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Google 'click-thru' to our site shows grayed out PR...
BUT - our PR actually shows 5...

 1:54 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Due to a change on our domains we've had some fluctuation in the SERP's last week. I posted a message (thanks Claus for the response) right at the beginning when I was somewhat confused on what was happening. I now have more data - but have found a really weird PR issue.

The basic story:

Our web site is the name of our company - which has two words in it. We have both the hyphenated and non-hyphenated versions. Both of them used to display similar (mirrored) content. Most of the google results pointed to the hyphenated name since it had been around for a really long time. Most of the links on our site were hard coded links that referenced the non-hyphenated domain so that all visitors would eventually move over to that domain. Recently, our web host changed our domain setups and began a 301 redirect from the hyphenated domain to the non-hyphenated domain.

We had eventually talked about doing that, but hadn't expected it to happen so soon.

As a result of the 301 redirect, google is beginning to drop the hyphenated domain from the SERP's and is beginning to pick up the non-hyphenated name much more (which makes sense).

HOWEVER - this is the crazy part, if I manually type in our web address and display/refresh the page, we have a PR of 5 (which is reasonable based upon the size of our site and the incoming links). If I search for the keywords that most people use to find our site (which we fell from #3 to #17, then up to #10), and then click from the google SERP's to our page, it shows a greyed out PR.

If I click through that same keyphrase search on Yahoo to our site, it shows the PR of 5. It's only when I click through from google that shows a greyed out PR.

How in the world can a google click through effect the displayed PR value on a site?

I'm inclined to think it's some sort of fluke/quasi-penalty that is hanging around due to google watching our two "mirrored" domains - a safegaurd it had in place to avoid both our domains placing in the SERP's.

Does my inclination sound correct? And, will it "fix" itself over the next few weeks?





 9:12 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Surely I'm not the only one that has had a grayed out PR when clicked through from google - but that shows a normal PR when visited "manually" or from some other search engine...

I'm thinking I need to simply wait a few weeks - but am concerned it might be something "broken".



 10:22 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing this behaviour too. Just tried 4 different sites through google serps and only 1 was not grey barred. When the url's are typed in directly PR is displayed.

Could it just be a bug in the new toolbar?


 10:25 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Maybe example.com v example.com/ v example.com/index.htm?


 11:39 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)


Good idea. I checked and that is not the case in this instance.

I pasted the exact result from google into a new browser (it was non-hyphenated.com/ ) it came up with a PR5... I also again clicked through the google result and it comes up with gray PR.

The crazy thing is that this IS effecting our placement in the SERP's. We are being treated as if we are gray PR. The reason I know this is because:

When I search for our company name (which is our domain name), the results are:
#1 - a secondary site we run with a completely different URL and different content
#2 - some low ranking sub page informational/text page on a different site with no inbound links to it
#3 - our site non-hyphenated site

Our company name search has ALWAYS (in the past) pulled up our site as #1 - so, google is actually treating our site as if it is gray PR - but the toolbar displays the PR5...




 12:01 am on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google PR does not affect search results. only a site which is banned will not show up in the serps. Sites which are banned have a PR of 0. Even this is not much to worry about as I have ended up with certain pages with a pr 0 and later have returned to their original PR.only dropping off all together is a worry of a ban/. The toolbr is very buugy and I don't really rely on it. If you recently changed your domain name and are using a 301 then the PR should come back as it has started to on your search results. PR only matters in the google directory and it increases spidering. The normal SERPS are relevancy based. Lots of talented people here at webmaster world but no one seems to really understand PR. I have never seen a correct post on the subject. Don't be frightened by your lack of PR. Keep optimizing your site. If the PR shows up at all your page has got it.If you are really concerned take a look at you log files and see if the googlebot has not been stopping by as much. My experience dictates that PR will often show up as less or a gray bar but that it returns with continual optimization techniques. Oh and try to get more backlinks with your new domain name that should help. also contact any link partners that you have and tell them to change your link to the new domain just to be safe.


 1:54 am on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)


Thanks for the information.

<The toolbr is very buugy and I don't really rely on it>

What has been very confusing about this is the toolbar only shows gray PR when I click a google SERP to visit my site. If I simply go to my site OR visit it from another search engine, it shows regular PR. Perhaps google thinks the PR for my site is supposed to be gray and the only one that is accurate is the google click-thru?

<Oh and try to get more backlinks with your new domain name that should help. also contact any link partners that you have and tell them to change your link to the new domain just to be safe>

We'll continue doing this. Previously, both domains were mirrored - and sometimes a subpage would show up with our hyphenated spelling, sometimes on the newer, non-hyphenated spelling domain. Since we are now using a 301 redirect from the hyphen to the non, my understanding is that all the old links should count towards the new. However, we are checking with some of our link partners to have them update...

Thanks for your help.



 2:14 am on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

What has been very confusing about this is the toolbar only shows gray PR when I click a google SERP to visit my site.

Just a glitch I think. The PR is still there. Click from Google SERP to your site, then control-n a new window and watch your site load again. Voila - PageRank.

Although now that I think about it - all this does is replicate returning to the page from a bookmark or another site, not Google, which is why the PR shows. So I guess your question stands.


 11:09 am on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've seen this behaviour often in the past. But it wasn't reproducable (reload or click forth and back always worked).
I think it's just the Toolbar that 'hangs'.

Nothing to worry about.


 3:43 pm on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yeah - this bug has been around for months now - gives you a heart attack 1st time you see it, but it is nothing to worry about.

Presume G knows about it and will fix it in due course


 3:46 pm on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

For sites with grayed out PR, my trick has been to select "Backward links" on the toolbar Info menu, wait for the backlink results to load, and then click the back button in your browser. Doesn't seem to be working as well lately as before.

Guess this may just be another way of causing the page to reload.


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