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Thanks in advance
but surely if the googlebar thinks its PR 8, then the google ranking algorithim thinks the same...?
Nope. What Korkus is saying is that the page isn't in the index, while the site (GeoCities) is. It appears to be the case in those situations that the toolbar indicates a PageRank value based on that of the home page -- it's come to be called an "inherited" PageRank. But it's not a value used in ranking, because if it page isn't indexed it can't be ranked!
So once the page is indexed, it will have an actual PageRank based on all of its backward links. And until the page is indexed, it's not passing any PR to your page if you get a link from it.
The first thing to do in determining whether this is the case with the PR8 page you're looking at is to confirm whether the page is actually in Google. Can you find it in a results page if you search for it specifically?
Were you around during the last Google "update"?
This is when PR matters. In between, if a new site is put up, or the bot simply has not visited a website due to no links pointing to it, the toolbar will give an estimation of the sites PR on the toolbar. It means nothing- as korkus points out its more to do with geocities than any site within it. Since geocities home page doesnt link to you directly, you get none of the PR from that page. PR works on a page by page basis.
If Googlebot crawls the webpage, it will be in the google index in the next update. If another site (with PR) links to your site- you will get PR- which is equally (?) distributed across each link.
The PR for a page is "manufactured" during each google update. It happens around every 28 days due to the huge number crunching involved (think of how many links are on the web.
Hope that helps a bit. You can use the site search or dig down the google forum for plentiful info about PR, PR0's and Google updates ;)
/added.....you have to be quick to fit a reply in here!