Burts AIS, osCommerce & More Blog
New URL: www.osworld.biz

Monday, October 10, 2005

Google PageRank - WTF ?

Does anyone know exactly what the point is of PageRank ? It seems to me that loads of people think that having a good PR is the be all and end all of running a website. Every few months (or so) I see forum posts from people saying "the google dance has begun"... Take for example this Blog. At the time of writing, this Blog has a PR of zero. And yet, it's listed in Google, with good links from other strong blogs and pages. Shouldn't it be better PR than zero ? Another of my sites is a PR5 (the last time I checked) - and yet it has far less traffic than this Blog! So what does PR mean in real life? What benefit does it give to a site? Does it help to get more traffic? Does it help to sell products? And PR is so easy to manipulate - buy a few links from high PR sites - or use the 302 trick (google for it!)... I believe that PR is a crock of BS. What say you ?

New URL: www.osworld.biz - thanks!


At 10/10/2005 03:08:00 PM, Blogger Oli said...

I've seen stuff claiming that Google are relying less and less on PR now, because as you say, it's too easy to cheat...

At 10/10/2005 06:02:00 PM, Anonymous Chance said...

I dunno Gary, I have had a PR4 site with 500 uniques a month, and a PR3 site with 2000 uniques a month at the same time, in the same industry.

90% of the traffic for both came from Google.

The only thing I can guess is that the PR3 site had hundreds of pages, each getting search traffic, while the PR4 site, while having higher PR, only had about 10 pages to get search traffic.

I stand by the motto "Content is King" when it comes to SEO and forget about all the mumbo-jumbo, what says you?

At 10/10/2005 08:22:00 PM, Blogger richandzhaoyan said...


Pretty much agree with all thats been posted - My gift shop has a PR of 5 but take a look at all the other gift shops listed under the ODP directory and, surprise, surprise practically all other sites listed in the category are of identical PR.

I have never pursued a link exchange strategy and believe that my PR has come about due to the number of internal links in my site.

Another way to disprove the PR rules theory is simply to do a few searches on google. In my experience, the results often bear no resemblane to PR at all. Seems to me keyword density/content/possibly link anchor tags (keywords again) seem to be the most important.

But then again, I aint no expert!


At 10/10/2005 09:04:00 PM, Blogger Gary B. said...

Yes, I think that on most sites, content is king - but what about those sites that have no real content - eg most osCommerce stores...

To test my thoughts about PR, I searched on Google for a particular phrase. I then opend up the top 10 results, to check the PR:

#1 - PR4
#2 - PR6
#3 - PR5
#4 - PR5
#5 - PR2
#6 - PR4
#7 - PR5
#8 - PR3
#9 - PR3
#10 - PR4

At #5, we have a PR2 ! Under the Laws of Physics ;), that has no right to be there surely!

Checking the next 10 results (#11 to #20) I see three PR Zero! It's very strange.

Everything that I've been testing points towards PR as having no influence on where your site is found in Google !

At 10/10/2005 09:13:00 PM, Anonymous Chance said...

Then you have to take into account that while the index might have a PR of 1, some page deeper in the hierachy might have a PR5 or higher. I have had a couple sites where the index, with its mainly images, had a horrible page rank but a product info page with its specifications, product details, etc. had a much higher pagerank (and was the primary entry page for the site according to awstats).

At 10/11/2005 01:32:00 AM, Anonymous uknowho said...

The public view of PR is about 3 mths behind (possibly longer) - That was a policy decision.

PR still factors but its influence is tempered by the other metrics they have nowadays... LSI for instance. I think it plays quite a part now, but even a small dose will have quite an impact if you think about it.

I checked the age, PR, IBL-count and estimated monthly SERP-traffic on all 8 (out of 10 - I got top 2 positions) of my long-suffering cyber-neighbours last week. I really was quite shocked that 2-3 of them - brand-names in the marketplace - had 10's of 1000's of links (one of them had a figure going into the millions!), yet there they were, floating in the mid-riff.

Comparing age, mine was the eldest by about 2-3 yrs. My IBL's were only ~500, the PR for that page is certainly below theirs and also slightly below the average plus their sites are bigger with way more more content just because of who they are.

But my pages tend to be more rich with textual content (more info/page) plus it's CSS and architectually-designed - both on-page and globally - for maximum word-exposure and early understanding, ie... there's very little in the attic getting in the way of the stairs.

Don't let go of PR, but certainly worry more about semantics, stickyness and peer-trust - My site has slowly shaped itself into an authority and it now attracts links from universities (which I didn't see coming) as a source of reference for their students.

(Oh, and it's not a blog either!)

At 10/11/2005 04:03:00 AM, Anonymous Wil rushmer said...

i think your missing the intention of pagerank. In your example Gary the page with a pr of 2 may be higher then then that of a pr 5 simply becuase it had a better match to your search term. Also, dont forget about the sandbox, the reason you here every few that theres the "google dance" is becuase they only do their updates once every 3 months or so (speculation). Your site may sit in the sandbox for 3-6 months before it even gets updated for pr, even though it shows in the serps. i think chasing pr is a damn good way to waste time and effort, build your site for people and they will come, build your site for google, and "maybe" google will come. content certainly is king, but your audience is the ace. Is your audience Google? or people?

At 10/11/2005 07:19:00 AM, Blogger Gary B. said...

What's this Trust Rank that I hear about?

I've never been hung up on PR - in fact I've never been hung up on Google since the Florida update of a couple of years ago. SERPs went out the window on that one.

I find other engines produce better SERPs -> MSN, Yahoo, even All The Web...

What I am trying to point out is that PR is totally unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Work on Content, Semantics, Acccessibility and so on...much more productive than chasing PR.

At 10/11/2005 08:27:00 AM, Anonymous Darklings said...


[quote from that site]
Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search. Of course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don't match your query. So, Google combines PageRank with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search. Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines all aspects of the page's content (and the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if it's a good match for your query.

There is some interesting stuff to read here too: http://pr.efactory.de/
(will take some time - theres a lot of info there :p)
(its in 'en' and in 'de')
They have an article about the 'google dance' too.. just interesting stuff to read imho

Kind Regards


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