Page Rank Practically Irrelevant as a Ranking Factor
October 10, 2014
If you have researched the SEO industry for any considerable length of time you have probably run into the phrase “Page rank” or PR and may have concluded from what you read that having a high PR is a guaranteed way to boost your search results.
Once upon a time that may have been the case. After all, PR is simply a historical measure of the backlinks that are pointing towards a particular site and, in the days when Google wasn’t quite as good at seeking out poor links, it could act as an indication that the site was reliable or informative, even if the site has had to use some level of manipulation to achieve the high PR.
For a number of years now Google has been stating that they barely even consider PR in the algorithm anymore when it comes to deciding where to rank a page. It’s ineffective and it’s open to exploitation by those who would just use high PR to bolster advertising revenue and instill the belief that their website is of a high quality.
This lack of relevance has been practically confirmed throughout the course of 2014. After all, so far this year Google has yet to provide a single update to the Page Rank toolbar and, according to a recent discussion on Google+, the company has little intention of updating the metric at all going forward.
So what does this mean for the average webmaster?
Well, for the majority of you, it doesn’t mean anything. If you are not actively engaged in a campaign to “improve your PR” then this is just something that you can look at and then ignore going forward.
However, if you are attempting to boost your PR then you should sit up and take notice. Because the fact is that you are likely going to be throwing good money after bad if you are working towards getting that little number to go up a digit or two.
Don’t chase the PR
Traditionally increasing Page Rank has been done by purchasing links on websites that have a high PR, with a small portion of that PR passing through to the linked website as a result. That’s the theory at least and its why many of you may have seen advertisements offering x amount of high PR links for a fee.
As pretty much confirmed by the above video, purchasing those links will provide practically no benefit to your website. As John Mueller himself comments, Google has a variety of ways for preventing whatever benefit might have been gained from the link from ever reaching your website.
Even worse is that by creating such links you are opening yourself up to algorithmic issues as a result of Penguin or, in worse case scenarios, an algorithmic penalty. Either one will see you spending many valuable hours of a lot of your hard-earned cash trying to achieve a fix.
So, to conclude, don’t believe in the PR myth that so many are still so keen to promote and be wary of anybody that offers an improvement in your website’s PR. It simply doesn’t matter anymore.