How Important is Google’s PageRank?

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.


How Important is Google's PageRank?

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  • The PageRank value that is display by a PageRank checker is out-of-date.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.

PG

About Paul Salmon

Paul Salmon is the founder of Technically Easy. He is a an experienced PC user, and enjoys solving computer-related problems that he encounters on a regular basis.

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32 Comments

  1. Teresa Greene
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Page rank is an important factor but its not the only basis. Regardless, when I went down in PR, my traffic wasn’t affected, so hopefully yours won’t be either.

  2. Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    I was very excited to see my PR go to 2. Guess I shouldn’t have been. Still, it seems like some kind of social proof that I’m active and have backlinks. But it’s good to know it’s not the end-all of blogging, I guess.

  3. Karina Pennington
    Posted December 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I use the rise in traffic – especially in search engines – as my reward. For me, to see my PR of a 4 was awesome! Sure pagerank is only one factor of your website.

  4. Posted October 1, 2011 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    My PR has gone down. It was 3 but now it is only 1.

    • Posted October 2, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      I have been there. Regardless, when I went down in PR, my traffic wasn’t affected, so hopefully yours won’t be either.

  5. Posted September 6, 2011 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I think very important for SEO because internet marketers think their world revolves around Page Rank.

    • Posted September 6, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      PageRank is one of those metrics, while it looks good for advertisers, it really doesn’t have a huge impact on the search results ranking.

  6. Andrew Walker
    Posted July 28, 2011 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    Well, it’s just…important. But it’s not really important actually. Yet, I’m still wondering why people went that far until buying it.

    • Posted July 28, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      It is interesting to see how many people put a lot of effort in raising their PageRank. Outside advertising, I find that PR really does have that much effect on how well you do in Google’s search results.

  7. Posted July 17, 2011 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    I am having PR 1,waiting positively for next PR update.Great post dude!
    thanks for realising me importance of PR update.

    • Posted July 17, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      The PR on my blog has gone up and down. I like to experiment at times with my blog, and I’m sure Google doesn’t like it at times. I don’t think I am really being punished, however, as Google continues to increase the amount of traffic it sends my way.

  8. Posted July 17, 2011 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    For me, google pagerank is important because it will make me feel rewarded of all my effort and one way of boasting my confidence.

    • Posted July 17, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      PageRank is a nice reward to get. I use the rise in traffic – especially in search engines – as my reward.

  9. Bronzilla
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    For me, to see my PR of a 4 was awesome! Sure pagerank is only one factor of your website. But, with a pagerank you know you are doing something right like unique content. Pagerank also let me know that my is being searched in the search engines.

    • Posted July 17, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      That is true in that PageRank shows that you are doing something right. While it is good to see a nice PR, we also shouldn’t rest on our laurels. We must always continue to improve our site.

  10. bodynsoil
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    As a new blogger the page rank number was a boost of spirits, it might not matter with searches but to me is a gauge that shows me I am working in the right direction.

  11. Joseph Requerme
    Posted July 13, 2011 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    For me, one of the main thing that you should look for in terms of linking are as follows:

    1. Page Rank
    2. Number of outbound links
    3. Recently cached(blog is updated regularly)

    Page rank is an important factor but its not the only basis. Google uses 200+ signals in ranking and page rank is the numerical representation.

  12. Salman
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Great post on importance of PR … Agree with your points on importance of PR in reality !! Mainly due to advertisers, one need his/her blog to have a decent PR :)

    • Posted July 11, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      With regards to advertisers, I agree. PR is one of the factors that many potential advertisers use to determine if they buy ads on your site or not.

  13. Posted July 11, 2011 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    There is a difference between the actual page rank and the page rank shown in the Google toolbar. Sometimes it takes months for the toolbar page rank to be updated. But the real page rank of your page or blog changes constantly. The tool bar page rank can be used as a good measure only when there is a very recent toolbar PR update.

    • Posted July 11, 2011 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      The age of the PR is something people seem to forget about. While it may seem a site drops in PR, it reality it may have begun to drop months ago so they have actually had a lower rank on the site for some time.

  14. Argie Monroy
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    I dont really know the true value of a Google pagerank. But I do think that the higher the PR of a site or page is, the greater is its authority.

  15. Faria Royle
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    In my concept page rank may or may not matter because it depends on what kind of business you are doing, if you are spamming your site with lot of links then its important.

    other wise what you need is actual rankings and nothing else.

    thanks

  16. Adnan
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    well that’s encouraging, thanks for posting it. :)

  17. Posted July 9, 2011 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    Thanks for a great reminder that PR isn’t all that important. As you say, it’s more a show-off than of any real value. That said, it does give an indication of how reputable and relevant the site is for the topic it has. For SERP, however, Google factors in a lot more than just PR, and that’s how it should be.

    FWIW, at the PR update in January this year Google decided to downgrade me to 4 after staying at 5 for more than six years or so, although it doesn’t appear to have cost me anything as far as SERP or traffic goes, and it is good to see that very few if any of my 500 posts ranks less than 3.

    Carefully crafting your posts so that they can be searched for and found is probably what matters more than acquiring a lot of backlinks in the hope of obtaining a hire PR. Well, having many backlinks is a good thing in most cases, but it won’t be the only thing driving traffic to your website.

    On another matter, worse than some people’s obsession with PR is some people’s obsession with their Alexa rank, which IMO has very little value at all.

    • Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Ah, Alexa rank. Between PR and Alexa there is not shortage of people trying to decrease one, while increasing the other. Unfortunately, advertisers may look at both numbers to determine if they want to advertise on a particular site. Online advertising is based on numbers that don’t have any real meaning in terms of traffic.

  18. Posted July 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    You are correct about Google PageRank. Your blog has more informative contents than mine but my blog has a higher PR than yours. It used to have higher PR before the last update but I really do not mind the downgrade.

    • Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Content is still king in terms of SE traffic. Google has been talking about how PR doesn’t mean as much, and have been talking it down over the past few years. Writing unique content is what really matters for your blog.

  19. Posted July 8, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Ya i agree with your points. Google uses more than 200 things to determine the quality of a site out of which one thing is page rank. So i guess content and traffic are more important for a blogger and we should let google do its job itself:D

    • Posted July 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Content is definitely still the best way of generating traffic from search engines. People try to take shortcuts, and try to increase their PR, but eventually they are caught. Those that focus more on their content, instead of their PR will usually come out ahead over time.

  20. TrafficColeman
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    People don’t need to stress over it because it really don’t’ hold that much weight at time. But it is good to have and show though.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • Posted July 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      It is interesting to see how people stress over that little number. They don’t realize that their PageRank has been at that level probably for weeks, or even months before it was publicly shown. I may check my PR, but I don’t put too much throught in the value.

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  • About Me

    I am Paul Salmon, an avid technology fanatic who is always learning new things. My goal is to inform and help others with technology.

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