Only backlinks matter for PR.
Sites that have NO content can have PR5 or 6.
I've changed 100% of content on sites many times, and no change in PR.
PR in entirely a measure backward link strength.
Although one wonders if "+1s", "tweets", and "likes" could possibly increase pagerank, or whether google is rolling out a separate metric to measure those.
I would say that is more behind the curtains type factors. Although I don't personally adhere to social media helping ranks.
One important factor is that PR is also voted around inside the site itself. If you have lots of strong backlinks to one page, then the pages that page links to get a share of the PR even if they have no backlinks themselves.
So artificially "building" backlinks to every page on a website is not wise - in most cases it is an obvious attempt to manipulate Google. A natural backlink profile to a website would not have backlinks to every page.
Much better to have good content, get whatever freely given and editorial backlinks you can, and let your internal linking pass that PR around the site.
Also note, the original PR formula has long been changed from the original patent... several times and including within the past year, in fact. We don't know all the specifics about how PR is now scored, but we do know things have changed.
I used to believe that (a) PR was important and (b) it was indeed dependent on backlinks. Now I'm not so sure. I have launched a few new sites recently and some of them have PR that I simply cannot justify. Despite having very few links, and poor ones at that, some of them occupy positions in the SERPs that are higher than I would expect, too, given their age and backlink profile.
However, PR doesn't seem to make any difference to how successful my sites are. What is more important, IMO, is the type of backlink rather than the quantity; those from related sites seem to be far more valuable, which is of course what we would expect.
Yeah, PR is now far from being the isolated "must have" rankings factor that it used to be. We only have a rough idea on what some of the new bits are, but it's clear on many SERPs that ranking is far from just a backlinks plus on-page thing.
Toolbar PR is also associated with outgoing paid links that are detected, with the PR dropping. Toolbar white bar PR has in the past been associated with an automated detection of spam, as I know of a false positive that this happened to many years ago.
I think we need to make a distinction of whether we're discussing toolbar PR or the real PR.
|Much better to have good content, get whatever freely given and editorial backlinks you can, and let your internal linking pass that PR around the site. |
Absolutely. You don't rank due to backlinks (well, you can, but it's not as good), the backlinks give you the authority to rank. Then when you want to rank on a term, just publish a page on the topic. Voila, instant rankings.