Google officially ends all public PageRank

In 2014 I wrote about the end of Page Rank … well, make that public page rank. It was the final time Google would update Page Rank in a way that would allow us, the public to know what a site, any site’s page rank was.

That of course didn’t mean Page Rank was dead. In fact it’s the most important part of search engine rankings with Google. The only thing that was going away at that time, was the public’s knowledge of the updates.

Fast forward two years and they’ve finally put the final nail in the coffin. Now not only do they no longer update page rank publicly, they are now resetting all public page ranks from their past records to zero.

For the last two years I could look up the page rank of a site and it would return the page rank as of the last 2014 update. But as of now, that’s no longer the case as every site was set at zero.

If you aren’t familiar with what page rank is, you need to be. Because if you want to improve your SEO you need to understand how important it is to your website.

PageRank is an algorithm used by Google Search to rank websites in their search engine results. PageRank was named after Larry Page, one of the founders of Google.

PageRank is a way of measuring the importance of website pages. 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.

The idea is that information on the web could be ordered in a hierarchy by “link popularity”: a page is ranked higher as there are more links to it.

This removal of public PageRank scores isn’t a surprise. Google told us they would be removing PageRank scores from the Google Toolbars last month … and now my friends, it seems to be gone forever.

The problem with this is, Google PageRank is a tool that someone could use to measure the success of their SEO efforts. It was also something you could use to set your advertising rates as well as your resale value of your website. In the past, a PR9 website would be worth WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY more than a PR2 website. Now though, people can’t use that metric to value their website and this makes things a little more complicated when trying to buy and sell websites.

Sure people call still look at things like their MOZ or Alexa rankings but those can be manipulated and aren’t always all that accurate.

It’s for this reason that people are sad to see the end of public PageRank.

 

 

Goodbye PageRank …. Hello Secret PageRank

For awhile now people have been speculating the end of Google’s PageRank system. This week Google’s John Mueller said Google probably won’t update Toolbar PageRank ever again. But does that really mean PageRank is gone forever? Not hardly. In fact, we have already been told time and again that Google uses an internal version of PageRank and their entire search engine is built around it.

First let’s define it. PageRank is an algorithm used by Google Search to rank websites in their search engine results. PageRank was named after Larry Page, one of the founders of Google. PageRank is a way of measuring the importance of website pages. 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. PageRank was developed at Stanford University by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1996 as part of a research project about a new kind of search engine. Sergey Brin had the idea that information on the web could be ordered in a hierarchy by “link popularity”: a page is ranked higher as there are more links to it.

So do you really think they are going to ditch something named after the founder of Google as well as the system that their entire search system is built around? Of course not! Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t pay close enough to what Google engineers have been telling us for years.

So why ditch the toolbar PageRank then? You know, the little PR0 – PR10 system we normal folks used to judge the value of our website on? Simply put, because far to many people were using Toolbar PageRank to try and abuse the system and manipulate search results. Instead of focusing on quality, unique content (which Google wants you to focus on) people obsessed about getting more links. So for them the easiest way to combat that is to ditch the public version of the product.

Not much is known about the internal version of the PageRank system but some rumors and tiny tidbits of information have leaked over the years. Unlike what we know as the toolbar pagerank system which is updated a few times a year, Google’s private PageRank is updated at least once every week (possibly as much as twice a week).

The old toolbar PageRank system was based on a 0 to 10 point system so for example a website could be a PR0 up to a PR10. But the Google internal or secret version is said to be up to a point system of 0 to 200 and can include any number in between. So for example, a site could be 43.00 or 93.19. Heck in theory a site could even be .00001 or 99.062247.

We really don’t know what the PageRank of a given site is at any given moment but what we do know is that it changes often. How often varies depending on who you ask. Some say every 7 days, while others say twice in a week, while others say it could change just slightly every single day. The current theory by most experts at this time is that the Google “secret” PageRank is updated once a week. Google is in a constant state of flux. It’s spiders never sleep. It is not only out there indexing all those new pages that appear each and every day but also all the changes to the current pages that are already in its database. We know that its spider does a quick sweep daily but then it will come back and do a more in depth one later on if it finds changes, and some say it is those more serious sweeps of a site is what plays into the secret PageRank update. But again we really don’t know for sure.

Like the toolbar PageRank the internal Google PageRank system is said to be based on total backlinks as well as the authority of those backlinks. So basically from what the rumors are, the internal PageRank system as Google worked just like the other version when it comes to getting backlinks. The more you have the better, but a single link from a higher PageRank’d website means more than a bunch of links from a lesser PageRank’d website. That’s exactly how it worked before and that’s exactly how it still works now. The only difference is, now you have no freaking clue what your Google PageRank is and that’s just the Google spam team likes it.

Now you have less and less people out there buying and selling links because they don’t *SEE* the value. It’s no longer right in front of their face. It’s not to say that value is no longer there, but most people want to SEE what they are paying for so since they can’t do that anymore, the buying links market has really started to take a huge nosedive and no doubt the fine folks over at Google couldn’t be happier about it.

 

 

 

 

 

Google’s Surprise PageRank 2013 Update

Matt Cutt’s from Google told us a few months ago not to expect a pagerank update anytime soon. Apparently the servers that did the updates were down and it wasn’t a priority to fix them anytime soon so we probably wouldn’t see an update until 2014.

Then at about 2 am on Friday December 6th shit hit the fan when Google surprised us all with a paegerank update. Not sure if people were more shocked that the update happened or the results. Some people are reporting as many as 90% of sites took a hit and lost pagerank.

Some people are hoping (praying) this roll out was a test based on past data and a new more updated will happen again soon, correcting these major downturns.

I took a look at 80 domains that were previously ranked PR0 to PR5. Yeah I’m a geek like that and do randomly track all kinds of things like this on various websites over years. LOL

  • 4 of the 80 went up in pagerank. (5%)
  • 36 of the 80 went down (45%)
  • 40 stayed the same as before. (50%)

Now let’s look at some specific websites that are important to the adult industry.

  • FreeOnes was a PR5 now it’s a PR4
  • AVN was a PR5 – and stayed the same
  • XBIZ was a PR5 – and stayed the same

FreeOnes going down to a PR4 is probably the biggest shock in the adult industry in terms of SEO. That was a big hit for one of the biggest legit sites out there.

How about some adult industry blogs?

  • LukeFord.com was a PR4 – and stayed the same
  • LukeisBack.com was a PR3 – and stayed the same
  • MikeSouth.com was a PR3 – and stayed the same
  • AdultFYI was a PR3 now it’s a PR2
  • Tattle.xxx was a PR4 now it’s a PR3

What surprises me here is that Mike South’s site didn’t go up in pagerank despite all the mainstream attention he’s been getting lately. One would think a few links form sites like Huffington post would be a great boost in pagerank. Yet obviously that wasn’t the case.

The next big shocker was AdultFYI.com – it went from a PR3 to a PR2. And even crazier is that previously their welcome.php page used to be a PR4 and it is now showing a PR2 as well. That’s a huge kick in the ass for a website that has had a massive increase in traffic lately. Some estimates are that the traffic on this site has more that doubled and maintained that rate over the past few months and their Alexa ranking (I know Alexa LOL) but still their Alexa ranking has improved at alarming skyrocketing levels – going from like 100k to like 20k. I know traffic ratios have no direct correlation to pagerank but still, there are a lot more people linking to the site and somehow all of those extra links meant nothing and the site took a huge hit with pagerank.

 

 

PageRank Really Does Matter

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.

google-results-kelli-roberts

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.