With the latest Google PageRank update currently underway I thought I’d share a list of 5 reasons why PageRank should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Yes it’s nice to have an increase in PR, but other than seeing that little green bar move up a bit it doesn’t really mean too much else in terms of importance and it definitely shouldn’t be relied upon as heavily as a search ranking factor anymore.
5 reasons why Google PageRank is overhyped:
- Authority/Trustrank is the new PageRank
If you want a high quality, respected website you should be looking to become an authority in your field. Building trust with the search engines and becoming a leading site within a certain catergory is what counts in terms of achieving high search rankings, PageRank in this respect is irrelevant.
- PageRank is updated continually
Just because your site has gone from a PR4 to PR5 this doesn’t mean you’ll see an instant jump in search rankings, PageRank is updated continually by Google and is far more complex than the 0-10 Google toolbar scale rating. This is one of the main reasons why many SEO’s want the Google Toolbar to go away as well as helping anyone suffering with B.O. (backlink obsession)!
- PageRank doesn’t equal good rankings or increase traffic
If you were asked what would you prefer high search rankings, traffic or PageRank what would you say? I know which one it wouldn’t be, search rankings can help to refer targeted users to your website, traffic (even if it’s not of the highest quality) still gets users to your site but PageRank doesn’t get you any extra visitors.
- PageRank can be bought
Although Google are clamping down on paid links a PR4 or 5 site can be achieved fairly easily if you have enough cash to throw at links. This doesn’t in any way improve the quality of the website and in most cases won’t have a dramatic effect in the search engines. For example a site with 3 PR7 inbound links shouldn’t rank as highly as a competiting site with 50 relevant PR3 links but there’s a good chance it’ll have a higher PageRank itself.
- PageRank isn’t the most important factor of an inbound link
Relevancy, anchor text, search ranking, positioning and quantity of outbound links on a page are all just as, if not more important than the PageRank of a page when assessing the value of an inbound link. The incoming links to a site and individual page are very important factors to estimate the value of a text link, but these can be judged better by the quality and relevancy of links as well as the actual search rankings achieved.
Without contradicting myself too much I still think there are a couple of reasons why PageRank isn’t completely worthless, despite the decrease in importance as a search ranking factor.
5 reasons why Google PageRank still has some use:
- Spot new sites quickly
A site with no PageRank can help to instantly highlight a site which may have been started recently.
- As a factor in calculating link value
While not the most important factor, as discussed above, PR can still be used to a certain extent in order to help calculate the value passed from an inbound link.
- Build trust with some users
Certain users may trust a high PR website more in terms of purchasing a product or hiring a service.
- Increase value of selling links
If your selling text links on your site a high PR can help push up the amount of cash you’ll receieve.
- Get a higher listing in PageRank ordered directories
A lot of directories, for example the Google directory (BTW isn’t this duplicate content?), list websites in order of PageRank. So having a site with a high PR is a good way of pushing yourself towards the top in this case.
I’m sure there’s loads more arguments both for and against the PageRank rating so please feel to list them in the comments section. Did I also get the record for the longest title in blogging history? :)