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.
We 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.
by Dan DeRoeck