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Okay, so I started my website in early December of 2005, and i use the Google toolbar with firefox, which displays the Pagerank of any site i visit, using a little green bar. The bar had been blank for my site (indicating a PageRank of "zero") until late last night. In addition, the link:mysite.com on google didn't turn anything up.
Then all of a sudden, late last night, my toolbar started showing some green (and not just a little bit of green either), so I went to one of those unofficial PR calculator sites, and it said that I have a PR of 4 out of 10.
Do sites normally vault up into the 4 range after a PR of zero?
Is there something wrong with PR right now? I know the link:mysite.com google feature was kinda broken for quite a while (it showed nothing until last night, even though I know several sites link to me).
Finally (last question), in the real world, will a higher PR help me place better on google? In what situations might it help?
PR will help you, but rather not PR itself but the quality inbound links and content. Also take into account than you never know your current PR.
In fact the site that is PR5 just had some crap articles from those free article sites on it, until I could put something decent on it. It also has absolutely 0 external backlinks. What the #$@!&*? The only thing going for it is that I registered the domain for 10 years, expiring 2015. Would that have something to do with it?
I know several sites link to me
This is the key to the mystery, it seems to me.
The pagerank of your site is based, amongst other things, on the pagerank of the sites that link to you. It is not determined by how new/old it is (nor the scarcity of other sites in your niche).
So, yes, it is normal to get a relatively high pagerank early on, if you get sites to link to you that also have a high pagerank.
Inbound links showing on Big daddy are 0
Inbound links on normal Google are 0
If I use the site:www.mysite.com command on Google the 4 results don't even point to my site. In fact 3 are title only.
Pages indexed on site on Big daddy are 0
Pages indexed on normal Google amount to 5
But I'm not complaining
Inbound links on normal Google are 0
IBL listed, say, by the Google Toolbar or using "link:" are always grossly under-representative of the actual links coming in. I've no idea how it works, but I know not to trust them. (Can anyone else here explain it to me?)
However, even when links aren't listed they still seem to give PR to the new page. Have you looked at the PR of the pages linking to your page? My prediction would be that they are PR5 (or PR6 lots of outbound links, or PR4 with very few outbound links).
To see who is actually linking to you go to yahoo and type link:http://www.mysite.com (results may be out of date or they may have missed one or two powerful links). Follow all the links and note down the PR of each linking page. One of them will probably be a PR5.
<added>I see 21_blue was typing at the same time as me with the same advice</added>
I still don't get how I can have a PR5 on a nearly new site with only a couple of reprint articles on it and no inbound links - I have done no link building whatsoever. Really, I should be getting a dupe penalty for that site as there is nothing original on there yet.
But I'm not complaining :-)
I did a link:http://www.mysite.com on yahoo and the only link that came up was 1 from the site itself?
Use of link: isn't reliable. In fact, I don't know of any method that reliably identifies all the links.
On one of my new sites, a "link:" at Yahoo produces zero results, a "link:" at Google produces 9 results, and an ordinary Google search on "mysite.com" produces 75 results with common results omitted, and with them included it goes down to 69 results.
And I know there are more pages that link to the site not included in any of those searches, because I've seen them. And those pages have linked for months, and still don't appear in the search.
I'm sure there is a logic somewhere, but I can't see it.