Does PageRank Matter? What Does Google PageRank Mean? Will PageRank Get Me More Traffic?

Jan 18th, 2010 | Filed under Computers and Internet, Work

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about Google PageRank, which has compelled to post this article. The general response on forums these days is that PageRank doesn’t matter, but it does, just not probably in the way most think it does.

Let me explain what I know about Pagerank, which is more than most people,  and then  you can decide if Google PageRank  matters to you or not.

What Does Google PageRank Mean?

  • PageRank is the name of Google’s link analysis algorithm, and is a tool used by the Google search engine.
  • PageRank analyses incoming links to a web page and measures its relative importance to the site.
  • PageRank  assigns  values of relevance, and authority to the incoming links, this is to help Google return the best possible, most relevant search results to the search tool users.
  • (Links from sites about dinosaurs to sites that sell televisions are not really relevant are they? PageRank would rate this link very very low)
  • PageRank will  be transferred from the linking web page to the linked to web page, this is often referred to as “Link Juice”.
  • The “Link Juice” can then travel from the linked to web page to any other pages linked off of that page, whether internal or external pages, and then the “Link Juice” will continue to travel from those pages onto all the other pages linked from there etc etc.
  • The “Link Juice” deteriorates every time it travels from one place to another. Pages that link out to other pages actually lose some of their Juice.

Note: The site that links out will still lose some of its PageRank by linking out, even if they use the NoFollow tag.

Does PageRank Matter?

Yes, of course it does, if you want to have more customers from Google for your keywords.

If you are the only one using your Keywords, and have no competition then it won’t matter as much, but everything you type including these words here may come up in a Google search at one point or another.

Will PageRank Get me More Traffic?

Yes, more traffic from Google, but how much more will depend on your site and keywords etc.

If there are many Websites with exactly the same relevance score for a particular keyword a customer is searching for, and you have the highest PageRank, you will usually be at the top of the search results. If you have the lowest you will generally be at the bottom of the search list.

To demonstrate this I will search Google for the word “The” (Obviously one of the most common words on the internet.)

Google Search for The

If you hade a PageRank of 10, you might make the top result for “The”

Results 1 – 10 of about 10,110,000,000 for The

 

 

You will notice the first results are always going to be very high PageRank, but not necessarily the highest because Google takes relevance into the equation.

The top four results here are PageRank 9, 8, 8, and 8 respectively.

You can see all the top results are of extremely high PageRank, imagine all the visitors  you could have if you had  a PageRank of 10.

Unfortunately I believe only Google has attained PageRank 10.

Is Google PageRank Important?

It certainly is to me, but it isn’t the only important thing in a website, I run a funny t-shirt website,  and decent keywords for funny shirts are extremely competitive.

When I type Funny T-Shirts into Google I get the following message

Results 110 of about 33,500,000 for funny t-shirts.

When I do this, funny-tshirts.com actually gets the top search result, it is just more relevant than PlanetaryBargains.com, it has a PageRank of 3. Even if I had a PageRank of 5 or 6 I probably still couldn’t beat them for that keyword, but I would certainly move up the list, I am pretty sure if I had a PageRank of 10 I would be on the front page.

How do I Increase PageRank?

  • The more relevant links to your website the higher your PageRank will be.
  • The higher the PageRank of the page that links to you the more “Link Juice” that will be transferred, unless they use the “NoFollow” tag.

So now you will have to decide if it is important to you.

For me personally I wish I had a very high PageRank,  I would get more people to visit it if I did, but if my website is not up to par, they wouldn’t stay very long would they?

You may wonder why my PageRank of my homepage today is only at a two, well that is because I dont have that many incoming links, and at the same time lose all my PageRank by having fifty or so outbound links to the rest of my website. I may actually be higher than two already, but the Google Toolbar is generally months out of date. The low number however doesn’t stop me from getting more than halve a million visitors each year.

If you really want to help, link to me, you know I could use it. After all PageRank does actually matter.

  1. John King
    Jan 18th, 2010 at 21:50
    Reply | Quote | #1

    Does Alexia rank matter ?

    • PBScott
      Jan 19th, 2010 at 03:25
      Reply | Quote | #2

      Alexia tracks people visiting a website, only if they have the Alexia toolbar installed. It is not relevant to Google PageRank, which evaluates links that Google has seen.

      It is very easy to get your own Alexia rank to go up just by Installing the toolbar yourself and visiting your website.

      Alexia search engine is actually powered by Google, so Alexia rank probably doesn’t even matter on its own website.

  2. PBScott
    Jul 11th, 2010 at 11:14
    Reply | Quote | #3

    I forgot to mention, the higher the PageRank of a site, the more pages and images will appear in Google’s index.

    Another reason why PageRank is important.

  3. Harshit Singhal
    Jul 16th, 2010 at 01:42
    Reply | Quote | #4

    Page Rank is an important aspect of any SEO campaign. But getting a good google PR takes a lot of effort and is time intensive. Nevertheless,it pays off in the end by the sheer number of traffic sent by google.

  4. Simply Ridiculous
    Feb 6th, 2011 at 13:38
    Reply | Quote | #5

    Thanks for the information. But how is it that my pagerank dropped from 3 to 2 despite an increase in the number of inbound links to my blog?

  5. PBScott
    Feb 6th, 2011 at 22:31
    Reply | Quote | #6

    @Simply Ridiculous

    Hi Simply that is a very good question, and I do not have a definite answer to you on your particular website, only Google would know the exact reason, but a few variables to consider I can think of off the top of my head would be:

    PageRank does not have a set number of links for each level of PageRank, since the scale is only 0-10, there is a lot of competition for the upper slots, it is possible others moved up faster than you did actually pushing you down.

    Also as you may or may not know, there have been some changes in what Google considers valid links. Many directories as well as links Google might consider “paid links” no longer count for your PageRank. Many of your links may not be valid anymore, including footer links in forums and other such things, not to mention all the No-Follow sweeping the web these days.

    Also you may be losing link juice faster than you did before. Have you increased your outbound links at all? Are you linking to any questionable websites?

    In general with this last update there has been a general moving down of PageRank across the board. Websites such as Forbes and WashingtonPost.com I noticed have moved down a slot this update. Though this website did actually move up.

  6. joe
    Aug 31st, 2012 at 09:07
    Reply | Quote | #7

    Need my page rank to move up!

  7. Mark M
    Aug 31st, 2012 at 09:57
    Reply | Quote | #8

    don’t we all^

  8. PBScott
    Aug 31st, 2012 at 12:28
    Reply | Quote | #9

    Tell me about it, we actually made PR4 here last year about this time, but have fallen down to two now. The traffic did take a noticeable drop.

  9. melanie jean juneau
    Oct 15th, 2012 at 09:24

    I still don’t understand links, I guess. My page rank is 3 with only 15, 828 views (1,000-2,000 spam) in 8 months while you get double that. How did I get so many links when i am a computer dummy?
    I did post on BlogHer for 6 months, Mom Blog Society and Digg while they were in their old format and then posts went to i4u news, india times, celeb news, road runner etc. Is that what did it?

  10. PBScott
    Oct 15th, 2012 at 09:47

    Melanie, thank you for your comment, I am sure there is just something about this whole thing that you are missing, and I’m hoping something I say here will give you an “Aha !” moment, but I am shooting in the dark.

    I am not exactly sure in your situation, but not all links are created equal, you may have a really good link in there, or several of them all coming to age at the same time. If you do not have a great deal of links you will likely see your rank devalue in the future as their importance expires in the eyes of Google.

    Just for an example this website has over 40,000 known links to it by Google, we were able to achieve PR4 at one point with a single page, but that has gone down to PR0 on that page now, as I guess that important link, or those important links became too old to be important, or they lost PR themselves.

    Again think of PR as Juice that pours into your website and gives that page power, then pours out again or evaporates as time goes on.

    PR does not translate directly into visitors, Google works on relevance, but will promote a higher PR page that has the same relevance over a low PR site with the same relevance.

    If you are a small website, you will simply not get many visitors, as you won’t be relevant to most searches, since you have very little content.

    More Content = More Visitors

    Google will send visitors relative to what your keywords say your content is about, but will stop sending them if they find those visitors do not stick around.

    The PR you see is not the same as the PR that Google has, the PR we see lags behind by months, so you may not be PR3 right now.

    If there are two websites with the same relevance to the search, the higher PR webpage gets to be placed, more often, above the lower PR site, but Google will give both websites a chance to be nearer, or at the top for testing.

    The best advice I can give you is to make a correct title, and description that are relative and full of phrases people might search, then move on, do not waste too much time on SEO, it is a time sink you would be smarter to invest in making more content.

    I feel I have an relatively good understanding of PR, but I do not work for Google, and even if I did, only a very select few of the people there, actually know what is going on.

    This is the horses mouth right here if you ever have any contradiction about how SEO works, he will give you what I might call obfuscated answers. http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/ . They never give you the strait goods as too many people will find ways to exploit it.

    People often pay for SEO advice like they would Snake Oil, do not do this, the only people that know the answers keep it to themselves (I would suspect there are less than a dozen of them), and likely don’t talk about it after work with the type of guy who would try and sell you “SEO secrets”

  11. melanie jean juneau
    Oct 15th, 2012 at 11:22

    You are so generous with your time and patient- thank-you. This is the first time in addition Davin’s comments that I have had someone actually explain this stuff in plain Enflish without resorting to computer lingo
    AND- I think I’ve got it. You are GOOOD, if you can explainn Pr to someone like me who typed her essays on a MANUEL typewriter, can’t program the phone or T.V. and doesn’t own a cell phone.

    One more question- on blogspot, i did not add labels or tags and I have now started to add the to 4 posts so far-this is a good idea, right?

    Also are three blogs that now have basically the same stuff on them a bad idea?
    1.The Joy of Mothering at motherofnine9.blogspot.ca – my largest site, I use social media to promote, family friends + large international followers

    2. Joy at melaniejeanjuneau.wordpress.com – for polished posts that Broowaha has published

    3. themotherofnine9.wordpress – other bloggers ust discover me somehow and comment

  12. PBScott
    Oct 15th, 2012 at 20:05

    @melanie jean juneau
    Hi Melanie,

    I have mixed feelings about tags, as they are not as specific as keyword phrases, and on my website at least, tags create extra links that will drain my link juice away into pages that do not add any extra value to my website, other than a poor way to navigate. I still use them, but they do not really make SEO sense to me. I have often considered removing tags from my blog, but it takes time that I do not have.

    If you run your own URL’s, you may want to consider moving all three of them to one domain, you can still keep them as separate blogs, you would just need to install all three of them in different folders. This will save you money, and should help with your marketing, as you can link between them.

    If you consider linking between three different URLs to one another, Google may decide looks like a link scheme or something, especially if it is done near the top of each webpage, in the area Google calls “Above The Fold”, which is basically any place that is viewed on load, before people scroll down. So keep this in mind. I find Google to be far from perfect and what I would consider paranoid at times when it comes to penalizing a website.

    If you are on Blogspot, or wordpress URLs instead of your own, it shouldn’t really make a difference that you have three instead of one, but only do so if you feel it improves your visitors experience.

    Again these are just my opinions, if you ever find out I was wrong, please let me know.

  13. melanie jean juneau
    Oct 16th, 2012 at 02:02

    well that is a relief, EVERYONE seems to tell you to tag everything and tagging 180 posts is a daunting task. I will leave well enough alone.
    the same goes for my blogs- It really does not make a difference.

    Do you realize that you are the first person to really make sense?? You deserve some sort of bloggers award in recongition. Perhaps I will simply send newbies to your blog to read and support you. I will be first.
    thank-you
    melanie