I can’t count how many times I’ve heard someone say “Pagerank is stupid” or “PR doesn’t matter”. And you know what, those people are wrong. If pagerank didn’t matter then it wouldn’t exist. You don’t get to be a major company like Google by being stupid. It really is that simple. But the question is, what is PageRank and exactly how does it matter?
PageRank is a a complicated algorithm used by Google to rank websites on a scale of 0 to 10. PageRank is often referred to as simply PR … as in, “My site is a PR3” which means their site is a PageRank of 3.
According to Google: PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.
People have argued that PageRank doesn’t matter because you can still rank for various keywords with little to no PageRank and this is true. PageRank isn’t always directly related to how well a website ranks with various keywords and that is why people often think that PageRank doesn’t matter.
While it is true that PageRank doesn’t directly correlate to search results. And by that I mean, just because you have a high PageRank doesn’t automatically guarantee you a high placement in Google and also, just because you rank well, doesn’t guarantee you a high PageRank. These metrics are not interchangeable. They are related but not the same thing.
But to be clear, PageRank does matter. It matters because Google says it matters. But what specifically can a higher PageRank do for you? What kind of benefits does it really give you?
In a YouTube video recently released by Google, they were talking about the rumor that the more pages your website has, the higher your site will rank. Turns out that isn’t true but one of the things they did reveal is that the higher your PageRank is, the more Google will trust your site and the more it will consider it of value so it might encourage Google to index more of your pages.
If you’ve ever used Google webmaster tools you might have noticed that under the sitemap section it will tell you that you submitted X number of URLs in your sitemap and in their index they currently include X number of their URLs. That means that just because you submit 500 pages to them, it doesn’t mean they actually will include all 500 pages of your website. Sure they will include most of them, or a good number of those pages, but the higher PageRank your site is, the more likely it is that they will include more or even all of the pages you submit to them. Simply put, the more pages in their database the more likely it is they are going to send you more traffic.
PageRank also plays a roll in how often your site is re-indexed. The sites with higher PageRank get far more attention from Google because Google considers them more important and that means that Google is also far more likely to re-index our site more often if you have a higher PageRank. Having your website crawled more frequently can lead to your content being ranked more quickly.
PageRank is one of hundreds of factors that Google uses to determine a page’s popularity. Sure it’s not the only factor, but it is still a factor that plays into your SERPS.
If all things are the same between two websites, the site with higher PageRank will appear higher in search results. So if you want to try and inch out your compettiors, keep in mind that having a higher PageRank than them could give you a competitive edge.
Once you get a higher PageRank, people will also consider your website a valuable resource and want to link to you more often. It’s like the popular get more popular and as a result helping your site even more.
So that’s six specific reasons why PageRank does matter. Sure it’s not the end all but it is relevant.
Why does all of this matter? Well most people consider search engine traffic as “free”. It’s a way to get traffic to your website without actually having to pay for it. No need to buy traffic, when a search engine will send it to you for free. But even better than it being free, it’s also targeted traffic and that means it’s high quality. In other words, search engine traffic is the good stuff – the kind of traffic that is not only free, but that converts well. How can you not love that?
So since search engine traffic is obviously something you want, then you have to consider other things. When you search for something, those top 3 results get 55% of the clicks … so that’s why you want to try and get your site in the top 3 of your desired keyword. When I google “Kelli Roberts” this is what I get to come up – the top 4 results. Remember, those first three are the ones who get the most attention.
So your idea is to do whatever you can to be in the top 3 for your desired keyword and yes, in part that means you need to work on PageRank.
Sure it’s not the only thing you need to do, but it does matter so the next time you hear someone say “PR is stupid”, you know that is someone who really doesn’t quite understand how it all works and you might want to consider looking elsewhere for your advice on SEO.