1. I still get concerned about this.
2. This can be caused by changes to the number and quality of inbound links.
3. I haven't witnessed this?
Some people would have you believe PR is not important!
However, MC has said twice recently that depth of crawl is dependent on PR (see his latest post regarding the Q&A seesion he got and the sitemap question)
As to why it goes down - there is obv. link rot and you may have to keep gaining links to keep level - also the Canonical and Hijack problem often results in PR disappearing :(.
With reference to different browsers showing different values - you are probably just hitting different DCs. PR on the DCs is not consistent currently.
I see the importance of page rank when I add new pages.
The higher the Page Rank, the better the ranking of the new added pages.
When you have an high Page Rank you can concentrate just on content....
Lower Page Rank forces you to concentrate on page SEO, and link popularity to get the same results.
also with more and more people becoming aware of pagerank I beleive that it might have a effect on conversion for your site as well if it has a low or no pagerank.
I find that my higher PR pages, when updated, get indexed quicker. The difference between a PR5 page and a PR3 page can be several weeks, in terms of the time taken for the new page to appear in the index.
If nothing else calculating PR for all of Googles indexed pages is a colossal job. I doubt they'd do it if it didn't mean something.
The trick is not to get too hung up on PR for individual pages. I find the best way to think of it is like looking at a histogram from about 20 feet away. It is less about the tiny details and more about the overall picture it gives you.
Another good use of it is the disparity in PR across your site. Assuming most backlinks point to your homepage, it can be helpful to note the difference in PR as you move down your site. Many high ranking sites can have good PR for their homepage, with most of the others hovering around PR2. This is often the sign of a badly put together site. If you know what you're doing you shouldn't have to rely on this kind of thing, but if you don't it can be a useful early warning system that your site is badly linked internally, something that will adversly affect user experience as well as the way Google ranks your pages.
Well my site is about 10 months old and the home page shows a PR of 3 while the other older pages have a PR 2.
I am not sure whether this is good enough considering the short time this site has been around....
Also firefox shows a lesser PR for all the pages as compared with IE....what could be the reason for this?
PR matters. I think some of the confusion is caused by Toolbar PR, which is not (always) correct and the fact that low PR pages can rank above high PR pages.
IMO higher PR sites gets crawled more often and also deeper. The indexing time of new pages is also a matter and dropping to PR0 means start all over again on a new domain.
The calculation of PR is a complex matter but certainly inbound links (number and quality) is a key figure.
as Dayo_UK pointed out:
|With reference to different browsers showing different values - you are probably just hitting different DCs. PR on the DCs is not consistent currently. |
DC = Datacenters.
DC = Datacenters
More information please!
Google's indices (data) are located on different data centres (or if you like, servers) in different parts of the world so results can vary depending which one you are using.
I find page rank has gone down slightly all across my general topic. In fact I could only find two sites above a toolbar PR of 5. The only 7 is that annoying site that is about stuff with it's high PR that results from how huge the overall is.
So yes PR really does help both in ranking and in quick frequent and deep spidering of your site. But compare it to others in your topic.
That said I do miss the days when I had a PR 7.