Follow Up To Pagerank: It Really Doesn’t Matter

Since writing my “ Why Your PageRank Doesn’t Matter ” article just this morning, there have been a number of really great comments from a few of my regular readers and I wanted to clear the air about my article.

As I stated in the article, my opinion of the TBPR (toolbar pagerank) is that it is not worth obsessing over. Your time is much better spent creating content fit for HUMANS instead of losing sleep over something that is outdated and inaccurate you could be doing something productive with your website.

Maybe I Wasn’t Clear:

Isaac from GoBlogger (who I read and respect as a blogger) brought up some points that led me to think i wasn’t clear in my article. I don’t want any new or experienced blogger or webmaster to think I am discounting the value of “true” PR. What I do discount, is bloggers and webmasters obsessing and writing about it to the point that some uneducated noob blogger thinks that he must rush out to every link directory and submission site to get as many links as possible to get some TBPR. It is wrong on our parts to exude this worship over Google, and yes Isaac, they know we do it and they love to keep us guessing.

I admit that I also obsess over it at times too. But after the last few months of researching, and then bringing some logic to the table, I came to realize that my obsession with this false ranking was part of a driving force in letting my content fall off. It is utterly stupid on my part. Then I started to notice this obsession all over the net about PR link this, and PR that, it is a waste of time!

Some Quotes From Matt Cutts:

Here are some quotes from Matt Cutts on the topic of PageRank:

When asked about he fact that Google can only create a PR update that is a full quarter behind the times is awfully troubling he replied:

I believe that I’ve said before that PageRank is computed continuously; there are machines that take inputs to the PageRank algorithm at Google and compute the resulting PageRanks. So at any given time, a url in Google’s system has up-to-date PageRank as a result of running the computation with the inputs to the algorithm. From time-to-time, that internal PageRank value is exported so that it’s visible to Google Toolbar users

What he is saying is that the “internal” Pagerank is updated continuously but only exported occasionally.

When Matt was asked Will this PR update affect SERPs? he responded:

By the time you see newer PageRanks in the toolbar, those values have already been incorporated in how we score/rank our search results. So while you may be happy to see that the Google Toolbar shows a little more PageRank for a given page, it’s not as if that causes a change in search results at that point. So you won’t see any search engine result page (SERP) changes as a result of this PageRank export–those changes have been gradually baking in since the last PageRank export.

This is the statement that I want to emphasize When I was saying “your PR doesn’t matter” I was telling the truth. It really doesn’t. It is not a true measure of anything accurate or important other than the fact that you worked hard to get some links. Does toolbar PR mean your site has content that is better? Does toolbar PR mean that you will get more SE traffic? Does it really mean anything? No it really doesn’t matter.

While it is generally conceded that these days Google places much less importance on PageRank as a ranking factor (some estimate that its present weight may be no more than 5-10%) it is still one of the factors to be considered in increasing your ranking, and has grown (through the Google Toolbar making a mutated form of PR visible) to be a factor of considerable economic importance to webmasters.

What makes a site good? Is it PageRank? Is it Alexa? Is it number of links? What do you think?

27 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Rose

    A combination of factors weight into the success of a site. I’ve always believed and still do though that content is king.

    January 3rd, 2010

  2. PageRank Information

    yes it also may be right at some extent. generally we more often obesse about toolbar pagerank

    January 4th, 2010

  3. Sire

    What makes a good site? It’s the work that a blogger puts into it both through writing good consistent content and by interacting with his readers. PR and Alexa ranking is simply a by product of that.

    January 4th, 2010

  4. Keith

    That is what I have been trying to say, BTW, I am fiddling with the FlexTheme finally, trying to find something that fits all my needs and this one might be it!

    January 4th, 2010

  5. Kim

    Ditto Sire… IM guru’s will have you believe PR is of utmost importance so that they can promote their products with more ease, when in fact reiterating what Sire said “good consistent content and by interacting with his readers” I believe is of the utmost importance (which is why people would come back to your blog in the first place!) :-)

    January 4th, 2010

  6. Heather

    I wish more people wouldn’t look so strongly on pagerank as a factor when considering things regarding your site. I was deranked a couple of years ago when I unknowingly went against Google’s terms of use by signing up for PayPerPost. When I found out, I stopped posting for them and removed all of their links, but Google still has me as a pagerank of 0. I’ve submitted my site for reconsideration and nothing. I was a PR4.

    When I submit my site for things, I’m usually denied because of that fact. Yet my stats aren’t bad for an everyday, blog about your life blogger.

    January 4th, 2010

  7. Ryan Hanley

    After 6-months I just aquired my first PR1 ranking… Blogging is like my 2nd Hobby after my 1st Hobby and Full-Time job…

    However, I was Very excited. My thoughts on PageRank, respective to my level of involvement, is you should have an “Oh Great” attitude towards PageRank. It should not be the measure of whether or not your blog is successful…

    If I were a full-time blogger I would be more interested in Engagement, Reach, and Conversion…


    Ryan H.

    January 4th, 2010

  8. Keith

    for stopping by Ryan, your attitude on PR is right where it should be. I went by your site (voted the BlogEngage article up) and looked at your Twitter (following you now) and Facebook pages. It looks like you are well on your way to managing your community and brand the way it should be.

    Fulltime, part time, the thought is the same, we are engaging with humans, not bots.

    January 4th, 2010

  9. Jenny

    A great post Keith! When you break it down this way it really shows how the PR is not truly accurate. I also agree that content can slip drastically when just focused on PR ( I was living proof:)

    Engaging with other bloggers, content, and quality must not be overlooked (like I did in the past:0

    January 4th, 2010

  10. Need Info

    Good clarification. PR is something that does matter but if you let it organically develop, it’ll certainly increase over time if you continue to do what you’re currently doing.

    There are obviously ways to bump it up quicker but I personally have little interest in doing that either.

    January 4th, 2010

  11. Mitch

    I don’t worry about page rank per se but it does have its place. For instance, you know if you have a site with a PR of 6 that you probably have it fairly well optimized, at least internally. I don’t overly care about it on my blog, but on my business site, I want to know how my internal pages are doing to see if I’m missing something. If I have an internal page for 3 or 4 months and it has no rank, that tells me I haven’t done a good job of explaining what that page is about.

    At least that’s how I see it.

    January 4th, 2010

  12. Keith

    That is a great point Mitch, and there are reasons to concern ones self with PR, I just think there is too much (especially with new bloggers) worry about it, and not enough worry about content and promotion.

    Thanks for stopping by Mitch!

    January 4th, 2010

  13. Karl Foxley

    Great write up Keith. You could pretty much predict the devaluation of page rank all the way back when people started selling links on their sites. You’ve probably seem plenty of them by now, “it costs (insert amount) to be listed on our PR 6 site”.

    I think this extends to any element of site optimisation, if you focus on one thing, one factor, your site will suffer. If you focus on understanding the fundamentals and work hard on continually improving them for your site then you will do well.



    January 4th, 2010

  14. Sire

    I heard you Keith. As to FlexSqueeze, isn’t it a great theme?

    January 4th, 2010

  15. Keith

    FlexSqueeze is frickin awesome man! I still have some tweaking to do, but it is so easy to work with! Need to make a header when I get back home later this week…..

    January 4th, 2010

  16. TheInfoPreneur

    Hey Keith,

    I gotta admit I track my alexa ranking, but only as interest. I actually don’t care about PR, traffic stat this blah blah. The biggest way I measure if my site is doing well is if I get more and more comments each day.

    If people want to read and contribute to my site, it must mean I’m heading in the right direction.

    Thanks for taking the bold step to say it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things!

    January 4th, 2010

  17. Keith

    Thanks for stopping by Gabe, I agree that you should let it happen naturally rather than worry about trying to “trick” it.

    January 4th, 2010

  18. Keith

    I track Alexa too, as well as my PR. I just “try” not to let those factors tell me how my site is doing. Alexa is the easiest to “game”. I have seen sites that get half the traffic be ranked better on Alexa, so the numbers there really aren’t an accurate “traffic ranking”

    I think traffic and comments is a much better gauge of your site’s success.

    January 4th, 2010

  19. Sheryl Loch

    Hi Keith,
    Great discussion here.
    I am not an SEO expert but I do follow some.

    I think it was Dan Thies that said toolbar page rank is old. He said that look at “Cache Dates” when deciding where you want to build links.

    Aaron Wall has a great post saying that Raw PR does matter,But when determining which site ranks better than the next, link diversity is typically far more important than raw PageRank. PR is only PART of the whole. His post titled ‘Is Page rank Important is
    I bet that Aaron would also agree that toolbar PR is not accurate measure as to where you end up in the SERP’s.

    My personal blog has been a front page of 3 forever. I have backlinks from a variety of places. Most of my traffic is from the SE’s for long tail keywords.

    To show that toolbar PR is crazy – we have a new site that has 3 post. It has backlinks from 6 different domains. The highest of those link pages is a toolbar PR 2.
    When the PR updated…that site is a PR 3. It’s only been up 3 weeks.
    This site above has had almost no incoming searches from the SE’s.

    Another site is 2 months old, 80 post, hundreds of links, and went to a PR 1.
    This site has incoming searches everyday.

    Sorry this is so long…heck, I could have pulled out links to a few more expert SEO’s but, I think you can see where I stand. LOL!

    January 4th, 2010

  20. Keith

    Sheryl Loch, sounds like you stand where I do!

    Thanks for the detailed response, I totally respect Aaron on SEO and it appears like he feels the same too.

    January 4th, 2010

  21. Tycoon Blogger @promote blog

    Keith- You bring up a great point and I have to agree with you. It is not worth obsessing over. I must admit that I have and still do but I a lot less than I use to. This last update my pr dropped to pr 2 but ironically my google traffic has been increasing nicely as well as my adsense, and that is really what I care about.

    January 4th, 2010

  22. Keith

    That is a great example of why PR really isn’t as important as WE make it out to be. I still drool on my toolbar sometimes too, and that is what really got me going on this topic. Google is playing us like a 2 dollar fiddle!

    Glad to hear the adsense and traffic have increased. Love your blog, just didn’t get that adgitize post, way too confusing form a simple guy like me! ;-)

    January 4th, 2010

  23. Michelle Mangen

    Nice to meet you via your link/comment on Gabe’s site! Glad I found you too. :-)

    I’ve never been one to pay much attention to pagerank but Gabe’s post on it with the tool certainly had me checking it out.

    I was happy to see that two sites I started within the last 45 days both are at a PR1 already and my main Virtual Assistant site (that I didn’t start actively blogging on until probably July) is at at PR3.

    I am a numbers person so I like to see that I’m making progress though won’t get too caught up in it!

    January 5th, 2010

  24. Contact Bank Of America

    It’s ok to monitor these figures, I just prefer not to worry too much about them…..

    January 6th, 2010

  25. Blaine Bullman Information

    Try to GIVE content and stop fussing about GETTING pagerank.

    That’s what I think because having a great PR but no readers is useless
    but a site with no PR but awesome content is so much better in every way.

    January 14th, 2010

  26. yamaha piano dealer

    Is this really all that important? I have heard rumors that page rank really doesn’t matter.

    January 18th, 2010

  27. Art Studio Furniture

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    May 15th, 2010

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