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|Perfect example of PR going wrong!|
High PR site, but for the wrong reasons ...
While searching for a reasonable reseller hosting package using Google, I came across a site with a respectable PR 7, much higher than other cut-price resellers in the marketplace. Quite impressed, I had almost made up my mind to sign up, when a quick checkrevealed that the site had high PR due to many credible sites referring to its poor service and false commitments. Now that was close.
Being a webmaster, I knew how to determine which sites linked to it etc., but I'm sure the average user is not aware of such tools, and would certainly fall for the trap under the impression that high PR is a positive indicator.
While PR simply increases with the number of "votes" for a site, no way does it certify the said votes being positive or negative!
That's down to the sites linking to it in my view.
They shouldn't do it - text would be sufficient. Why drive traffic there?
"the average user is not aware of such tools, and would certainly fall for the trap under the impression that high PR is a positive indicator."
If Joe User is not aware of the link: tool, they may also be oblivious to the PR and so would not choose this company based on PR.
Bizarre case. A link to your site is counted as a vote FOR your site, even if the link text says "This company is S**T".
"If Joe User is not aware of the link: tool, they may also be oblivious to the PR and so would not choose this company based on PR."
Fair comment - but the company would still be at the top of the list, this will influence the user.
The higher PR will certainly help it, but a site is not top of the list just because of a high PR. In this case we'd better ask vmaster.
Hey, vmaster! Was this the top site in the SERPS?
Well, it is quite well ranked for certain key phrases, and that's how I managed to find it.
vmaster, I believe you are raising the bar way too high to expect a search engine to sort it all out for you. If I was shopping for a host I would use a search engine looking for a site doing host reviews.
A better indication is (sorry for the specific, but its quite generic) searching for "logo". Comparing page content with backlinks alt tags gives a clue that Google should look at page content a little more.
I am with trillianjedi here, most webmasters dont know what they are doing linking to them.
This -is- an example of PR gone wrong.
However, it's a rare situation.
|If Joe User is not aware of the link: tool, they may also be oblivious to the PR and so would not choose this company based on PR. |
Not if they have the Google Toolbar installed - google even describes it: "Google's estimate of the Importance of this Page"!
How do you expect a search engine to know about a "vote" beeing negative?
"Not if they have the Google Toolbar installed"
But this also has the "Page Info" button where you can look for "Backward Links". But sure, the Toolbar can be misleading and we all know it. Do many Joe Users use the toolbar, though?
"How do you expect a search engine to know about a "vote" beeing negative?"
Time for those smileys to have an effect...:) :(
|the average user is not aware of such tools, and would certainly fall for the trap under the impression that high PR is a positive indicator |
The following on Google's Fun & Facts [google.com]
|More than 1 million users from all over the world downloaded the Google Toolbar in the three months after it was launched; the millionth person was from the Ukraine. |
Which means more than 1 million SEOs in three month's time downloaded the toolbar and the millionth SEO was from Ukraine. Remmber the one who optimized that site, which sells sailing yachts
Also as Google's Technology Page [google.com]:
|Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search. Of course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don't match your query. So, Google combines PageRank with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search. Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines all aspects of the page's content (and the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if it's a good match for your query. |
Which means, PageRank is a measure of quality of a site. (*/10) Also ever tried to read the Alt text which shows up on mouse over of the PageRank field on the toolbar?
IMHO, what trap vmaster faced - many innocent people may have already fallen for it, the ones who have download the toolbar..millions of them. I totally agree with vmaster.
I agree it is difficult for an engine to distinguish between a positive and a negative vote, but certainly reconsider whether the number of votes should determine the "importance of a page".
pr is just how many links point to it why should it ever denote a good or bad site
"Important, high-quality sites"
A poor quality company can employ a webmaster to make a high quality site. A bit of SEO can get the site a high PR and good ranking. The web site is just packaging. If you dig a bit deeper as vmaster did, you may find the truth.
The word Important is misleading. It can be Important for all the wrong reasons. One could say that both Churchill and Hitler are important in world history. On the web if someone refers to a bad web site or bad company and gives it a link they are (maybe without knowing) making it more important. However, they don't change the Quality. A site can be important but low quality, or it can hide a low quality service.
|it is difficult for an engine to distinguish between a positive and a negative vote |
When its difficult either step into in when your 100% sure that it won't cause any errors or don't step into it at all...but this is simply misleading!
That is how we got Windows, right? ;)
I am stepping out of this thread. Sweet dreams everyone!
The webmasters who are inadvertently promoting the site are at fault here. Nevertheless, it raises an interesting issue.
Is there any way to instruct Google, or indeed other search engines, to ignore some content (or links) within a page?
A <NOSEARCH>,</NOSEARCH> tag pair would seem to be a simple solution. Surely, someone has thought of this already.
Anyone know the answer?
Surely if Google somehow could differentiate a positive vote, and a negative one, they would, and adapt their ranking. Maybe it could work with certain words, like "good", "superb", "brilliant", vs "bad", "boring", etc.
I tried to do this myself for movie reviews (Google Blogoscoped MovieBot), using the Google Web API, however it didn't work at all. (I'd need a fuzzy OR best-of keyword intersection to make it work better, but Google doesn't support that currently.)
Unless they already do this, which I don't think, PR is indeed only the importance, not the quality of a page.
When I'm doing lists of certain bad pages I try not to link to them, but only show the URL as text. E.g. when talking about Spam sites. I wouldn't want to be part of that neighborhood. However I'd admit it is some sort of disservice to a reader of my own page, because they might want to see the Spam site themselves in the context of whatever I report on, and have to copy & paste the link now. (The lesser evil tho for me.)
I think especially blogs do a lot of "negative" voting. And yet, this will only push the site up in Google and DayPop. E.g. once I was slighly annoyed by a misleading site turning up #1 in Google. How would I talk about this in my blog without linking to the site again, thus manifesting its position even more?
The Hitler analogy, well Hitler is important in history, so if someone would research "famous evil person", it would only make sense for him to pop up somewhere on top. But if someone is searching for some kind of recent service, say website hosting, and a certain company is really really bad, surely web people would talk about it a lot, linking a lot, and pushing its PR higher. Might be there's currently no alternative/ solution to this problem though, nothing short of getting rid of PR which overall would be worse.
well philipp, I tried your "famous evil person" [google.com] search and I got a page, which is all about Famous Christian Scientists, in top ten results - now explain this!
In most if not all channels of commerce, once you reach a certain size (i.e., critical mass) you begin to start receiving a fair amount of traffic just for existing. The Web is no different. That does not however imply best price or highest quality.
People still retain responsibility for doing their own homework before making a commitment to purchase. Even the US Justice system understand this...hence the phrase "let the buyer beware."
It is well established that many consumers now use the Web as a valuable source of information (research) prior to buying goods and services. We can think of those consumer as smart consumers...
But when it comes to purchasing, it has always been the case that some will do their homework, and some won't.
PageRank is like market cap for stocks. At one time enron had huge market cap - that doesn't mean it was a "good" company - only big.
|Even the US Justice system understand this...hence the phrase "let the buyer beware." |
Actually, that phrase eminates from Europe - and the latin maxim 'caveat emptor' - not from the US Justice System...
Don't worry, I'm just being faceitious because it's a Wednesday. I don't like Wednesdays.
Er, back to topic. Oh yes - apart from the origin of the phrase I completely agree - it's buyer beware. Google are not affiliated with any of these sites.
I seriously doubt that many internet customers actually use the google toolbar as a means of vetting a commercial site. But if they do, and word gets out that the PR toolbar is duff, then hooray let it RIP.
That example is not PR going wrong. Its PR acting as it should. There are many factors in a quality site, and further factors in a quality product. PR measures the extent to which other important sites link to it, that is all, popular does not necessarilly mean quality (look at the number of pages on brittany spears compared to beethoven).
PR is a factor in ranking, so is relevance as measured by terms on the page, and incoming link text. Again this does not measure quality.
Google makes it clear what toolbar PR is meant to measure in one or two sentences.
And im pretty sure the perception of most surfers in that rankings are a function of relevance, and not quality
|Actually, that phrase eminates from Europe - and the latin maxim 'caveat emptor' - not from the US Justice System... |
Hmmm, I'm going to have to start footnoting my posts I guess. But since we're splitting hairs, all I said was that the US system understands this...not that they (we) coined it. Getting a bit defensive TJ?
BTW, where's Europe? ;-)
It's ok - I did say that I was just being faceitious (how the heck do you spell that?!).
But..... since we're splitting hairs (lol):-
|all I said was that the US system understands this... |
Actually, you said ".....*hence* the expression".
But don't worry I'm just kidding around. It really is not that important to me!
(just to your East)
I was advocating abt how PR helps in E-branding!.
Coming back to the topic, yes it's fair to say it's very likely that it could be abused or it could go wrong.
It helps Google rank in SERPS,(i.e the measure of importance of the page come from.)
It's not about Quality of the product,the quality of product can be best judged by it's usage not by seeing who reffered it.PR is only a refference factor, now how many of us buy things purely on referrence factor alone ,not many I belive.
Chiyo : "popular does not necessarilly mean quality"
True True True, but read what Google says :
"Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank"
Inferring that Important = High Quality. They say that a page with a high PageRank is high quality.
I think everyone posting on this thread agrees that PR is a measure of importance and popularity, but not always of quality. There's a lot of dross out there with high PR and I know some people who WILL look at 2 pages, one with PR 6 one with PR 4 and say "Oh this one is more important" and may be more likely to believe what is on that page...
Monkscuba, agree with you totally...
An earlier message said that 1 million people have downloaded the toolbar.
I'm not sure how many of those who downloaded it, uninstalled it when they realsied Google can track your web movements if you install it, but I would guess a fair few - certainly the black hatters.
So how many web surfers (as opposed to webmasters/SEOs) really use the tool bar? As a percentage of surfers I'd think it's a very low percentage.
Which means for a very high percentage PR is irrelevant, What ranks 1,2 and 3 of the SERPS is the overriding "popularity" measure for Mr & Mrs Joe Surfer.
So many here harp on about the good and bad about PR, but in the overall scheme of things - who cares.
I can think of quite a few search terms where a PR7 site ranks #1 and much higher up the SERPS than a PR9 site. If I'm running the PR7 site do you think I care about PR - not on your life. I care about being #1
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