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However at the end of the day who's interest is it in?
Without PR how would webmasters choose whether to ask for or return a link? I guess content would play a part in it, maybe relevance too.
I suppose the only other thing that could be used would be the SERPs. This would however be a major obstacle for new sites that would be in an instant Catch 22 situation of not being in the SERPs so not being able to get links. Hmmm - not sure how that would work.
Anyway I'm not sure how intentional Google's lack of updates to PR and inconsistencies in backlink reporting are. The other SEs seem to be still managing to report backlinks reasonably.
If it is the case then you can't blame Google for trying to make linking policies more organic.
Back to the question(s).
Would lack of PR and backlinks feedback improve the web?
How would your linking strategy change?
What other factors could webmasters use to decide what was a good site to link to (or exchange links with) - obviously contnet is a give.
Also I'm wondering if people think G is not updating the PR on the toolbar on purpose. To me it makes sense why they might not want to - ie to encourage content based linking as opposed to PR based linking. But on the other hand if this was the case why not remove it altogether.
These are not my authoritative opinions just questions I'm interested in discussing.
In your new world - how would you suggest Google value pages and organise SERPS if not using PR (or their own, undisclosed, internal "algo PR")?
Macro, TBPR and algo PR are very different beasts. Why do we need to see that "green" it means nothing these days and creates problem with repsect to PR #*$!ing
surfgatinho, if you are suggesting that Google cease displaying any external PR/toolbar PR but still provides SERPS based on link pop how will that help organic, content-based linking?
I'm all for content based linking but unless the SERPS themselves were not link pop based the rush for PR - whether visible on toolbar or visible via SERPS - will continue.
Not a single average user even knows what PR is.
In fact, I think they have already taken that step since what is being displayed is not a accurate representation of what is being calculated.
It's actually quite funny watching people get all excited about PR and backlinks when what they can see means nothing. What matters is where you fall in SERPs, not what that green bar says you have.
Isn't that the point?
In fact, I have links on some of my home pages to sites that I think would be of value to my visitors, regardless of whether they link to me or not, even some that would consider them my competition. I think it makes for a better site.
Microsoft put in the popup blocker into XP with the most recent service pack, I no longer have a real need for the G toolbar.
Google toolbar PR displayed is no longer an accurate tool for judging the quality of a webpage for consideration of linking to, or requesting a link from, and those that are still using it to make any sort of decisions, are both limiting themselves, and possibly risking a "bad" neighborhood connection, based on outdated data, basing the decision strictly on the "PR" display in the toolbar.
So to all those who are not linking with the new white bar sites, SEND THEM MY WAY! If they have a quality site, with real content of possible interest to my visitors, and the want to trade some traffic, I'm Game!
I do NOT believe that link exchanges are dead, links between sites are the root of all the traffic on the web, and will forever be a valuable source of traffic. I like one-way links, everyone does, but I take traffic where I can get it. The majority of my links are based upon exchanges, and we seem to do quite well in the SERPs for most of the words we target.
You get it ...
Actually, the better thing Google could do would be to increase their semantic capabilities when it comes to evaluating links. Not all links should be considered equal, and links related to a website's topic should be considered more important.
That's a big statement. Someone pull out Teoma/wiki or something and prove me wrong.
If there isn't an alternative then the question is - should SEs show their hand? If they don't show PR/backlinks (even assuming they all collude to block "link:") then the canny SEO will use other tools to get a good guesstimate of PR as long as link pop is what counts. The only way around it is to use some non link pop based system.
Anyway I'm not sure how intentional Google's lack of updates to PR and inconsistencies in backlink reporting are.
I think it's related to the "Sandbox Effect".
Google is ignoring, or severely discoutning, new links. So new links no longer increase PR and no longer affect the SERPs. The link doesn't start to count until a few months have passed.
This means that, in the future, the Google Toolbar will always display PR that is several months out of date in the sense that new links are not being counted, but actually it IS current if one considers that the new links are ignored for SERPs as well as for PageRank.
This would lead to much more natural linking patterns:
- Sale of text links would be done more for the traffic than just for a PR boost. Ie. the links would be much more likely to be relevant if they had actual advertising value.
- Link exchanges would be done more on the basis of quality and relevance of content, rather than "is their PR of sufficient value to me?".
- it would allow new PR0 pages with good content to get links (which is tough now, because a PR0 is such a deterent).
I doubt they'll do it though. They seem to be pretty invested in the "marketing" value of trumpeting pagerank.
I'm always amazed at statements like this. "It doesn't matter what you did, only where you are". It's a ludicrous way to look at the world, and serps in particular. What matters is *why* you are where you are, not the fact that you are there... unless of course your idea of a good time is wandering around pointlessly in the dark.
Google won't end PR, that's a nonsensical idea. Whatever you call it, it will exist.
If they get rid of toolbar PR it just means an awful lot more money for seos who know what they are doing. Removing the PR display would accomplish nothing except make leave less experienced webmasters and pseudo-seos even more out in the dark.
Google knows that removing the PR display would rocket through the roof the buying of PR. Perhaps that explains the three month update time. Compared to monthly display updates, and to removing it completely, the three month cycle probably leads to the least PR buying... we'll see what happens when the less clueful see the update in a couple weeks (if they do it on a quarterly schedule).
Google knows that removing the PR display would rocket through the roof the buying of PR. Perhaps that explains the three month update time. Compared to monthly display updates, and to removing it completely, the three month cycle probably leads to the least PR buying...
Care to share your logic on this? If I can no longer see a "PR8" on a particular widgets.com site, how does that motivate me more to buy a link from them?
I'd argue that instituting a delay of several months will probably generate the most link sales demand, since the thinking becomes "I'd better buy that link TODAY, to increase my own PR by Christmas".
I'd agree they'll always have internal PR in their algorithms, but I can't see how having any display of that PR to SEOs helps them in the long run.
By using your brain you decide that something hidden is generally more valuable than something easily seen.
Likewise, if it is not readily apparent to your less knowledgable competitors what you are doing, you will be more likely to do something that works that they won't as readily copy.
This is prettu basic stuff.
If Google has not shown PR we would have no freedom of choice.
I have always been believing that freedom is better and the more information to choose the better.
Besides PR is still useful if not misinterpreted. It is like an authority. It is like a people choice.
Sometimes it is important to know whether a site has authority. Sometimes we cannot risk. For example if I search a site to know about a medicine that is vital for my health I cannot take the risk to get advice from PR0 site.
On the other hand if I am expert myself I can of course link to a new good site with PR0.
I would like to note that in science there is a similar index (initially it was in the form of large books). It is called Science Citation Index and proved to be very useful to search for most reliable and popular articles on the subject.
So do not blame paper knife because it cannot cut bread. It is to cut papers, you know.
Of course there is freedom whether or not you look at PR but then again most of us live in the real world and when Google are telling us "this site is really important, a link from here would be really good" what are 99% of people going to do?
PR is still useful if not misinterpreted
Half the sites out there with high PR only have high PR because they have built it up for the express purpose of having high PR
It does not sound fair for a site to have PR just because they set out to achieve high PR -but, I'm having difficulty agreeing with you on this.
Money speaks. If I have enough for a lobby group and to wine and dine politicians I can maybe make it illegal for anyone to sell hot dogs in Manchester. If money spent on acquiring PR was used for PPC it will possibly achieve the same result i.e. getting traffic to the said site. So, given that PR can be bought, and can result in more traffic, should not the sites with money spend some of it to acquire PR? So where does "misinterpretation" come in? If a site has high PR it is "important". Are you unhappy with Google for allowing sites to "buy" importance... or with the sites for using this route to "importance" rather than PPC?
However, I think some of your points are a little academic:
Yes, a site may be important in one sense because it has bought that importance but do you really think this is a) what Google intended PR to be about and b) what a user would want. Shouldn't PR be more about authority.
In G's own words:
PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the weband
Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank
Also, as I am sure you are web savvy you must know of a multitude of sites with high PR (I mean 7 and over) that have attained this by farming links for the sake of PR - If not look up ... hotels or any other competitive industry.
At the end of the day it depends what you think is important in terms of a web site - how much money it has or the quality of content.