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This topic is one that seems to come up all the time. You're instinct is correct - PageRank still does mean something. For the most recent discussion, see this thread:
2008 - Does Google PR still matter? [webmasterworld.com]
That disscussion and other PR related matters are available in our Hot Topics area [webmasterworld.com], which is always pinned to the top of this forum's index page.
Much of the confusion that I see from webmasters stems from that mix up.
a good measurement on the performance of a website.
Toolbar PR is only really a very rough and ready indicator. The best indicator, as always, is where you're ranking for the keywords and phrases that you're targetting. Or, if you're not tracking those, how much traffic the site gets or how much money the site is generating.
[edited by: trillianjedi at 12:35 pm (utc) on Nov. 11, 2008]
Thanks for the welcome and answer.
I will have a detailed look at the 2008 post.
This is very interesting stuff. The supplier seems to be trying to pull the wool over our eyes. They have also said there is no reliable way to measure PR but still say in their contract that they will will optimise for maximum PR.
If it is unreliable, why do they use it as a measurement in the contract?
they will will optimise for maximum PR.
I would start off with your requirements, be clear with them and ensure the contract reflects them.
If your requirements are for good rankings for selected keywords or phrases, for example, an increase in Toolbar PR may not necessarily effect that; in which case it's the wrong metric on which to base their performance.
Our requirements simply to generate more traffic to the website. The supplier uses micro sites to do this which i don't believe is proving very effective. Do you think they work anymore?
We paid them quite a bit of money (before my time) to create these websites to enhance traffic. The micro sites have all got a PR of 0 and cannot be found on Google at all.
'Important pages' which can be outranked easily - I think that's what they should have added hehe. Don't worry about the PR of the pages/websites your competing against, concentrate on your own efforts.