Does Google PageRank Really Matter?
Have you ever been approached by SEO companies peddling a bundle of High PR links that can help you rank faster on Google for your Mississauga business website? Chances are that you are not alone. Everyone who has run an online business for the past decade, has received one of these sales pitches in one form or the other.
The PR that they so explicitly talk about, is called PageRank.
When Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google attended Stanford University, they had a doctoral thesis in which, they mentioned about a ‘numerical value’ which could be used evaluate the importance of a website on the basis of the quantity and quality of links that pointed to it.
This is what later came to be known as ‘PageRank’, Google’s secret ingredient which gave it an edge over other search engines.
On April 17th this year, Google officially decided to ‘kill’ PageRank. Well, at least for the general public, it did. PageRank will no longer be visible in the PageRank toolbar. Every website will show its PageRank as Zero.
So, does it still remain an important deciding factor in determining the importance of a website?
Yes, it does.
The Rise and Fall of PageRank
Every legitimate technique or strategy on the part of Google to better their search listings has been met with an attempt to use it to gain an unfair edge by SEOs.
PageRank was no different. It was one of the most highly advertised part of Google’s algorithms in the early 2000s which separated Google from the rest of its rivals like Altavista and Yahoo.
By allocating a numerical score to a website, ranging from 0 to 10 with 10 being the highest, Google was telling people that this website is considered to be important by us.
When they released their first toolbar in 2000, that publicly displayed the PageRank score of any website on the internet, SEOs realized that this was a blessing in disguise.
For example, If they could earn or buy links from 50 websites with a PageRank score above 5 or 6, it would automatically enhance the PageRank of the website that these links were pointing to. With other ranking factors also accounted for, this gave them an opportunity to rank a website for almost any keyword phrase on the internet purely on the basis of PageRank.
50 of course is just a small number. Black Hat SEOs were selling high PR links numbering hundreds and even thousands to rank on Google.
Did it work?
For a while it did.
Other ranking factors
When Google figured out that PageRank was being used to manipulate search listings, it immediately introduced a wide range of other factors that would also influence the ranking of a website. The importance of PageRank diminished somewhat and gaining high PR links alone, would only get you so far.
And the final nail in the coffin came this year when it was officially pulled from the Google Toolbar.
Will the Google PageRank Score still influence rankings? Maybe it will. But only Google will know the scores and this may mean an end to link spam which was rife with PageRank.
Businesses in Mississauga should meanwhile focus on modern alternative SEO techniques which are equally effective, rather than being fixated on scores.