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Pagerank queries - the <rk> parameter
What do such figures as Rank_1:1:6 Rank_1:1:5 mean?

 10:10 pm on Feb 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

We already know that toolbar PR is in fact an historical figure. When you query google for current PR, you get some mysterious figures such as:

Rank_1:1:6 Rank_1:1:5 Rank_1:1:4 Rank_1:1:4 Rank_1:1:5 Rank_1:1:6 Rank_1:1:5 Rank_1:1:0 Rank_1:1:1 Rank_1:1:5 Rank_1:1:2 Rank_1:1:3 Rank_1:1:0 Rank_1:1:0 Rank_1:1:3

These figures are for a site that has a current toolbar of PR4.

I searched the web for an explanation, but failed to get a good one.

Is there any idea as to what all these magical numbers mean?


Jim Westergren

 11:19 am on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ok I see.

I think we need more examples in order to determine anything actually. Like if we have about 5 examples with the same thing we can make a conclusion but I don't think before as there is A LOT of factors in the rankings ...

I am not really tracking SERPs so I can't give any. And it seems like it's only you, me and Hanu following this thread so I am not sure how we will do about this, hehe.


 11:33 am on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

I can see a fair number of sites/pages that have <rk> values on the Big Daddy DCs and <rk> 0 on the non Big Daddy DCs with little or no improvement in the serp position between the two.

With the way MC has talked about Big Daddy so far then this is probably related to all the "under the hood" infastructure changes he has been talking about.

With him saying that most people will not see any ranking changes at this stage it just feels to me that perhaps those <rk> values are just waiting to be applied rather than already effecting the serps on Big Daddy.

Have a look at Bluefind (Which I always believed was Canonical issues which resulted in the loss of PR)

On Big Daddy <rk> is 6 - however search on Bluefind returns the site anywhere between 30 odd and 60 - but not stronger in Big Daddy despite <rk> 6 compared to 0.

Jim Westergren

 12:02 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I get the following: RK 6 Rank: 51 RK N/A (error on the tool?) Rank: 39 RK 0 Rank: 51

But Bluefind is not a good example. I am 95% sure it is under penalty for making money on selling PageRank.

I will start to make a sheet I think with RK figures and SERP rankings for some sites I own.


 12:08 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>under penalty for making money on selling PageRank.

Maybe, in fact other sites which look like they might have penalties are having <rk> values returned in Big Daddy DCs.

Hmmz Toxic Lemon shows <rk> too on Big Daddy - not sure what to make of that - I was sure that was banned - could also have been canonical - but might be stretching my imagination there a bit - must have been a ban surely?

I was 95% sure that it was a canonical issue with Bluefind and as Big Daddy purpose is largely to sort this out then the return of a <rk> value could be seen as an improvement in this area.

Jim Westergren

 12:22 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)


The BigDaddy indexes are double as big than the rest!

I checked one site which it shows RK 5 on half and 7 on the rest (bigdaddy).

I used this query on the different DCs:

-link:http://www.example.com in Google (all sites not linking which is the whole index).

Some of the BigDaddy (RK 7): gives 18,210,000,000 hits gives 18,200,000,000 gives 25,270,000,000 gives 9,640,000,000 (?) gives 25,270,000,000 gives 18,210,000,000 gives 25,270,000,000 gives 18,210,000,000

Some of the Rest (RK 5): gives 9,640,000,000 hits gives 9,650,000,000 hits gives 9,640,000,000 hits gives 9,570,000,000 hits gives 9,650,000,000 hits gives 9,660,000,000 hits


Actually same on both ... strange?

Otherwise it could be that as the BigDaddy versions has much bigger indexes they have found more of the backlinks and thus higher RK.


 12:26 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>> gives 9,640,000,000 (?)

Not consistently Big Daddy - probably not when you queried.

With such huge differences between Big Daddy and non Big Daddy there should be more noticable ranking changes between the two.

Which makes me thing that the ranking changes <rk>? that will result from the Big Daddy infastructure are not in place yet.

Roll on Big Daddy.

To be fair to Toxic Lemon they look much cleaner than they used to be - was sure it was a ban though


 1:12 am on Mar 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was just feeling good about my website because my pages on BigDaddy are growing. I figured I check out Hanu's tool and I'm seeing <RK>6</RK> for my website and it used to be <RK>5</RK>.

The site show PR 5 on all tools, but I was wondering if anyone else is seeing updated numbers.


 11:23 am on Mar 15, 2006 (gmt 0)


This is my only hope that Google can now fix the problems that have blighted the index.

On Big Daddy the <RK>s are showing values again for sites that went to PR0 due to Canonical and Hijack problems - these sites however still dont rank in Big Daddy.

Fingers crossed that once Big Daddy roll out is complete then a PR update (internal or external) may result in changes for these sites.


 11:30 am on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Right now, I see that <rk> values, aka live PRs all show "0" while toolbar PR is still visible. Perhaps we are nearing to a close, a full rollout?


 11:36 am on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes, I am not sure why they have gone to 0 though.....


 11:45 am on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Purhaps to allow the BD figures to replace the non bd pr calculation




 11:48 am on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

But it looked like the RK figures were a BD calculation.

Probably just part of the process. As it has happened to every single site it might be some purge and refresh.

I get the feeling we are on the brink of something big :)


 12:09 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Maybey they are recalculating the PR from the data refresh earlier this month?


 12:36 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Perhaps they just decided not to reveal the <rk> values after much (close the real state of affairs) speculations here at WW and elswhere, and after many new online tools showing these <rk> values, some even at 80 datacenters at once!


 4:57 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

weird ...

no more RK are showing on the "future pr" prediction tools :(


 5:00 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

well this is either going to be really good when it is all said and done.........or really, really bad......but I have a feeling that it is going to take months and months and months before things stabilize and we can really see how we have been effected.

Good God what a mess!


 5:06 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

While most of my sites look stable, one inner page on one site that I found is showing 3 different PR's at the moment, so yeah, we must be in flux. Only saw 2 sets the other day.

Note: showing intermittently on at least 2 of the dc's



 6:25 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

This has to be the worst mess created by google in a very long time.

I cant believe the issues with canonical problems and they still do nothing about them!.

Meanwhile the serps are all over the place as a result.

Jim Westergren

 8:28 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Either some temporary glitch OR Google didn't like that value to be public ... IMO


 11:21 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Google didn't like that value to be public"

I agree ... unfortunately :(
Real-time PR was interesting.


 5:11 pm on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

That intresting Jim.

I Still think that those RK (well the BD ones) values are the calculation by Mozilla Googlebot for Big Daddy and have not been applied to the serps yet. (must be soon though now rollout is complete - if they are going to be - MC has talked about an imminent PR update)

These values can be 0 as is shown currently without changes appearing in the serps.

Whether it is 0 to hide or just a temp situaton is the question. <rk> values are still there on a info:domain.com search (which is TBPR) - Lots of tools use that query to get current PR - so if G wanted to stop them why not stop that too.

Purge and refresh IMO.

[edited by: tedster at 4:10 am (utc) on Mar. 26, 2006]


 5:23 pm on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Purge and refresh IMO.

My feelings, exactly. Things should get real interesting, real soon.


 5:39 pm on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Things should get real interesting, real soon.


Lets look at some of the facts.

  • Big Daddy Launched with comments from MC that it is infastructure and not to expect ranking changes. (Most people would probably not notice any difference in this interation was the message)

  • Some differences are noticed between Big Daddy and Non-Big Daddy - but not major ranking changes on the whole.

  • Big Daddy has a different calculation of <rk>

  • Mozilla Googlebot is confirmed as crawling Big Daddy pages.

  • RK figues go to 0 (to me this shows that <rk> can run independent of the serps and therefore is probably/possibly a calculaton that may not even be applied yet - maybe due to the Big Daddy changeover)

  • MC confirms that a PR update is imminent/in the pipe line.

    So we should be near a situation where the Mozilla Googlebot generated/calculated PR/BL and other ranking factors take over from normal Googlebot PR/BL ranking factors. For a lot of people that is not a big deal as both normal and mozilla Googlebot should come to a similar calculation of PR/BL and the other ranking factors - but for sites which had crawling difficulties under the old Googlebot serp and crawling changes should be significant.

  • Jim Westergren

     10:36 pm on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

    Very interesting Dayo_UK, and I think you are on the right track here.

    It could certainly be a purge and refresh but I actually think more that Google didn't like that value disclosed and all kind of guys making tools about it and so just put it to 0. Why would he then read my article? And the refferer URL is some strange Google URL redirecting to my article.

    Frankly, I don't know. Could be either one.

    Let's see. This is interesting. If we are lucky MC will blog about it :)


     11:46 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

    In his last post, Matt Cutts invites people to ask questions of a general nature for some of which he promises to provide an answer. And Among eligible ("fine") questions that can be asked, he specifically makes reference to <rk> values:

    Examples of fine questions include:
    - Is Bigdaddy fully deployed?
    - What’s the story on the Mozilla Googlebot? Is that what Bigdaddy sends out?
    - Any new word on sites that were showing more supplemental results?
    - Is the RK parameter turned off, or should we expect to see it again?
    - What’s an RK parameter?

    Now, it seems that he have something to say about the Mozilla and <RK>, and will probably say them soon!


     9:04 am on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

    Well Matt has updated his blog and answered the RK question.

    Well it was a fun little tool for a while.


     10:26 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

    Q: “Is the RK parameter turned off, or should we expect to see it again?”
    A: I wouldn’t expect to see the RK parameter have a non-zero value again.

    Q: “What’s an RK parameter?”
    A: It’s a parameter that you could see in a Google toolbar query. Some people outside of Google had speculated that it was live PageRank, that PageRank differed between Bigdaddy and the older infrastructure, etc.


    Well he didn't really answer. He just said "Some people outside of Google had speculated that it was live PageRank". He didn't say it was not Live PageRank :(


     11:30 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

    >>Well he didn't really answer.

    I agree, he didn't answer the question.

    Jim Westergren

     11:32 am on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)


    I interpretate his answer as:

    "This is not for you guys".

    Also he writes "Google toolbar query", which is also called RK but is something else ... not the the SERP XML RK.

    Either MC don't know so much about it or he perhaps intentionally makes it confusing.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Anyway, I leave this subject now.


     2:42 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

    Some people outside of Google had speculated that it was live PageRank, that PageRank differed between Bigdaddy and the older infrastructure, etc.

    what i could judge from mc's answer is that it was definatly something important and google was embarassed to notice that we could logicaly find out the importance of one of their confidential tool. I believe that they are now disguising rk value as something else and hiding it somewhere else.

    Oliver Henniges

     8:33 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

    rkhare, I'd support that; but it's just a feeling, nothing I could "prove." I also believe that what we had seen as RK-values indeed WAS something like future TBPR, and that it had even been used for ranking purposes the past few weeks (live PR). Nevertheless it might also be the case that a complete recalculation may take place over the easter weekend, with all surprises normally attached to such "updates"; who knows.

    >hiding it somewhere else.

    presumably a four or five letter-parameter like 'info:' or 'site:'. But I don't regard the whole thing worth a "brute force attack." Cui bono? We didn't even know what to do with the info presented by these XML-files.

    This 182 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 182 ( 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 > >
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