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The Death of Pagerank

PR is more irrelevant than the Edsel

     
2:27 am on Oct 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Inspired by this related thread about blogging links, [webmasterworld.com...] , and to make myself nauseous, I went just through the first five hundred results for my #1 one-word keyword search term.

A staggering NINETY-FOUR of those listings are all the same site! Different URLs, slightly different machine-generated gibberish words towards the top of the page, different page titles, but besides that, the sites are essentially identical. Each shows approximately 5000 pages indexed per domain... meaning this "site" is responsible for about 200,000+ pages of zero content in the Google index.

Okay, now what would you guess is the total PR of the index pages of these 90+ "sites"?

The only way PR matters at all is, among these 90 domains, the ones with a higher PR tend to rank higher than the others! The top/main/best domain in this group is a PR4 site, and it shows precisely two backlinks.

Google "abandoning pagerank" is the understatement of the year.

9:01 pm on Oct 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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"I think PageRank is a great idea. The mistake was making it public via the toolbar."

Being able to see it doesn't make something good or bad. People who have a clue would just do the same things whether you can see a graphic representation of reality or not! There is zero mistake in displaying it. It's like complaining about a speedometer showing you are speeding. You should have been able to judge that from experience and the pace of the traffic around you.

PR can be manipulated, but the harm in that is dwarfed by the easy-to-do harm in valuing thousands of contentless anchor text pages.

4:57 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The problem is google does not care.

I wrote mails complaining about websites that take up the best ranks in some categories but are just link farms or crappy website with affiliate programmes.

But they have not done anything and keep happily on number one position.

One website for instance has #1 rank and only 1 website generating all 500 0000 links to it

5:18 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Jakob77, I don't think that Google "does not care" per say. Rather, they don't want to dedicate their manpower and resources to remove a few spammy results, when they can focus on growing other exploding revenue streams. I feel your pain though, painfully spammy results are starting to creep into more and more SERPs nowadays.

Saying that, in regards to the topic of this thread... somebody please show me a PR4 page beating a PR7 page with both pages being "semi-optimized" (please post the link sometime this year if possible). PageRank and inbound anchor text are the most powerful ranking influences today, period.

9:06 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Mine does. Here goes airpal... I am posting this here because I had a question along the same lines about PR, but your reply said it all. I have a PR4 site. It is 5 pages in TOTAL. It has 15 inbound links (not counting the links to my other 4 pages). I just queried a certain keyword and came up 11 in the search results, while a similar PR6 page connected to a monster size site came up 16th. Three pages into the other site were either PR6 or PR7. So, that being said, and what I was going to post as an original post, if meta tags have no PR influence, and inbound links are key, as well as tons and tons of content, then why did my site list higher? Also, how does that model even apply to my puny 5 page 15 inbound links site? The only thing I can think of is that it does not ***sell anything***. I recently built another website that sells a few products through 3 affiliates. The content of that site and the products are 100% related to my PR4 site. (Google just picked up the new site 3 days ago). Anyway, I saw that my listing for the PR4 site fell from #1 to #3 for my most important keyword, after I linked to my new site. Just an afterthought.
9:26 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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99% of the algorithm is anchor text, and raw volume of links.

could you please elaborate on what you mean by raw volume of links. How would google count that? Are you saying that if page A has links from 30 sites and Page B has from 31 sites, all other factors being equal, Page B will rank higher?

Having read this thread and other threads on similar subjects, I want to ask the question that I can't find:

What is Google's algo now?

Please don't list all the things to optimize for...lets have weightage estimations...out of 100 please. Please reference examples or other threads in support (if possible)

Thanks.

9:59 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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jpell, congratulations on your site's good rankings, however there are 100 factors that play some part when you're comparing a site in position 11 vs position 16. My point was really made to emphasize that if and when everybody in the world optimizes their on-page factors perfectly (which is becoming more common), the only thing that makes you rise above them is PageRank and inbound link text. The only reason people discredit the importance of Pagerank is when they don't have a lot of it! Trust me, I almost jumped on that bandwagon also, but realized it won't get me anywhere, so I decided to just work harder. However, what makes the great SEO's rank high, is a combination of PR + inbound link text AND maximizing internal site linking architecture, very conservative use of keywords in the title, proper H1 tag structure, and some M&M sprinkles of keyword density! :)
10:22 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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"importance of Pagerank is when they don't have a lot of it"

Ummm, no. Obviously the opposite is why these topics come up.

You are making a non-argument. When all other things are equal, higher PR will win. That's what "all other things being equal" means. There is no point even talking about that.

PR6 sites are beaten by PR4 sites all the time, even when the PR6 has better on page factors, when the PR4 site has hundreds or thousands more anchor text links.

The point is all other things are not equal. PR2 sites (the index page of the site) with 7000 self-generated anchor text links (all PR0) can beat a PR5 site with 200 PR4+ links. If the PR5 page has 300 PR4+ links, the PR2 site may need 15,000 or 100,000 self-generated pages, but whatever the number is, volume of anchor text can win in all but the most highly competitive areas. It is easy to self-generate tens of thousands of garbage pages, and currently Google loves that and wants to marry you when you do it.

10:28 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I saw a site today that was #1 in the search but PR0. Maybe I don't know enough about SEO to understand why that is.
11:22 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I saw a site today that was #1 in the search but PR0.

I see that a lot. My guess is that the page really does have PR but it's just not showing on the toolbar yet.

Beth

11:32 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Looks like a little can of worms was opened here. Before my question gets lost, does anyone have an explanation for my site being PR4 when it only has 15 links and 5 pages of content, as well as beating out higher PR sites in search results? This is not to toot my horn, it is to try to figure out what influences google's search result listings, not PR rankings. Because frankly, I doubt most people know a page's PR other than the webmaster or the operator, nor do they care. They click through the pages served up to them first.
11:47 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Pagerank pagerank pagerank pagerank arghhghhhhhhhh
12:15 am on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Pagerank pagerank pagerank pagerank arghhghhhhhhhh

Exactly - much to much is made of it.
We need something else to "complain" about.

1:30 am on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I guess I need googleguy to answer it :(

Where, oh where, has goo-gle-guy gone?...
Where oh where can he be?.....

Ok, I guess the crux of my question is...if google ranks one page as more important than the other, why would the less important page list higher in a query, unless it was for a keyword with more relevance to the individual page?
In which case meta keywords are important, or is it keyword density? Google strives to give the most relevant answer to the query, so perhaps page rank is just a means of manipulation by google to get their web site owners to get to the point and do it succinctly, by offering a reward of higher PR which is the equivalent of a gold star in grade school. Motivation for better pages to offer their users in the form of vanity for the webmaster...(I have a PR9 site, and you?) Slick move guys.

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