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PR Puzzle

 8:49 am on Mar 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

One of my sites is PR6 throughout - except for the index page which is PR5. This is the only page with significant external inbound links (there aren't many, but they are high quality).

I assume the internal pages inherit their PR from this page - can anyone shine any light on the discrepancy?



 10:17 am on Mar 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

If there are no backlinks from other domains to your internal pages, the only explanation would be the linking structure of your site, e.g. there are probably no (or not many) internal backlinks to your index page.

(You can sticky mail me the URL.)


 12:29 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have a look a the site and it is indeed an interresting puzzle:
Most of the pages have either PR5 or PR6. However, the index.html is only PR5.

There are not many pages on this site (about 20) and most of them can be reached directly from each other. Because of this 'nearly flat' structure, PR is probably similar for most of the pages, i.e. PR is either a high PR5 or a low PR6.

I compare two PR6 pages with the index page to find reasons for this phenomenon.

- There are backlinks from all pages to the index page (as far as I could see)

- Nearly all of the incoming links are to the index page. For one of the two PR6 pages which I have examined, I found an additional PR4 incoming link. However, the other PR6 page has none.

- Google considers www.domain.com and www.domain.com/index.html as the same page. Thus, a split of PR is not an explanation.

- The number of links on the pages seems to be also not the solution. For one of the PR6 pages exists more than one backlink on the pages (which could explain higher (transferred) PR for this page), however, the other PR6 page has just one backlink on each other page (as far as I have found so far)

Therefore, one has to look for other explanations.

If the structure of the pages is unchanges for the last 2 month, i.e. since the deep crawl before the last update (WebManager, can you confirm this?), then it seems that PR calculation is treated differently than in the original algorithm. For example, one can think of:
- graphik links doesn't count the same a text links (the backlink to the homepage is a graphic link)
- transferred PR depends on the position of the link
- link within the navigation template doesn't count the same as other links

Of course, this is speculation, but I haven't found a better explanation so far. (I will examine this site in more detail the next days.)

do you want to change the structure in such a way that the homepage is a PR6 page? Independent from the reason for the actual distribution of PR, you can change it. However, you can change the distribution, but the total PR (sum over all pages) will be unchanged. Thus increasing the PR for your homepage will decease some other pages. However, if your homepage is more important in your eyes (and also because Google seems to favour homepages in the results) you should do this.


 4:59 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)


When Google links to your site, they are linking right to the domain, www.domain.com, right?

When your internal links link to your home page, are they linking to the index.html file, or are they linking back to the domain? For intance:


Or are you linking to:


If the latter, then you should change it to the former. Google sees the first set and the second set as linking to two different pages, even though they both link to your home page.. and some PR is given to the first set by your incoming links, and some is being given to the second set by your internal links.


 6:10 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)


the pages are linked to index.html not to www.domain.com. However, as already mentioned I examined this. Google shows for link:www.domain.com the same backlinks as for link:www.domain.com/index.html. Thus I concluded that Google see this as one page.

Even if Google distinguish between these pages, then the index.html should have the same PR as one of the PR6 pages, which has just one incoming links from every other page and no external incoming links. (Hopefully, I don't overlooked anything important.)


 6:15 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

While this probably is not why, it could be... Maybe your PR6 pages have a number of inbound links which have a PR less than 4. That way they would still add to the PR of those pages and google would not show them when you check for them.


 6:57 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)


I have already checked this using alltheweb, but no additional backlinks are shown.


 3:24 am on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)


<the pages are linked to index.html not to www.domain.com. However, as already mentioned I examined this. Google shows for link:www.domain.com the same backlinks as for link:www.domain.com/index.html. Thus I concluded that Google see this as one page.>

I just verified this, and you're right. I hadn't seen this before.. new to me :-).


 4:25 am on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have found that AllTheWeb doesn't show links to internal pages.


 9:35 am on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't think that external links are the solution for the problem, because this would require that the sum of all transferred PR (from external links) to each of the internal PR7 pages is higher than sum of transferred PR (from external links) to the homepage. However, as mentioned by WebManager (and I checked this), the homepage has high quality incoming links. Therefore, each of the internal pages should have a very large number of incoming links with PR <= PR3, while there are no more significant incoming links for the homepage. This is not only very unlikely, but also no hints for such a scenario has been found.


 6:51 am on Apr 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

For as long as I can recall the index page has always been PR5 and the other pages PR6 (a couple are now down to PR3 but only due to some recent uncrawled changes in the shop pages).

There is somehing perhaps worthy of note - at one time there was a tracked inbound link to index, something like: index/?fav.

If I navigate to the index page using this URL it has a PR4 (honest!).

I'm not particularly worried about the discrepancy (although it would probably be beneficial for the index page to have PR6 due to the importance Google attaches to index pages) - I'm pleased to see it's generated so much interest!


 8:56 am on Apr 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've been round this loop with my own website.

Google does give seperate PRs to www.domain.com and www.domain.com/index.html.

From my experience the best thing to do is point your internal pages at www.domain.com otherwise your splitting the available PR.



 5:53 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Can anyone verify Olderscot's message? (there seems to be some disagreement)

I had another thought, I use some advertising which uses deep inclusion - few SE placed ads (if any) point to my index page - perhaps there is a large number of weak inbound links to the shop pages.


 7:54 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I still believe that Google doesn't distinguish between pages as long as the same backlinks are shown (as in your case).

For my site the situation is the following: www.mydomain.com and www.mydomain.de are pointing to the same space. All significant incoming links are going to the "de" domain. However, the PR is independent from the domain. Google knows that these sites are identical since link:www.mydomain.de as well as link:www.mydomain.com yield all backlinks. Thus there is no split (even in this case).

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