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Hilltop Into Play?

 7:46 am on Aug 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is one of the most weirdest things I've ever experienced in my web development practice.

A person who I meet almost-daily in the pub asked me to build a website for him. And so I did - and we're talking way back in April.

The site soon started getting a low number of links from a few PR0 websites (0 as in Zilch - A white bar) which may have a few 'behind-the-scenes' links from high-pr websites..

Anyway, soon after the next Google Update, I noticed a change in PR and it almost 'accidentally' (as you would like to call it) got a PR5. But how is that? I checked every backlink in the links that Google has recognized and each one has a PR0 (white bar).

I think this is a perfect example of the Hilltop algo being into play (if site a -> site b, and site b -> site c, then site a -> site c). Could this be though?




 8:12 am on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Alternative explanation: the toolbar PR display is totally whacked. Those links you think are PR0 may really be PR5.


 8:26 am on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thought that, but just checked through Proogle and a few tools that tell PR - all report Zilch.



 8:40 am on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

... or google is not telling you all the sites that link to you. If they want to cut down on requested link exchanges, they won't show the important sites as a backlink.


 9:46 am on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'd use yahoo for backlink searches.


 10:47 am on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree. Use Yahoo to see the real backlinks. Google is showing some pretty low quality backlinks right now.



 10:55 am on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well Sid,

I dont' think hiltop has anything to do with PR. The reason for you getting a PR 5 can be many-
1) Probably you're not aware of any site having a nice PR linking to you.
2) It's still possible to achieve a PR 5 even if you'ver PR 0 sites linking to you. PR 0 shown by toolbar doesn't mean that the site has no PR. The PR may be in fractions.
3) The internal liking of your site is another very important factor in getting you a nice PR. You can have a internal linking to get the maxium out of PR equation of Google.


 10:55 am on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

There have been many threads over the past couple of week detailing Google Toolbar abnormalities.

Maybe there is some serious re-shuffling going on with the Toolbar with the upcoming IPO as they have never really commercialised the Toolbar but you can bet the new shareholders will want to.

Expect to see Adwords showing up soon ......


 11:01 am on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I could be mistaken, but I've seen a few things that kind of make it look like what's on a page two hops (links) back can have some influence on rankings - and it's seemed that way to me for a while now.

Just my tuppence, which could be all it's worth, but I can't see where it can hurt to consider it as a possibility.


 11:52 am on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

It only has about 5 links (per domain) in total - according to Yahoo! and my referal logs, and out of the 5, 3 of the domains have been recongnized by Google.

And like I said above, I have checked almost each link to see its PR not only from the toolbar, but some of the tools which let you check PR as well. All reported a 0 for each page.

The reason why I'm posting here is because I was just curious of that could have happened and I know it's something worth researching into for future reference.

Overall I think the answer is one from the two:

  • The Hiltop Algo
  • Backlinks Updated - PageRank No.


  • PCInk

     12:07 pm on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Check deeper into the PR0 sites. My homepage is PR0, some pages several levels deep are PR4!


     12:55 pm on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

    <<I'd use yahoo for backlink searches.>>

    It never ceases to amaze me that professional SEO types would even consider using Google to check backlinks. They have never given an accurate account of this.

    Every single post saying, "Why does siteX rank high with only 5 backlinks" can be answered by going to Yahoo! to check backlinks.


     1:00 pm on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Check deeper into the PR0 sites. My homepage is PR0, some pages several levels deep are PR4!

    I agree. My site is the same: PR0 on home page (first time ever) and all of the several thousand lower pages have PR - ranging from PR3 to PR5.



     1:12 pm on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)


    Not Hill Top. There's nothing suggested in the Hilltop algo which could change PR. Although that affiliation stuff is precalculated, it doesn't come into play until query time.

    Also all these tools, you're using to check PR is simply using the same DB as Google, so doubt if that's a good test.

    The recent update lists loads of non existent links to some of my sites. And many of the links that actually generate the PR is not showing (PR 7 site). So like everyone else has already mentioned, Google LP is and may stay completely pointless.


     1:22 pm on Aug 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Sidyadav, what part of Hilltop do you reckon is having an influence?


     4:49 am on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

    > It never ceases to amaze me that professional SEO types would even consider using Google to check backlinks.

    No, as I said above, I do use Yahoo! to check backlinks. I'm not amazed that it's ranking on top. I'm amazed the PR has gone up with PR0 links coming to it (i.e. not really a Yahoo! issue).

    Some of you maybe right, maybe there's a hidden page (or pages) with high PR which I cannot see in the Google results. Or maybe Google is not showing all the links. There's something in there.

    As for the Hiltop, I first thought it may be a case of that coming live as for the rumors. But when I think it over, I don't think it has anything to do with it (e.g. PR/Hiltop - two very different things).



     4:57 am on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

    >> Google is not showing all the links

    It has NEVER shown all the links and this has become even more random in the last 3 odd weeks.

    Use Yahoo backlinks to verify the PR of who is linking to you, NOT google.

    >> I'm amazed the PR has gone up with PR0 links

    Nah .. you've got a high PR6 inbound from somewhere or the other.

    Once you've ruled out the obvious that no one with a PR6 is linking to you, look at a 301 redirect to your domain name, or your IP address (in which case you might have something in your .htaccess which does a 301 redirect to your domain for misqualified address (i.e. none www to www type redirect).


     5:11 am on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I guess Google is counting hidden PR4/5/6 links (or maybe 301 redirects as Shri said) to the site which it is not shown in its search results.

    What I can do now is examine all the incoming links I have (this time get them from Yahoo! and referal logs; as opposed to Google) and check each link's PageRank.

    I'm sure I'll find one -- and if I don't, I'll just take it the "visual" side of PageRank is whacked ;)



     9:12 am on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

    After looking through the referal logs, I found a few PR5 links (precisely, 4 unique domains) which are no where near being indexed by Google (all 4 belonging to the same owner) but still input/output PR. I take it their IP ranges must have have been banned by Google for several reasons after the last Google update.

    But I'm glad I figured this out and was stopped by beleiving invalid information (thanks all!).


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