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Google Rank - Is PageRank Still Relevant?
By: Developer Shed
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    Google Rank - Is PageRank Still Relevant?
    by Gord Collins

    Big changes in Google's algorithm have meant some adjustments in how Web sites are optimized for search engines. Of late, PageRank has not been accorded the same respect in rankings it once provided.

    The reason is that blogs and paid link ads have presented Google with a serious threat to their renowned method of ranking the relevance of web pages. What Google is doing is to reorganize how PageRank is calculated. They appear to want to make PR relevant to keyword themes.

    The hilltop algorithm appears to be their choice in creating this emphasis. By emphasizing the PageRank of certain sites (authority sites) that are important on particular topics, they can prevent the undue influence of links from sites with a purely high PR.

    If you're lucky enough to acquire a link from a site with a very PR, it won't have the same effect it used to, unless your site and the linking site are on similar topics. The difficulty now is in acquiring links from sites you may be competing with or which you share same keyword focus.

    Pursuing Relevant Links

    The obsession with acquiring high numbers of links is being replaced with the pursuit of targeted relevant links. Link exchanges are not given the emphasis they once were either. Some links pages are shut out and may actually become the basis of a site penalty. Since penalties are applied as demerit points, it is difficult to know if your site has received a penalty. And, penalties can be applied to specific keyword phrases, not just a site's overall PageRank.

    Whatever link reputation is applied to a link may either boost or lower your search engine rankings.

    Even with the devolution of Google PageRank, it is still an important basic concept in modern search engine optimization.

    As a client, site optimization concepts such as PageRank may be too time-consuming for you to learn. However, having an appreciation for them, makes collaboration easier and more productive. Perhaps the most important issue to understand is the need for precision.

    Google PageRank theory is complex in application. It exists as potential only, until you apply it creatively and strategically on your Web site. It is an essential component of search engine optimization.

    What is PageRank?

    PageRank ™ is a patented rating system developed by the founders of the Google Search Engine. The PageRank ™ value of a site is determined by a mathematical formula which computes a numerical rank by a comparative weighting of all the links contained in the Google database. You can read all about it at

    PageRank ™ is based on a theory of link popularity, which suggests a hyperlink from one Web site to another is a vote for that site as being a valuable destination. Sites that have many links pointing at them (or high PageRank) in turn possess a powerful vote and can boost the ranking of the site they link to. PageRank theory assumes that hyperlinks suggest something about the meaning and value of a Web site. It assumes that there is merit in what Web site owners choose to link to on the Web.

    PageRank is not liked by some Web users because they feel it reflects a popularity contest instead of rating the objective merit of a Web page available on the Internet. PageRank's accuracy may have been good at one time, however Web site owners are buying links and ad spots on other sites. This unfortunately has spoiled PageRank's value. Google is trying to introduce other ranking factors to mitigate the problem posed by links being bought or traded only for the purpose of manipulating the Google index.

    The PageRank toolbar is a browser add on program displays a zero to ten rating scale for the sites the user is currently visiting. SEO marketers are keenly aware of this program yet a lot of confusion reigns over what it shows. A PageRank of 7 and above is very high.

    PageRank Zero

    PageRank zero shows that Google is aware of the particular page or site, yet hasn't or won't index it. It is sometimes a penalty as well, such as when a site is published on two different domains simultaneously.When the duplicate is erased, the site may see its real PageRank reappear. You may see a PageRank zero when a page has some invisible text within it. Sometimes, web designers innocently change colors of text and some may get missed. Googlebot can pick that up and the penalty is applied even though the designer has no idea what the problem is.

    Yes, everyone wants the easy way out and to avoid learning the complexity of search engine copywriting and linking. PageRank mania has everyone obsessed with joining link farms and sending out hundreds of e-mails to get strangers to "vote" for their site. Affiliate programs are being set up not because sales will result, but only to establish rank boosting links. Links are important, but there's more accessible PageRank power right inside your Web site.

    Even after months of link building, you might only have generated a hundred poor quality incoming links. There is a better way.

    Huge PageRank - Make Good Use of it

    Take a look at any big corporate Web site and you'll see that most of their thousands of links are from within their own site. They are internal links. That tells you that you if you channel the PageRank within your site, you are generating significant PageRank power. Forget about doorway pages and risky link farms. Don't take chances like that with your business. You can rank high in Google if you do it right.

    PageRank Expert

    How can I claim to be a Google PageRank Expert? Well, my clients enjoy very high rankings and their Web sites have few links pointing to them. One has visitors from over 3000 unique keyword phrases and the traffic is exceptional. Another client dominates all six of the top keyword phrases for their industry. It's all done through a keyword positioning strategy that works. I

    There are experts like Chris Riding, and Phil Craven of Web Workshops that offer excellent insight into the mathematics of Google PageRank. PageRank however, is only one part of the Google ranking scheme. It's how you use PageRank by distributing and channeling it that creates high rankings. In the book at right, on writing for search engines, I explain how to manage PageRank on your site. This is the science of designing keyword relevance in Google. It sounds tough, but it really isn't. This book is at a level most web designers, Internet marketers and copywriters can understand.

    This book can be a great ally for you in your quest for an Internet marketing budget. Search engine marketing does work.

    Google is King

    When you talk Web promotion and e-commerce, you're talking search engines and you're talking Google. Google is the preeminent search engine claiming a growing percentage of all searches done on the web. Focusing on Google oddly enough, produces excellent results in the other search engines too. If you're unable to optimize your Web site for Google you can only rely on pay per click and a handful of low traffic search engines. Since pay per click advertising rates are rising, that avenue may soon be available only for the wealthiest companies.

    The PageRank Revolution

    Google's rise to power has only been recent. PageRank, their revolutionary search algorithm processed the text information in their Web page database differently and faster than previous search engines. Google's much touted PageRank algorithm is based on the number of links that lead to a Web page. Ranking is from zero to ten.

    PageRank is only one element of their indexing scheme. As time as passed their algorithm has matured, partly in response to a desire for delivering better search results and partly because of the improving skill of search engine optimization experts.

    Google sees its search engine as a democratic one where everyone gets vote. The truth however, is that big sites do have some extra power to obtain high rankings. It's a power they're now leveraging to the hilt. That's because high rankings on Google can deliver a lot of traffic to a Web site. Google's results are published on Yahoo, Netscape,, AOL and a number of other search properties.

    With many top executives blind to the promotional power of search engines and search engine optimization, there are some great opportunities for those in the know to build a very successful search engine presence.

    Do you need a Google PageRank expert?

    Well, if millions of dollars in sales are at stake, it makes sense. What you really need however, is a Google expert since there are factors other than PageRank to analyze.

    A Google expert understands each aspect of the search engine's index. This takes study and it's something that each SEO practitioner must do on their own. This search engine is easy to win on single word keyword phrases. However, when a company needs high rankings in hundreds of search phrases and well qualified traffic, the optimization task reaches a high level of difficulty.

    Strategy is extremely important to be successfully positioned for that many targeted keyword phrases. Technically-oriented people become frustrated at the level of creative wording needed. Creative copywriters are stymied by the technical sophistication of a high ranking Web site. Marketing managers have trouble understanding either.

    The modern Web site serves many masters and it's put together by a diverse group of contributors. Working within this high powered environment can be very demanding and stressful. Compromise is a key requirement of successful Web site development, yet the people involved might feel their contribution is inhibited by the search engine optimization process. The result can be a lack of enthusiasm for it, despite the monetary returns.

    Only someone with the capability of understanding technical, creative and marketing issues and who is at ease with such a complex matrix of hyperlinks as paths and words as nodes.

    We hear a lot about the power of Web teams and the need to work as a team. That may be true, but ultimately it comes down to individuals and their capabilities. That's especially true when budgets are limited and teams have to be paid.

    Google PageRank is an essential thing to know if you're a serious search engine marketer. If you don't have time to read the book then maybe you should contact Bay Street Search Engine Optimization to perform your search engine marketing.

    Gord Collins
    SEO Specialist
    Bay Street SEO

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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