The only pagerank that still matters isn’t one that you visually measure.
Pagerank has been one of the most abused metrics in measuring SEO performance and a website’s true strength. There is only one pagerank that still matters and that is Google’s internal PageRank calculation used to determine where your pages will fall in the SERPs.
PageRank or “The Little Green Bar”
Named after Google co-founder Larry Page, PageRank is a systematic algorithm used by Google to help rank websites for its search results. Consisting of a simple 0-10 numerical scale, PageRank works by identifying the number (and relevancy) of backlinks a particular website has, using this information to measure its popularity. Generally speaking, websites with a large number of relevant, high-quality links will rank higher than similar websites with few-to-no quality ranks. But does PageRank really matter in today’s ever-evolving age of the Internet?
The Early Days of PageRank
It wasn’t long ago when PageRank was among the most important metrics used by webmasters in gauging their websites’ popularity. You’d often see webmasters touting their high-PR websites on forums and blogs. While some webmasters still do this, it’s become less commonplace.
You can still check your website’s PageRank using a web browser toolbar like SEOquake. Alternative, there are websites that will check PageRank for you, such as http://checkpagerank.net/. Just enter your website’s URL and it will reveal the PageRank.
The Best Explanation
As Dave Davies , CEO of Beanstalk SEO Services stated, “Without getting into specifics, it’s often easiest to simply note that the signals used by Google are numerous and fluid. With over 200 signals used to rank a website, it’s about balance. Chase one signal (like that little green bar) and you’ll never have a balanced SEO strategy that will withstand the test of time.”
PageRank has gone through numerous updates since its initial launch more than a decade ago. About once or twice a month, Google would “update” its PageRank, refreshing the rankings of all websites and webpages in its search index. If your website had a PageRank of 1, for instance, waiting until the next refresh may yield a PageRank of 2 or 3, assuming you were actively promoting your website and building additional backlinks to it.
But it’s been a while since Google has updated its PageRank algorithm – a LONG while. The last PageRank update was made on December 6, 2013, leaving many webmasters to believe that it’s no longer relevant or meaningful in their search rankings.
Does PageRank Still Matter?
So, does PageRank still matter? This a question that search marketing experts and webmasters continue to debate, but the general consensus is that Google continues to use PageRank as a ranking signal. Rather than openly displaying PageRank, however, the search engine giant is likely using an internal model in which it conceals the true PageRank of websites and pages.
During the pinnacle of its use, PageRank was used largely by spammers who were seeking to buy or sell links. It’s possible that Google caught on this manipulative behavior, halting all public PageRank updates and instead shifting towards an internal algorithm. In any case, I wouldn’t worry too much about your site’s PageRank, and instead focus your efforts on producing high-quality content that’s relevant to your target demographic.
Susan Moskwa, a Webmaster Trends Analyst for Google, sums up this idea nicely in a post on the Google Webmaster Central blog:
I posit that none of us truly care about PageRank as an end goal. PageRank is just a stand-in for what we really want: for our websites to make more money, attract more readers, generate more leads, more newsletter sign-ups, etc.
So, if PageRank and Page Authority aren’t the focal points of ranking your pages, what should you be focusing on?
Answer: Building quality links over time through creating good content.
- Create content that is worth sharing and linking to.
- Build your social media traffic. The more you use and build your social media traffic the more links you’ll get coming to your site.
- Work on building your Site Authority. The more links you can build to your internal pages the better your site will perform overall.
To summarize, focusing on pagerank shouldn’t matter to you anymore because there is no tangible metric to value your website’s pagerank. Instead focus on metrics that you can measure such as social media traffic, bounce rate, conversion rates and whether or not your site’s authority is increasing over time.