|Can someone explain what the different PR numbers/ levels, mean?|
page rank numbers
Sometimes I think I have a grasp on pagerank, other times, it get lost in the algo wildnerness. One thing I always wondered is what is the relation of a Page Rank number is to what the Google algo considers your site importance to be.
I mean, relatively speaking, I can grasp some of the reasons why PR is what it is; for instance the CNN homepage has a PR of 9.
I mean, I understand that there are 113,000 LISTED links to this site (not including the ones Google doesn't list,) and 574,000 links from this site, which explains the IBL rank, however, I'm sure part of the equation stems from the fact that this is a Global News Source. The content changes everyday, and for just being what it is, e.g.,it is a VERY IMPORTANT source of information, with no IBL's at all, I would expect a source like CNN do get a PR of 9 anyway.
However, what does the PR9 meant literally?
Let me explain. When you or I judge something, and we use a numeric ranking system, "I give that steak 3 out of 4 stars" we have a point of reference to judge against. 0 stars means it stinks, 4 stars means it the best, and we move incrementally up the numbers.
But for Page Rank scores, I don't really have a point of reference. I mean, the phBB website has a PR of 9, so does that mean that it is as an important site as CNN? Well, for users and fans of forums and bulletin boards, I could venture to say yes, but for the rest of the world, who are not forum owners or webmasters or technophiles, why is that page as important as CNN, and more important than MDA, the Muscular Distrophy Associaton? I mean, EVERYBODY in the US knows what that is, because we've seen the telethon since our childhood, and it has a lower PR of 7.
I know why the phBB homepage has that PR, jeez, with over 1,140,000 links to the page, from all those forums out there, there goes the mathematical part of the algo.
But PR has to mean something else, rught? There has to be a judging reference that even the ol' rumblepup can understand, and delineate.
Hey, all I'm really asking is this:
Is there a basic, don't take it very seriously but it's a good starting point CHEAT SHEET on what PR numbers mean. I haven't found one. All I know is that I'm fighting for PR, so that the keywords in my content will be MORE relevant.
Something like this:
PR0 - Website has not gained PR. Either it's too soon, or Google hates your guts.
PR1 - Google looked at your site, found some BS links to it, has agreed to keep it in the index for now, but you might not get any traffic from us.
PR2 - We'll crawl you a little now. Seems you've got a couple of votes, and metso metso content.
PR3 - Low, but we take notice. You have a real site with some cool votes. SERPs are sporadic, here and there.
PR4 - Ok, your a bonafide content site. You got links and you really are who you say you are. SERP's should be a little better now.
and so on, and so on.
So, would anybody like to try to describe the levels of PR, for me or for anybody else? Is there a central cheat sheet that might help? Couldn't find one on the Goog, hoping someone can clue me in.
PageRank is ONLY a measure of the power of inbound links pointing to a url. There is no semantic or informational weighting in the PR number at all. Those factors are calculated in other parts of the algorithm, and there are LOTS of other factors. Also note that the PR number is specific to a url, and not a domain.
This thread may help:
Page Rank FAQs [webmasterworld.com]
Consider an inbound link from a source page url as a kind of vote for its target url. The strength of that vote depends on the Page Rank of the source page and is also divided by the total number of links on the source page. All the incoming votes are what make up the PageRank of the url in question.
There is some other math in the formula, but it is the same for every url and is there to keep total page rank calculation from running off to infinity.
You mention a lot about crawling, and yes, crawling frequency is dependent to a degree on Page Rank. However, the actual ranking in the search results depends on so mny other factors that a low PR url that matches a search phrase very well can top a high PR url that matches only roughly.
I think that trying to create a "cheat sheet" such as you suggest would be a rough thing -- too rough. For one thing, crawling patterns differ during different time periods. In short, trying to make what Google does into a few simple rules will not work well because what Google does is quite far from simple. Any simple rule set will generate lots of wrong predictions.
Thank you very much for your response! I'm sorry if I came off as a noob with my thread post. All kidding aside, I completely understand that PR comes from IBL's, and have done as much PR building and researching as any other informed webmaster.
But maybe I didn't really communicate myself well enough, and I apologize for that.
|PageRank is ONLY a measure of the power of inbound links pointing to a url. There is no semantic or informational weighting in the PR number at all. Those factors are calculated in other parts of the algorithm, and there are LOTS of other factors. Also note that the PR number is specific to a url, and not a domain. |
Well, not from the SEO "gurus" out there. They also say that page rank is also caculated by internal linking factors. The old adage that absolute linking within your website as opposed to relative linking is a better method for SE exposure. I know that the amount of my websites indexed pages drammatically changed when I did this, as did my PR, so I have trust in this assumption.
|Consider an inbound link from a source page url as a kind of vote for its target url. The strength of that vote depends on the Page Rank of the source page and is also divided by the total number of links on the source page. All the incoming votes are what make up the PageRank of the url in question. |
|You mention a lot about crawling, and yes, crawling frequency is dependent to a degree on Page Rank. However, the actual ranking in the search results depends on so many other factors that a low PR url that matches a search phrase very well can top a high PR url that matches only roughly. |
I think crawling frequencies have much more to do with PR than this suggestion. Again, this is just from personal experience, but I can attest to a couple of things I have noticed. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depends on your point of view, I have taken over the managing and redesign of a PR ZEEROOW (Sound of a fog horn) website. Bad linking, spam seo, and bad SEM "professionals" sandboxed this site to Goog hell. When I went through the stats for the past year, Google had crawled 3 pages of the site for the past 6 months. Basically the Goog asked, "Are you still there? You are? Good, big f'n deal."
Now, against the crawls stats on a PR5 site that I manage, which gets deep crawled regurlarly, well, you can see why PR and crawls mean something to me. If your one of "those people" don't think regular crawling means anything, I'd like some of what your smoking.
|I think that trying to create a "cheat sheet" such as you suggest would be a rough thing -- too rough. |
I still want one. I'm spoiled that way. LOL.
But, and here's my thing. Why not? What can it hurt?
I'm trying my best to come up with a way to list a general, not very realistic but at least it gives me a reference list of the meaning of the levels of Page Rank. I mean, honestly, EACH LEVEL OF PR HAS TO MEAN SOMETHING quantifiable that we can chart. It may be rough, but rough gives you, me, the guy down the block, the girl with the blog about Jessica Simpson, the guy with an anime site, the corporate web director with "rough numbers to work with."
|For one thing, crawling patterns differ during different time periods. |
Tru dat. But, and you have to agree with me on this, not with High PR sites. Do a cache on Yahoo, MSN, CNN, and you'll see what I mean. *On a side note, the New York Times has a PR of 10 and no cache, I guess that means that the Goog thinks it's so important that it gets a 101 out of then all the time and does not need to be cached at all, it just gets crawled everyday.
|In short, trying to make what Google does into a few simple rules will not work well because what Google does is quite far from simple. Any simple rule set will generate lots of wrong predictions. |
Well, then why point me to a thread with a ? No sarcasm intended, or uppity behaviour either. Don't we all, as even being members of this forum, are trying to at little understand some of the rules? And when something gets really complex, this is not the first thread that askes a question to try to get a broken down meaning. Hell, every question in the forum demands a breakdown of the problems and solutions so that the orgininal poster can understand, as well as everyone involved in the thread.
I still think my question is fair and was too the point. You repeated it in your last statement.
|I think that trying to create a "cheat sheet" such as you suggest would be a rough thing |
I understand that someone other than you and myself would take this little list and actually use it as a roadmap to succes on the web. Luckily, those people then eat a cookie, take their meds and go to sleep. I don't think anyone who subscribes to these forums would misunderstand what the meaning of that list is. If my little question is just too trivial, then that's my bad.
IMHO, it's still a valid question. And your answer, in all respect is valid as well. Here's my little test as to why.
Do a search on the Goog for forum software and look at the first two results. Remember my first post? Guess who gets number 1? No one can tell me that PR and targeted keywords didn't just beat out good SEO practice. Look at the second result. A page with NO PR, but plenty of information. So I've proved my point and your point, all in one search. Funny when that happens huh?
Content is king, but PR is the Queen, and she's a bitch.
Can I have my list now?
|They also say that page rank is also caculated by internal linking factors. |
Yes, it definitely is. Internal urls and links are still urls and links. So they fit right into the definition, and nothing about the domain enters into it. I may have added some confusion there by talking about "the power of inbound links pointing to a url". I was using the term "inbound links" to mean any link that is inbound to a url, in contrast to the links that are in the url's document itself.
URLs can have decent Page Rank with almost no external IBLs, based mostly on the mass of content the domain has online wihtin itself and the links between those urls. It's rare to find examples like this, because lots of content naturally attracts lots of IBLs from other domains, but examples are around.
And your example of "forum software" is another.
|Content as well affects Page Rank, |
Sorry, but no. Content definitely affects "ranking", but it does not affect Page Rank. Page Rank does not equal ranking, just as the word "domain" does not equal "url". In fact, "page" does not equal "url", and "site" does not even equal "domain". Much confusion gets generated by imprecise use of technical words in situations where precision really matters.
|PR ZEEROOW (Sound of a fog horn) website. Bad linking, spam seo, and bad SEM "professionals" sandboxed this site to Goog hell. When I went through the stats for the past year, Google had crawled 3 pages of the site for the past 6 months. |
One factor I did not mention is that Google can and has zapped away some or all of the "real" PR for gross infractions of their guidelines -- and they also have decided that certain urls and domains should not pass PR through their links. In some cases I have been mystified about the reasons for these decisions, but they definitely can and do block PR.
If I were hoping to repair such a damaged domain, I would clean up everything else first, and I would also add some fresh content and get some deep IBLs straight to that clean, fresh content. Then I would clean up those 3 urls that Google has recently spidered. And then if there were no signs of automated recovery in a reasonable time, I would file a reinclusion request. Google may need assurance that the perpetrators are completely out of the picture.
Added into this pile of stuff is the fact that when Google migrated to their new "Big Daddy" infrastructure earlier this year, they were not doing PR calculations in a way that paralleled their old PR. And so we saw a PR update where, for some domains, the internal urls were 2 and 3 PR "units" higher than the home page.
Page Rank is as simple as:
|PR(A) = (1-d) + d(PR(t1)/C(t1) + ... + PR(tn)/C(tn)) |
.. and that's it.
And no, I still won't try to make such a list. ;)
|And no, I still won't try to make such a list. ;) |
Well, your just a meanie.
Well, ok, I'm being immature. I apologize.
Doesn't stop you from being a meanie.
Your right, content and page might not have alot to do with one another, and yet it might, because we have all found those "directories" with thousands of interlinked pages, with scraped content, and yet strangley have some PR. Do a link check and you'll find links from those pages that you wouldn't want your children playing with, let alone getting a link off of.
I think that true, non scraped, non bs, real content has a teensy weensy bit to do with PR. I know, I know, there is absolutely NOTHING that says that, but I think that little hint's are dropped here and there. Maybe not now, but I know that the Goog has actually gone out and PURCHASED some new algo's. Whether or not they are actually going to use them, well that's anybodies guess, but those new algo's, if I remember reading correctly, where tied to text. Hmmmmm.
Anyway. I still believe that the levels of PR must have a reference to either crawling or trust or what have you. There has to be a reference to something, somewhere out there. Again. I, or anybody else reading this thread, is not going to base their SEM strategy around it. I know that a link from a few PR3 sites are good links, but a link from a PR5 is a little better (depending on how many obl's are on the page) and so on and so forth. But c'mon, if one of us would get a link from the New York Times right now, with a PR of 10, somebody would get a heart attack. I know I'd at least mess my new pair of Levi's.
And why? Because we know the importance of that link, and we base that off of a LEVEL system that we only have a somewhat, kinda sorta idea what it stands for. I know, and you know, that scoring via a ten point system means incremental steps in VALUE. Value is something we all know, and have a REFERENCE to guide us.
My Armani suit cost 850 bucks. For me, expensive, but worth the quality of the materials and the quality of craftmenship. Now, I know that Armain suit is good, but I know that a hand made, silk and Mediteranian cotton Benucci suit, with a starting price of 8000 dollars, is better. It's not only the percieved value, but the inherent value as well. I know that the Benucci was hand made by a tailor that has been cutting and making suits for gentleman for over a hundred years. I know that the suits are made from the very best materials, and I know that the suit will last me waaaaayyyyy into my old age. Why? Because my grandfather owned a Benucci that he bought in 1932 that is not only still around today, but looks like a million bucks, and is hanging in a special storage in my home.
You can take this analogy to cars, to boats, to buildings, whatever. The value of a number associated with something, though somewhat subjective, relates to a referential starting point that you can judge from.
PR moves in increments. A voting system that is so important to informed webmasters that we trade EQUAL VALUE for links. That equal value could be money, or a barter (trade for you phillistines) or out of the kindness of our hearts.
Soooo, Mr. Meanie, you might not want to venture into what each level or PR "might" mean, but you certainly want an IBL from a high PR page.
So you see why a "simple, don't take it seriously, but it gives me a little itsy bitsy look into each level of PR might mean" might be cool?
I don't know if anyone else has read this thread. You guys probably think I'm nutso. But I like to think it would be fun to try. Maybe a little voting system on what each level might mean. Hey, you never know, we might actually come up with something.
Well, at least to laugh about in the future.
PR -- the real PR that Google uses privately in ranking calculations -- is calculated out to many decimal places. a few years ago I think it was 10 places, but it may be differetn now. Add in the fact that PageRank is a roughly base 6 logarithmic scale, and not a linear scale. So going from PR 2.0 to 3.0 might be something like going from PR 6.1 to 6.15
The single digit incerments are only for toolbar PR for public consumption. Trying to make anything much out of that is not a productive use of time. Google doesn't even use toolbar PR!
My lord, I am a meanie. Or at least a grinch.
|My lord, I am a meanie. Or at least a grinch. |
Yooouuuuuu.....darn it all. LOL.
Ok, I completely understand. Maybe I am wasting my time on this. But it seems that if there are so many out there trying to analyze and study Google's algo, even down to hypothesising what the actual mathematical algo is, well, I don't see why not trying to figure this out too.
Hey, I know that the real PR is something very private to the Goog. And it moves in "mysterious ways" that we can only take an educated guess at.
But when I tell my customer, "Hey, we just moved up in PR from 3 to 5," and my customer asks me, "Cool. What does that mean?" I have to use a skewed point of reference that is difficult for a non web-enthusiast like myself to understand.
Can I say?
"Well, Google takes us a little more seriously, so let's improve our keyword weight, freshen up the content and see if we get more hits."
"We can totally sell some text links."
I like the first one better, if PR had anything to do with SERP.
According to some SEO experts, they don't, which I don't think is a very realistic. PR6 and targeted keyword "cookie shoes" will get a better SERP that PR3 and targeted keywork "cookie shoes", all on page factors being equal.
Well, I ain't gonna ask anymore, if you think I'm wasting my time. I still think it might have been fun, and maybe even a learning experience, to try to calculate what each level means in terms of crawling, in terms of possible SERP, in terms of value of OBL, in terms of trusted OBL, so on.
I guess I'll just have to ponder the possibilities.
Thanks Mr. Grinch. (Just kidding)
You took the time out to answer questions in a thoughtfull manner. Sometimes that doesn't happen.