with the technically uninitiated? I don’t doubt that it is over rated as a ranking system, which is why I hate it when people mention it as a way to prove their web site popularity. There is one advertising directory that constantly boasts about their Alexa rating on their site and it is annoying to say the least.

    Migdalia January 1, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I am wondering if it is worth buying one of the books being displayed on the right side, particularly, the one titled, Search Engine Optimization Secrets. One person said, it is a professional book, practically university grade material and easy to understand. I wonder how up to date the methods are. That is something you always have to consider before buying an SEO book just because algorithms can change at a minor or major level at any time.

    Ralph January 2, 2012 at 11:58 am

    When I first started to read about MozRank on this page, I got the impression it was a competing search engine. But once I went on the MozRank site, I began to realize how this service can benefit me and I’m sure many other people who already spend enough time optimizing their sites. I spent money last year to have my site optimized and it proved to give me a good start. But now I’m doing it on my own and finding that I don’t have the time. This automation tool could help me greatly.

    Lucile January 3, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Seeing how people’s ingenuity and technical skills create such innovative methods to make life easier on webmasters and entrepreneurs, The more I read about the details of this MozRank tool and all the little tedious tasks that it can automate, the more I am convinced I can gain an edge over competitors who might be stubborn and less willing to spend any money to try a new method. When it comes to SEO, anything legitimate you can find helps.

    Jeremy January 4, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I am quite familiar with QR codes and how to generate them. And when I see one on a print ad or sign at a store or restaurant, I know it is designed for people who have cell phone cameras and the right application to scan the QR code. But when I see a QR code on a web site such as the one on the right side of this page, I am somewhat puzzled because I don’t know whether you can scan a QR code from your monitor or if there is some other way to use it.

    Willie January 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    This is just ducky, after all these years of focusing on page rank because that it what said you were top dog now it doesn’t count for anything anymore? I understand looking at the link analysis but what exactly is Trust Rank? I understand the ever changing internet but lets set some guidelines for making you web page great and leave them alone.

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