TheMadScientist - 10:32 pm on Apr 4, 2010 (gmt 0)
So as the web grows and PR is spread more thinly throughout pages because there are more pages, so none of them are 'as likely to be found randomly' (which is the short version of what PR is) your, most likely IMO, 'rounded up to 4' home page was 'rounded down to 3', quite possibly not for a lack of links, but from the spreading of PR over more pages...
So, IMO it is likely you had a 'barely rounds to 4' on your home page and a 'solidly rounds to 3' on your inner pages, and you lost a couple of links, or, as likely IMO, PR is now tougher to get, so your home page rounds down now rather than up, and you didn't really lose a full point, but rather, more likely IMO went from (this is an example) 3.500001 to 3.4999972, which means you have a 3 in the FudRank Display Meter, but didn't really lose anything significant, except your level of comfort.
It's why I say to not look.
Watch traffic and rankings instead and quit worrying about the FudRank you see, because IMO it's not nearly as important the FudRank you see for your home page now rounds down to 3 instead of up to 4 as it is your traffic and rankings are intact and steady...
You could actually have lost less overall, comparatively, than other pages that didn't round down before, and are now closer to rounding down. So, it's entirely possible your PR could be relatively increasing (compared to other pages in your niche), but you don't see it that way visibly.
There's really no telling, and PR within a niche matters way more than overall PR, and your relative REAL, INTERNAL PR (calculated more accurately and more often) compared to other 'similar pages' REAL, INTERNAL PR, on a page by page basis is what really matters more than the FudRank they show you for your home page in the ToolBar.
You could very well generate more traffic from your solid 3 (3.48205) inner pages than some other sites would if they spread their PR too thin and have a lower 3 (2.897641) on their inner pages. But, there's no way to tell how 'close to 3' your actual PR is or their '3' is on each individual page by looking at the FudRank displayed in the toolbar. It's completely worthless, except to tell you the rounded number of each page was 3 when the FudRank for display was calculated (it's technically only estimated!)... That's all it tells you and why I keep calling it FUD. It Is!
Their estimating system may have been edited and your REAL, INTERNAL PR may not have even changed relative to the other pages in your niche. The displaying of PR is done using a completely FUD based system, IMO, because it's not even what the REAL, INTERNAL PR was at some point in time... It's only a bleeping rounded estimate!
There's a full range (which is basically exponentially harder to move up through, and gets tougher as PR gets spread thinner) you could be in, and there's really no telling if your 3 is 'almost 4' on some pages while their 3 is 'just over 2' on some pages, by using the toolbar.
IOW: IMO If you just watch the rankings and traffic and you'll get a much more accurate idea if you're on the right track or if you need to do something different than you will if you put any stock in the FudRank you see displayed for your home page...
Does anyone else see why I say displaying this garbage is bad for the web and confuses people?
Because to me it seems absolutely obvious.