goodroi - 1:16 pm on Jul 10, 2013 (gmt 0)
Welcome to WebmastWorld and to SEO!
Here is a quick rundown of PageRank.
-Only Google knows the real PageRank. Every few months they release a snapshot of this data and it is displayed in the browser toolbars. When people say they have a PR6 site, they are referring to Toolbar PageRank/TBPR
-Google occasionally will manipulate TBPR of certain pages in an effort to discourage certain people from abusing the system.
-PageRank used to be the key to ranking, now its value has greatly diminished as other factors have grown in the algorithm. People still debate just how useful PageRank really is in today's algorithm.
-PageRank is totally different from Rank Monitoring. Rank monitoring looks at what rank your url is in the search results for a specific search term. It is hard to do accurate rank monitoring since Google personalizes the search results and universal serps can trigger maps, images, videos and other elements to appear above the organic search listings.
-PageRank is specific to each URL. So it is not possible to have a PR6 site. It is possible to have a PR6 homepage, but each page on your site will have its own PageRank. Ranking is specific to each url & each search term. It is possible to have multiple urls ranking in different positions for the same search term.
To monitor the health of a website, I would start with search referrals. It does not matter if you rank #1 for a search term, if that search term brings in no traffic. I would want to see steady growth in Google traffic and conversions from that traffic. When traffic goes down, I would then look in analytics to try to identify specific search terms that are underperforming, then I would look at rankings.
In general I do care about my PageRank. This is not because I think PageRank directly helps my rankings. I do this because the websites linking to me (and potential link partners) pay attention to PageRank. If my PageRank drops it will be much harder for me to negotiate links and cross-promotion opportunities with other websites.