Google PageRank

Google’s 0-10 logarithmic toolbar PageRank is very much out-of-date, and does NOT have a direct impact on a site’s ranking.

In fact, Google removed PageRank data from Google Webmaster Tools back in October, 2009.

Here’s what Google Webmaster Central’s Susan Moskwa said about that move:

“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 [from Webmaster Tools] 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.”

What Google Thinks About PageRank

This is what Google itself says about PageRank:

“Don’t bother thinking about it [PageRank]. We only update the PageRank displayed in Google Toolbar a few times a year; this is our respectful hint for you to worry less about PageRank, which is just one of over 200 signals that can affect how your site is crawled, indexed and ranked. PageRank is an easy metric to focus on, but just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s useful for you as a site owner. If you’re looking for metrics, we’d encourage you to check out Analytics, think about conversion rates, ROI (return on investment), relevancy, or other metrics that actually correlate to meaningful gains for your website or business.”

(Source: Google Webmaster Central FAQ)

Google’s Director of Research, Peter Norvig, said that PageRank is overhyped and probably needs a new name. Norvig went onto say that the public’s focus on PageRank is misguided and it may be time for a new name.

“One thing that I think is still overhyped is PageRank. People think, yeah, you do this computation on the web graph and then you just order all the pages by that [PageRank]. Yes, that computation is important but it’s just one of many things. And people say, “Oh, well you’re stuck if you don’t have that.” We never felt that way. We never felt that it was such a big factor. It’s got the catchy name and the name recognition, but we’ve always looked at all the available data.”

(Source: Search Engine Land)

“PageRank is important to driving indexing, but for rankings, it is nowhere near as important as it once was. SEO has become a much more refined art.”

(Source: SEO Book - Aaron Wall)

“It doesn’t take many searches to see that low-PageRank URLs outrank high-PR ones all the time.”

(Source: Search Engine Land)

“There are so many reasons why PageRank shouldn’t be a primary metric for SEO:

• Infrequently updated

• 1 of 200+ ranking signals

• Applies to pages, not sites

• Imprecise

• Intentionally Inaccurate”

(Source: The Daily SEO Blog - Rand Fishkin, CEO SEOmoz)

Don’t Get Obsessed With PageRank

Google’s Matt Cutts says not to get obsessed with PageRank:

“Don’t get obsessed with PageRank. While important, it’s one of the most important out of 200 signals that we have, is still one of only 200 signals that we use in ranking.”

(Source: YouTube)

“Examine search results and you will find that page rank isn’t the only determining factor in search engine placement, although it has value and is part of the algorithm.”

(Source: Evan Carmichael.com - SEO Consultant Chris McElroy’s article "What is Page rank and Why do we want it?”)

“No one will argue that PageRank has become irrelevant, but there is significant evidence to suggest that PageRank is not quite as important of a factor in website ranking as it once was.”

(Source: About.com - Web consultant Wendy Boswell)

The importance of PageRank to rankings will most likely always be up for debate as long as PageRank continues to exist as a metric. While many agree PageRank does have some importance, it’s not the last word in SEO as some may believe it to be.


Thanks to David Jackson for his article 6-1-11