PageRank used to be one of the factors you monitored regularly to determine how your campaigns are working. It was once a reliable source of information, as it was updated regularly and it reflected the quality of your links and your overall site health. Over the years this has changed, and now we hardly ever see PageRank updates – that is, if you still have the PageRank toolbar on your browser. I want to answer the question “Does PageRank still have value today?”
SEOReseller.com’s PageRank. Sites with PRs 5 or 6 already belong to the top 0.1% of websites.
Why PageRank Doesn’t Matter (As Much)
PageRank is still one of the many factors Google considers when prioritizing what websites to display on the SERPs first. Because of this, it’s not as valuable a ranking factor as it was years ago. Here’s why PageRank doesn’t matter as much anymore:
- Algorithm updates have changed the way websites are ranked, sometimes to the point of bypassing PageRank. Updates like the Caffeine update give quality sites with lower PR a chance to appear first on the SERPs.
- The logarithmic computation of PageRank is erratic, with some saying it is biased. A good example of this is the fact that Google has a PR of 10 while Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo!, which are just as popular, have PRs ranging from 8-9.
- Social and local factors are emerging as more influential ranking factors, therefore putting PageRank in the background.
Why PageRank Still Matters
Now that we’ve established why it doesn’t matter, it’s time to look at why you should still pay attention to PageRank. I’ve already mentioned how it is still one of the more than 200 ranking factors Google considers. The value of PageRank also appears in the following instances:
- Websites with similar quality content, established backlink profiles, and properly implemented SEO will be ranked based on PR. The site with the higher PR will be displayed higher in the SERPs.
- Even with the Caffeine update, content with links from high PR sites will reclaim the spots taken temporarily by fresh content with no PageRank.
- Your backlink profile still becomes stronger if you get natural and relevant links from high-PR sites.
- Because of the reputation of PageRank, guest bloggers still prefer to write for websites with high PR. In addition, more people will want to link to you, therefore increasing your popularity – and in turn, your rankings.
Google’s Take on PageRank
In a recent Google Webmaster Help video, Matt Cutts addressed the rumors that Google will retire PageRank soon. According to him, they are only updating it a few times a year now:
Over time, the toolbar PageRank is getting less usage just because recent versions of Internet Explorer don’t really let you install toolbars that easily and Chrome doesn’t have the toolbar, so over time the PageRank indicator will probably start to go away a little bit. But it’s also the case that we only update this information every few months so it does take time in order to show up.
He then reminded us that PageRank is about the number and quality of links to your site and not about quality content. Content, however, plays a big role in getting more people to link back to your site.
The quality content is a little bit determining how much people want to link to you and then that will determine your PageRank but PageRank doesn’t look at the quality of the text on your site. It looks at the number of links and the quality of those links and how they point to your website.
You can watch the full video below to learn more:
How to Improve Your PageRank
Given the role that PageRank still plays in your campaigns, it’s important to keep building towards improving your websites’ PageRank. Here’s what we do to maintain and improve your sites’ PR:
- Check your site architecture. It’s important to have good site architecture that passes PageRank to your pages effectively. As Cutts noted in the Webmaster Help video, it’s important to keep your most important pages as close to the homepage as possible to maintain their high PageRank.
- Create linkable content. The quality of your content determines how much people will want to link back to your site. We produce a wide variety of fresh, unique and relevant content and make it available to your visitors for sharing.
- Promote your content. Once you have the quality content, you’ll need to promote it to encourage more people to share. We let your target audience know that your awesome content exists and that they can access it and link to it easily. If you have more people linking back to your campaigns, you will be noticed by high-authority websites. Having them link back to you on top of all the new links you acquire through content marketing will improve your PageRank in time.
We’d be happy to discuss our link building methodology in detail and create a carefully-planned strategy to improve your PageRank. Talk to your account manager today to learn more or sign up and become our partner to get started. Keep checking back for more updates and tips!