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Does PR Really Matter?
Pages with lower PR come up first.
kidalex




msg:86970
 6:47 am on Dec 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Everybody keeps talking about the PR of their sites. However, it seems that it is becoming so irrelevant to Google that people should switch their focus on something more important. Sites with lower PR come up higher than sites with high PR all the time. So, what's the point of having a high PR if it is apparent that there are better ways to end up on top?

 

ciml




msg:86971
 5:04 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

PageRank is important to how Google works. PageRank is important if you want to get a large site crawled fully. PageRank is important if you want to understand other aspects of how Google orders its results.

The PageRank of a set of pages is not important to their order in Google's results, though it was a long time ago.

Dominic_X




msg:86972
 5:45 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

The basis of pagerank is links.

While PR is less important, links remain all important.

The anchor text of links.
The theme of the page linking.
The number of links on the page (share of PR you get).
Anchor text and theme of page linking to ~ the page which links to you.

Anyone can drive the PR of a page sky high, but you are not going to get links with the right anchor text from pages on topic amongst few other links unless your content / product / issue / budget... rocks.

Teshka




msg:86973
 6:39 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't know how it is for everyone's keywords, but everytime I notice a 0 PR page ranking high, it's because it's a new page from an authority site (CNN or something with a high PR on the main page).

Is this what people mean by low PR pages doing well or are you guys seeing PR nothing sites ranking well? I haven't seen that yet (but then I only monitor my own areas).

Liane




msg:86974
 6:42 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

All things being equal ... PR wins! By that I mean if two pages from different sites are both optimized well ... the one with higher page rank will win.

If a site with lower page rank is very well optimized, it can easily beat a site which hasn't been optimized but has higher PR.

BigDave




msg:86975
 6:51 pm on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

The PageRank of a set of pages is not important to their order in Google's results, though it was a long time ago.

I would disagree with this. I would add the word "as" between "not" and "important".

PR certainly does have an impact on where you rank, just not so much when you are comparing pages with close PR, like a PR4 page and PR7 page.

It is also one of the few (and possibly the only) factors that affect your ranking across all your keyphrases. It is also the factor that, with proper planning, will help all your pages instead of just the page that the link points to.

rfgdxm1




msg:86976
 1:12 am on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

>So, what's the point of having a high PR if it is apparent that there are better ways to end up on top?

It depends on what you mean by high PR? So long as the home page of your site has a PR of at least 6 (and if it doesn't, either you aren't trying hard enough or need to pay a SEO), that's plenty of PR for you to play around with on your site, unless you are gunning for ultra-competitive SERPs. At this point, it is all the "other algo factors" that you have to worry about.

annej




msg:86977
 4:41 am on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

A good PR like 6 or more is a great help in getting spidered (both depth and frequency). Also it helps any new pages you ad do better in the serps.

A lot of it is not so much what PR does for that page but what it does for the pages it links to.

Stefan




msg:86978
 5:43 am on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

All things being equal ... PR wins!

Yep. If two sites both have the title, "best widgets", and they're both equally optimized for those kw's, then the higher PR page will take it. That, along with frequency of crawls etc, makes PR still a real factor in things.

ciml




msg:86979
 11:24 am on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

BigDave, I suspect that we differ more on our definition of 'important' (in that context) than on the actual importance of the direct affect of PR on raking. :-)

> not so much when you are comparing pages with close PR, like a PR4 page and PR7 page

I would consider PR4 and PR7 as hugely different. Not so evident when looking at the direct affect on rankings (as other factors tend to be more important), but very evident when it comes to the other uses of PageRank (roughly two to five orders of magnitude).

Small Website Guy




msg:86980
 3:00 pm on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

PR is at the very core of how Google functions, it has to matter. How else does Google know the difference between an "important" page, and some piece of garbage that has been sitting out there for years, unlinked to?

But it's also clear that Google has been trying to prevent the situation where a guy with high PR pages can just create a new website, put up some links on his existing high PR pages, and automatically have the new site show up high in the SERPs.

People can only guess at exactly what variables Google is looking at to prevent the above situation from happening.

BigDave




msg:86981
 8:02 pm on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>I would consider PR4 and PR7 as hugely different. <<

Yes, but still relatively close when compared to the possible range. You can overcome a difference between PR4 and PR7 relatively easy with other factors. You simply do not see PR2 pages showing up on the front page of SERPs where there are several PR9 pages in the battle, even if the PR2 page is incredibly opeimized and the word is just one of many that are appearing on the PR9 page.

Whenever I see anyone claiming that "PR isn't important", they are never really taking into account the full range of PR. PR is still the most important factor IMO, but other factors can make up for a few points of TBPR.

Kirby




msg:86982
 10:25 pm on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

>The PageRank of a set of pages is not important to their order in Google's results, though it was a long time ago.

Not according to this Stanford paper [citeseer.ist.psu.edu].

randle




msg:86983
 10:51 pm on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Rumors of its demise are greatly exaggerated.

doc_z




msg:86984
 11:58 am on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

The PageRank of a set of pages is not important to their order in Google's results, though it was a long time ago.

(Unfortunately) This statement is absolutely correct(*). However, ciml is referring to toolbar PR difference of 0.03, not 3.0.

(*) or
- they have a bug in the PR calculation
- they completely changed the PR formular

Not according to this Stanford paper.

That paper has nothing to do with the ranking algorithm we are talking about but is just about the PR calculation. (Using well-known block techniques to speed up the calculation compared to the simple Jacobian iteration scheme.)

Also, Google modified the original PR formula already years ago, while the standard formula is still used in this paper. Another point is that Kamvar et. al. always (i.e. for d<1) consider the calculation as determining eigen vectors. This is unnecessary complicated (and from a principle point of view not correct). While the calculation for d=1 corresponds to the determination of an eigen vector, it corresponds to solving a set of linear equations for d<1. They also get problems with dangling pages (dead ends) which wouldn't appear if they simply solve the equation system.

brixton




msg:86985
 12:33 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

"but everytime I notice a 0 PR page ranking high"
that's right because during the next PR update you will see that the 0 PR page now have a 5,6 or 7 PR if it comes from an Authority old site and of course a few hundred links:).

brixton




msg:86986
 12:38 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

"You simply do not see PR2 pages showing up on the front page of SERPs where there are several PR9 pages in the battle, even if the PR2 page is incredibly opeimized and the word is just one of many that are appearing on the PR9 page"
sorry to tell you are wrong...there are pages of PR2 ranking at #5-#6 in over 10.000.000 results for very competitive money 2 keywords

rfgdxm1




msg:86987
 6:24 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

>I would consider PR4 and PR7 as hugely different. Not so evident when looking at the direct affect on rankings (as other factors tend to be more important), but very evident when it comes to the other uses of PageRank (roughly two to five orders of magnitude).

Yep. To put this is perspective for anyone reading, the home page of Webmasterworld is PR7. This site has got to have lots and lots of inbound links. Webmasterworld is quite an authoratative site. In contrast, PR4 is commonly seen with the homepages of teenagers. Getting a PR4 is trivially easy. The only way to get a PR7 is to have an impressive site, or through luck or skill manage to glom onto a link from a really high PR page. And almost always if you can it is a matter of skill. Of course, if you happen to be a close friend of Bill Gates... ;)

steveb




msg:86988
 7:26 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

"not important"

The absurdity of this is demonstrable to me personally by looking into my wallet, or into my stats where I can see visitors each day from hundreds of obscure search terms where I rank first almost solely based on pagerank, since no one anywhere (including me) has otherwise optimized for these unique, multiword queries.

It's true also that "domain authority" plays a very important role here, but when it comes down to the authoritative group, the authoritative domain with a PR4 page having the obscure text on it beats an authoritative domain with a PR2 page with the same text. Optimizing the distribution of PR remains critically important for authority sites.

BigDave




msg:86989
 7:42 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

sorry to tell you are wrong...there are pages of PR2 ranking at #5-#6 in over 10.000.000 results for very competitive money 2 keywords

And your comment has noting to do with my comment, so I am not the one that is wrong. You did not respond to the point about differences in PR. At no point did I say that a PR2 could not be competitive. They certainly can be.

How many PR9 pages are competing for that "money" keyword? It is incredibly rare for a PR9 page to be a "money" page. You never mentioned that very important fact when you told me I was wrong.

It would also be of interest how many of the high PR pages were attempting to rank well for those words, or were they just incidental.

You can beat out large differences in pagerank, but you have to do everything right, and they have to do everything wrong. That sure doesn't sound to me like pagerank is unimportant.

ciml




msg:86990
 8:31 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

ciml is referring to toolbar PR difference of 0.03, not 3.0

I know what you're thinking doc_z, and the difference between 3.0 and 0.03 has a lot to do with my statement earlier that PR is important if you want to understand other aspects of how Google orders its results. :-)

But, for the effect on rankings I do mean that a PR difference of 3.0 notches is not important.

BigDave:
You simply do not see PR2 pages showing up on the front page of SERPs where there are several PR9 pages in the battle, even if the PR2 page is incredibly opeimized and the word is just one of many that are appearing on the PR9 page.

A difference of 6 to 8 notches on the Toolbar PR scale. At the upper end that's rather like comparing the width of my right hand to the diameter of the Sun if my calculation is correct. More importantly though, the high ranking of a high PageRank site normally has little to do with the direct PR boost.

High PR pages that rank well for phrases tend to have many links from many different sites. This tends to be important.

You may remember the discussion about Google's Appliance page, back when it was linked from Google's home page but had few links from other sites. It didn't rank well, compared to other pages with far less PR. Now it has something like 600 different domains linking to it and does rather well. However the Appliance 'customers' page, also PR10, ranks at #132.

I do agree that PR "certainly does have an impact on where you rank", just not that it is important (i.e. it does not have "great effect or influence").


steveb, yes I agree that things look different when bottom-feeding. If no one anywhere has optimised for a query and no one with those words on the page has much power, then even the small amount of power given directly from some extra PageRank can be important to you.

lisalisa




msg:86991
 8:49 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

PR doesn't matter.
My own site scores for 9/10 keywords in the google top 10 for some words 3 times in the top 10.
I have a PR 00000

So why invest time in something that doesn't matter.

BigDave




msg:86992
 9:17 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

A difference of 6 to 8 notches on the Toolbar PR scale. At the upper end that's rather like comparing the width of my right hand to the diameter of the Sun if my calculation is correct.

Bingo! There is an incredibly huge difference in those PR levels. But those aren't even the full range.

The range of PR is the full range from PR0 to google.com, not the difference between a PR4 and a PR6.

High PR pages that rank well for phrases tend to have many links from many different sites. This tends to be important.

It certainly is. But so is PR. So is the title.

However the Appliance 'customers' page, also PR10, ranks at #132.

For what search? What is the pagerank of top 10 pages for that search?

You can have a PR5 with 600 domains linking to it. Why don't those beat out the PR10 with 600 domains linking to it?

I am in no way saying that other factors are not important. They are incredibly important. What I am saying is that stating PR is "not important" when it comes to ranking, is simply wrong.

A huge difference in PR can make up for a lot of optimization. A mention of the term in the text probably will not beat out a page that is designed specifically for that term, but it will if it has a few other factors incidentally right.

ciml




msg:86993
 9:48 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

It certainly is. But so is PR. So is the title.

When it comes to high PR pages that rank well for phrases, I wouldn't call the title important either. :-) It's a factor, but not an important one in that situation.

You can have a PR5 with 600 domains linking to it. Why don't those beat out the PR10 with 600 domains linking to it?

Because when all other things are equal, the unimportant factors get to decide.


lisalisa
why invest time in something that doesn't matter

The time can be well invested - PR can be used to unlock Google's secrets.

iblaine




msg:86994
 10:01 pm on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm in the 'people put too much emphasis on PR' camp. It's important but not as important as people want to believe. Regarding the high PR is necessary in order to get lots of pages indexed in google - this is a myth. Google doubled the size of their index two months ago but they didn't double everyones PR. There are plenty of PR3 sites with over 100k or millions of pages indexed.

lisalisa




msg:86995
 12:06 am on Dec 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Even the title is not important.
I know a site that scores 1place in google without the keyword in the page or metatags.
The site also has a PR 0 only incoming links with their keyword.

randle




msg:86996
 2:48 am on Dec 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

PR is important; there is no question about it. More is always better. You will always want more, not less. Will it solve all your problems, of course not. But anyone optimizing a site, would prefer a higher PR. The psychological boost alone is worth something.

Even the title is not important.

I have to respectfully disagree with this statement though. We have found perfecting your title to be so beneficial when it comes to capturing as much traffic as you can. Spend time on the title and it will always pay off.

steveb




msg:86997
 5:06 am on Dec 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

The pagerank of a page is not just something that influences the ranking of that page, in a vaccum. Good PR enables deep content to generate secondary and tertiary income. It's not merely about ranking a page for a single term.

High PR helps in the battle for top ten terms, but it is just one factor, and not the most important one. At the same time though, high PR is a key factors that helps rank first for 990 other terms every day that can generate the same money as those top ten mega terms.

annej




msg:86998
 6:15 pm on Dec 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

I know that single key words are less important than the dozens of key word phrases throughout a site in bringing visitors but it still bugs me to see lower PR and sometimes questionable pages rate above me in my top key words. It's a mystery to me how they get there.

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