Google Pagerank Dead? Far From It, You Just Don’t Know How To Use It!
Posted on October 25, 2009
Filed Under SEO
Google has recently removed the Pagerank metric from the Google Webmaster Tools and there are all sorts of blog posts popping up claiming that Pagerank is dead. (again?)
I’ve been now actively involved with Internet marketing for 4 years and want to share my findings related to Pagerank – as I disagree that Pagerank is dead.
My findings are not based on a scientific study but on experience and I don’t claim that they are the unviversal truth about Pagerank. But there is some hard logic behind my ideas so I invite you to check them out.
Here’s why Pagerank is not dead yet:
PageRank Technology: PageRank reflects our view of the importance of web pages by considering more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms. Pages that we believe are important pages receive a higher PageRank and are more likely to appear at the top of the search results.
In plain English this means: Pages with higher Pagerank are more likely to appear at the top of the search results. This is especially important to note for those SEO geniuses who like to show examples of how their low pagerank page beats a higher pagerank page.
Yes, there are exceptions but the probability is NOT on your side. Google says »likely« and not »always«.
So what you’re doing with your example is showing the »unlikely« event and I definitely won’t base my link building strategies and success of my site on »unlikely« examples.
Feel free to follow the »unlikely« path though – a few less competitors for me in the long run.
And based on my experience and every day Googling on various topics, I almost always see high PR pages and website ranked higher than lower PR pages and websites.
Not always but “almost always”. Guess which path is the smarter one…
PageRank also considers the importance of each page that casts a vote, as votes from some pages are considered to have greater value, thus giving the linked page greater value.
Plain English: A link from a higher PR page will be more beneficial than a link from a low PR page.
Therefore, I look to get links from high pagerank sites and pages as they are more beneficial. I will continue to do so until Google removes their claim and until I see no difference between high and low PR incoming links. Right now, I still see huge difference.
A PR5 link pointed to a site with lots of content (100 pages or so) and very few links, can quadruple the site’s traffic in a couple of months.
Why the exceptions? Why are sometimes low PR sites ranked higher than high PR sites?
From my experience, in order for Pagerank to really do its magic, it must be COMBINED with 3 other factors:
1. Main keyword in the title – A low PR page can beat a higher PR page if the low PR page has the main keyword in the title and the high PR page doesn’t. If the high PR page added the main keyword in the title, it would most likely outrank the low PR page!
2. Main keyword in the anchor text of incoming links – Similary, a low PR page can beat a higher PR page if the low PR page has the main keyword in the link text of the incoming links and the high PR page doesn’t. A high PR page has big advantage though; if it just gets a few anchor text links including the right link text (main keyword), it will very soon outrank the low PR page.
3. Theme of the website – A low PR page can beat a higher PR page if the low PR page is on a website that is themed around tightly related keywords to the main keyword. Google says:
We also analyze the content of neighboring web pages to ensure the results returned are the most relevant to a user’s query.
Therefore if other pages of your site talk about similar topic, you’ll have better chances of ranking high.
This is where a high PR website cannot do much – except gain even more links to it to gain the »monster authority« status.
Typical examples of »monster authority« status in Google’s eyes are Wikipedia and Ezinearticles. They can outrank themed high PR sites even though their theme is spread among huge diversity of topics.
Note that in most cases (ALL from my experience), they have the main keyword in title and they have lots of internal links with that keyword in the link text!
So in order for Pagerank to work its magic, you need to:
- Include the main keyword in the title
- Include the main keyword in the link text of incoming links (external and internal!)
- Build your site around a theme
If you do that, the probability of a lower PR page ranking higher than your page is microscopingly small.
So is Pagerank dead yet? Far from it:
PageRank reflects our view of the importance of web pages by considering more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms.
You just need to know what part of the recipe for high rankings the PR has. If you exclude Pagerank from the recipe, it’s very likely that your »cake won’t taste really sweet.«
Update: Matt Cutts in this video mentions pagerank as the key to why some pages rank higher than other. Is pagerank really dead?
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