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Software to check PR automatically?
Is there software that can check sites based on a theme & extract the PR?

 7:43 am on Jul 2, 2002 (gmt 0)


Reading another thread from Brett concerning 'mom & pop' sites with PR8, I wondered if there exists a software that could rank pages:

1. Based on a theme or KW
2. Based on the PR of the pages found.

I know this can be done manually by checking categories at Google and DMOZ, but was wondering why this couldn't be done by software. I am conscious however this would not be appreciated by Google for many understandable reasons, so it's a question of a curious mind :-)?



 9:21 am on Jul 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

The Google toolbar is the best way to check a page/site PR. However, it can only be installed on IE.



 1:55 pm on Jul 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks Chris,

I am aware of the Google Toolbar, and am using it. But a SEO strategy based on maximizing the PR as quich as possible, could consist of looking for pages with the same theme, providing the highest PR, and the lowest number of links on the page. Those hig PR themed pages could then be targeted to obtain inbound links first.

I find it quite strange nobody would have written a tool that does just that? Or would this be extremely complicated?


 2:03 pm on Jul 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Using such a tool would probably be strongly discouraged by Google. In the past, they have banned automated ranking checkers like WebPosition Gold.


 2:19 pm on Jul 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know if Google allows queries to the servers which provide the toolbar with its PR data? From software other than the toolbar of course.

The idea isn't too complicated pvdm its just a matter of the availability of information. It would be an easy application to write so I'm guessing its not available?


 2:40 pm on Jul 2, 2002 (gmt 0)


The Google Toolbar gets it's data via XML. There was a thread a while back that told people how to do this. I'm afraid you have to get digging though.



 3:30 pm on Jul 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Do a search in the Google Directory, they are sorted by PR in descending order.


 5:30 pm on Jul 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Google's directory ranks PR on a scale of /8, and Google's toolbar ranks PR on a scale of /10 right? Besides, not all pages with a PR are in the Google directory. That's why I thought extracting the PR value from the Google Toolbar, and combining the number of links on that precise page, should accelerate significantly a PR building strategy. Of course, based only on pages with the same theme as the page you want to build up PR for.

I really wonder how this could be done?

Are the servers serving the XML codes of Google's Toolbar PR, the 'normal' www, www1 and www2? Or is this shared among the 10.000 servers of Google?


 5:40 pm on Jul 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Are the servers serving the XML codes of Google's Toolbar PR, the 'normal' www, www1 and www2? Or is this shared among the 10.000 servers of Google?

I havn't looked for the thread yet and as such cannot answer this question 100%. However, I do believe it only dished out www info and not www1 or www2.



 5:44 pm on Jul 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Found The Thread

Here is the snippet I was referring to. Here's the Google XML thread [webmasterworld.com].

Almost got it figured out. I did a packet sniff(had to remember how that worked) and recovered the googlebar requesting the following xml document for yahoo.com:

I can access this xml document directly within ie5. I assume other browsers support xml too. It contains lots of cool info in plan text, including the page rank. The only problem is the ch variable seems to be some type of redundant encrpytion of the url. In other words...you have to know the correct ch to get the xml document. It might also be encrypted to your specific ip, so Im not sure that you will be able to access my page. Anybody know how to generate the ch?



 8:25 pm on Jul 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Great work Chris, thanks!

I read the thread, and saw somebody was referring to 'cheating' on Google. That is absolutely not the intent of this challenge: I guess finding automatically the highest ranked pages within a certain theme and the lowest outbound links, is legitimate, and even beneficial to Google and it's users.

But the challenge obviously remains unsolved... And thousands of webmasters spend days and night finding good related pages by hand. Not exactly a computer enhanced productivity example! :-)


 2:35 am on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

When I am on the T-1 my google tool bar always works great on checking PR. when I dial in on a modem it almost always shows a grey for everything. ??


 3:09 am on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

: I guess finding automatically the highest ranked pages within a certain theme and the lowest outbound links, is legitimate, and even beneficial to Google and it's users.

Maybe there's a bit of devil's advocate to asking this, but: why would it be of any value to Google, or its users (assuming you mean people using who perform searches at Google, not operators of listed sites), for you or anyone else to be able to easily and automatically determine the PageRank of any given set of pages? What benefit would it have other than for seo and identifying sites from which to seek links?

As for whether it's "legitimate" to find such information "automatically," reading Google's Terms of Service would lead me to believe that it would not be, in their view. From [google.com...] -- "You may not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system without express permission in advance from Google. "

Robert Charlton

 4:41 am on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

Someone has a Page Rank info page that interprets the lengths of the bars in the directory, etc. It's not the kind of software you're looking for, but at least it is an alternative to the toolbar. I can't find it in my Favorites. Anybody know the page and the url?


 6:28 am on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)


This is on Chris's site:


Robert Charlton

 7:27 am on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hunter - Thanks. It's definitely bookmarked now.


 7:47 am on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi JayC,

Your comments and questions are very good and touch the core of the SEO business. In many threads I read here on WMW, similar concerns appear.

1. Regarding the beneficial effect, it looks to me like many webmasters are looking to enhance their PR legitimately. But doing so manually is long and tedious, and produces mixed results. So they give up, and use spam techniques and large scale link & directory software. This results in worldwide deterioration of SERP's, counter-actions from Search Engines, and the birth of the next generation tricks.

If it was easier to discover the best themed pages offering your page the highest benefit, based on Google's PR, webmasters would not be using techniques like described above. If I was a professional SEO company, I would look for my clients for pages with PR 8 with a similar theme as his page, and a minimum of links. And if those webmasters would agree to link to my customer's page, I may look for a few others, but that would be it. I would not be attracted to large scale link software, signing hundreds of guestbooks, nor tricking techniques.

As the pages linking this way to one another would have high PR, and be similar in theme, it looks to me like this is beneficial for the user (he finds related information of value), and to Google (it provides good SERP's and Google has less work with tricks and software).

Or am I too naïve? I happen to believe people (probably 99.5% of them) do not deliberately try to trick or be dishonest. On the contrary, they try to be honest and get good visitors to their site. Frustration about how to obtain those visitors, and frustation about how difficult, tedious and obscure it is, drives them in the arms of tricky software and methods.

2. Regarding the fact that Google and the other search engines do not like automatic software is mainly based on the fact that it puts pressure on their resources. I can understand that in the short run. But in the near future, given the (secret) overcapacity building up on bandwith, and the incremental speed boosts of servers and routers, I believe this will not be the case anymore very soon. The pressure will become less of a problem once this happens, and Search Engines have more money to invest in faster equipment.

But this point re-inforces my statement: if people could find similar themed link pages quick and automatically (which still does not mean this webmaster would accept the link request...), they would not use massive software tricks which put the pressure on Google now, and which degrades theirs SERP's.

I am trying to think out the box, as my impression (I am new to this SEO, and it's a very small part of my e-management consulting job) is that the cat and mouse game going on will not bring a valuable long term solution. Webmasters, Search Engines, and Users are all players with common interests. Working together produces much better results than the guerilla war they are fighing now.

Sorry for the long reply! I thought I should make my motives regarding this threads more clear.


 7:47 am on Jul 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

That's other threads, zechariah. Probably easy to find in the site search, or scanning the last few weeks posts. There are a couple around about it.

Hunter>>This is on Chris's site

Yes, our Chris_R, (who took it out of his profile, put his best secrets there now).


 7:43 am on Jul 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

JayC has it. The Google TOS specifically prohibits automated tool checking. Attempting to extract the pr value from a Google server, would probably be considered hacking by Google and could result in...yada yada yada.

PR is significant and proprietary data to Google. It probably falls under Larrys/Stanfords PageRank patent. I'd imagine they are very aggressive at protecting it.


 9:10 am on Jul 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

I understand that Brett. I wouldn't like being considered as inciting Google hacking methods, but:

1. Google itself behaves totally freely on the net. As you can read and juge for yourself in another thread active right now, Google crawls and indexes automatically (not manually ;-))whatever it wants on servers linked to the net, robot.txt exclusions or not. That's not particularly giving a good example when trying to dissuade other people to 'crawl and extract' a PR value. Whether it indexes the information or not, is not important. It has intruded an area specifically labeled as forbidden by the webmaster, and that's not good behavior.

2. The PR value can be considered as public, as it is available for all sites, and available to all without restriction. The way it is calculated may be patented, but not each individual result. Which implies there is no liability in acquiring those results for research, be it manually or automatically. Re-engineering the results, using the information that is publicly available (even the ph value) is absolutely legal. 'Crawling very deep in Google's secret places, finding the formula, and using it: now that would be illegal :-)

I respect Google, and know that other Search Engines are doing mainly the same. In my consulting business, most of the aspects regarding the use of internet concerns privacy and security. And I get a feeling from what I learned that Internet is still quite a legal jungle where the big ones make their own rules, and impose on others rules they don't obey to by themselves. I foresee a wave of legal government regulations coming in the next 5 years if this continues and brings up more and more legal, privacy and security issues with corporations, institutions or governments more powerful than Google.


 3:33 pm on Jul 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have been trying to figure out a way to grab the page rank. I know that the tool bar is from a XML document. If someone here can help me out and figure out the ch variable that it is sending I will be bale to create a script to grab the pagerank.

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