One common question that I have read in forums and on websites is “how important is Google’s PageRank?”. More specifically how important is the little number associated with each page of a site in terms of traffic and ranking well in Google’s search engine.
For those that have been developing sites for many years, they may see PageRank as an important factor in search engine optimization (SEO). Others shrug it off as a number that doesn’t carry as much meaning as it once did, and don’t bother with trying to increase their PR value. While I have kept an eye on my PR number, I dont’ stress over it one way or another, and it appears Google wants it that way.
What is Google’s PageRank?
When Google started out in the search engine business it began associating a rating to pages of a website. The PR value of a webpage was a number between 1 and 10. The higher the number the more authoritative the page was for a keyword, which determined how it would rank in the results pages.
Google’s PageRank was based on many values, but the most common method of increasing PageRank was to generate as many backlinks from high PR sites. The backlinks should contain the keyword that you were trying to rank well for in the search engine results pages.
Over the past few years, after seeing how many people became obsessed with trying to increase their PageRank, Google started to discount the value of the PR number. The biggest action Google took was to remove the PageRank values from its Webmaster tools in 2009. Since that time, Google has made mention that PageRank is not the only authoritative value that determines how a site will rank in the search result pages.
Is PageRank Really Important?
Unlike a few years ago, PageRank is not as strong an indicator that will determine how popular a site is, or how well it will rank in search result pages. The reason, actually reasons, for this are as follows:
- The algorithm used by Google to determine search rankings consists of many, and I mean many, different criteria. PageRank may be part of the algorithm, but it is a small part.
- The PageRank value that is display by a PageRank checker is out-of-date. The number is constantly being updated, but the number reported is a snapshop number.
- PageRank is assigned to individual pages of a site – not to all pages. When looking up the PR of a site, that value is assigned to the home page, and individual pages will probably have a lower value.
SEO experts and consultant stress the importance of PR value for a site (I notice they don’t talk about the PR value for a page), but in reality, you should be focusing on other areas of improving your site. Content, keywords, and backlinks are three areas that you could focus your efforts. Relying on a number that is probably inaccurate is not something you should concern yourself with.
How Important Is Google’s PageRank in Reality?
While it is nice to see the ranking of your site increase, in reality I wouldn’t get to concerned with it’s value. I have had the PR value of Technically Easy go up and down and I haven’t noticed an difference in traffic from Google’s search engine. In fact, I have had it increase during a time when the Google’s PageRank actually decreased.
The only time that I have seen PR really mean something is with advertising. PageRank is one of the numbers that advertisers like to look for when determining which site to advertise on. Of course, advertisers may also use the Alexa rating of a site as well, which is not accurate in any way.
When asking yourself “how important is Google’s PageRank?”, I would say “not really” and move on to improving the quality and value of your site.