Is Google PageRank Still A Valid Marketing Tool?
The Google PageRank Toolbar in SEO circles is a hotly
debated item, as are most issues dealing with Google.
Some say it’s useless, others say it gives you a general
overview of your site’s standing in Google. Regardless
of who is right, this Toolbar shouldn’t be ignored nor
worshipped, just closely watched.
The Google PR Toolbar is a simple tool you can download
and place on your browser. When you surf the web, this
toolbar will give you Google’s PR or Page Rank for that
particular site or page. Google ranks all web pages from
a scale of 0 to 10. This Toolbar is more like the Richter
scale than an ordinary scale, there’s a big difference in
the rankings as you go up and they are not proportional.
You must also realize each of these ranking points are
further divided and only Google knows the exact placement
of your site or page within your shown PR number. For
example, if you have a PR6 site your site could be at
low end of the PR6 scale (closer to PR5) or at the top end
which would make it more of a PR7 site. Big difference.
Many suggest Google is not giving us the real value of
the page in the first place and this toolbar is often
out of date and more of a smokescreen than real information
about a site. There could be some truth in this as Google
never gives up all its secrets. Does any company?
Certainly not the company that holds the keys to the
most powerful economic force on the planet: the Internet.
Complicating matters even further are webmasters and
marketers who try to manipulate their own PageRank by
buying or exchanging links with other high PR sites.
Many are now doing Three-Way linking to try to influence
their site’s rankings in Google.
A whole SEO industry has been built up around PageRank
for the simple reason the stakes are extremely high. If
you can deliver first place rankings for your client’s
targeted keywords in Google it means free organic traffic
or visitors delivered directly to your site.
Many SEO experts believe Google has a whole list of
ranking factors which determine how well your page is
ranked. Among others, these ranking factors include
Google’s PageRank algorithm (voting system) and
Hypertext-Matching Analysis (analyzing page content).
If you check out Google’s own corporate site for an
explanation you will find that Google clearly states
its patented PageRank(TM) algorithm is the heart of their
web ranking system which was founded by Larry Page &
Sergey Brin in 1998. You will also find that Google
says it uses numerous factors including PageRank to
examine the whole web and find the most relevant and
important pages to match a specific search.
PageRank takes into consideration over “500 million
variables and 2 billion terms” when finding the most
important pages. Google makes it clear that each page
casts a vote for another page and this is reflected in
the PageRank. Votes from particular sites or pages might
have greater value than others. “Important pages receive
a higher PageRank and appear at the top of the search
The question still remains, is the Google PR Toolbar
a valid marketing tool? Should you use it?
One can only speak from experience, I have always used
the Google PR Toolbar and find it helpful in assessing
what Google thinks of a site or page. I rarely link out
to sites anymore but if I do I always check any potential
linking partners to see their PR. Any site with PR5 or
over I will link to it if that site is related and has
high rankings for my site’s own targeted keyword phrases.
I also check out the number of outbound links on that
page, lower is better because the amount of PR passed
along is divided equally with the other links.
Sometimes I will link to a lower PR3 or PR4 site if I
find the content on that site is extremely good and I
know it is only a matter of time before Google upgrades
that site to a PR5 or higher. You must be very careful
not to link out to any type of ‘link-farms’ as Google
will penalize you for it.
In my opinion, many SEO experts worry too much over the
exact PageRank or Value Google is giving to a page. Whether
or not we can really know the true value of any page? Well,
the true value of any web page is staring you in the face
in Google’s SERPs for if over time a page consistently holds
the #1 spot then that is Google’s true PageRank and Value
for that page for a particular keyword or keyword phrase.
If your page is consistently in the 1000th spot, then Google
doesn’t think your page has much value for that keyword.
Your site’s overall value or PageRank within the Google
ranking system may be a little harder to figure out if you
dismiss the PR Toolbar as a good indicator of your site’s
overall worth within Google. Maybe Google has put into place
filters and blinders to discourage the online marketers and
SEOs who try to abuse and manipulate PageRank.
Let Your Own Experiences Rule Your Judgement
Again, one can only speak from experience, I believe the
Toolbar is very helpful in showing what Google thinks of
your pages. Over the years, I have experienced my main
website at a PR1 level and I have experienced it at a PR6
level. Believe me, the PR6 is much better. Can’t imagine
what a PR8 site would be like to run or the kind of lifestyle
it would provide.
For higher PR means better rankings for your site and your
keyword phrases. It simply means more traffic and more
sales. If you’re optimizing for Google, you should do
everything you can to get the highest PR you can possibly
get. More importantly, you should be doing everything you
can to increase the PR of the pages where you have your
long-tail keyword phrases as organic traffic from these
pages will usually turn out to be your site’s main revenue
I have found one of the quickest ways to raise your
Google PR is to get one-way links from high PR6, PR7
and PR8 sites (Think Article Marketing). Google
considers these links as votes for your site and ranks
your site or page accordingly. Consistently get enough
of these incoming one-way links over the long haul and
your PR will go up if you have high quality unique
content pages that are well optimized with good
navigation and formatting.
Where To Get The PR Toolbar
If you’re not using the Google Toolbar – use it!
You can download it here:
Another great way to see PR in action is to use the
Visual PageRank tool here:
It will show you the PageRank of all internal and external
links on a webpage at once. Extremely helpful when you’re
checking out any site or page for at a glance you can see
the current Google PageRank of all these links.
Google’s PageRank system, including the PR Toolbar, is
something every webmaster and online marketer should be
aware of in their struggle for higher rankings. Don’t
become obsessed with it, instead use this system to your
advantage to build better pages and sites. For despite
all the misconceptions and intricacies of such a complex
system, no webmaster can deny if you conquer the Google
PagePank system, it will deliver the goods.