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Rankings Go Up, PR Goes Down - Huh?!



11:35 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I took over the SEM of a website that ranks very well in Google for its industry. I have a completely white hat approach to link building and optimization. In the first few months, this led me to remove several thousand "bad" links developed by the previous marketer.

In that time, the rankings improved slightly, but it also resulted in a drop from PR 5 to PR 4 on the home page. This is understandable because of the "bad" links that were removed.

Since then we have made several improvements to the site:

  • I have continued to develop high quality links to the site,
  • We have developed hundreds of pages of unique content,
  • Re-optimized the site and got rid of all the spammy on page optimization from the previous marketer,
  • Re-structured the site to sculpt the Page Rank to the pages we want to rank.

This has all paid off and 3 weeks ago (about 6 months of work) resulted in a huge traffic boost with improved rankings in Google across the board. Then, last night, the home page PR dropped again from PR 4 to PR 3. I've looked at the SERPs and our rankings remain strong.

The question I have is why does the PR continue to drop? I'm building high quality links from pages with a good amount of PR. We've also redirected a lot of the old wasted PR to the home page. My initial thought was that during the restructure, we didn't link the site correctly and lost PR that way. But through all my reading, the site is linked correctly to take full advantage of the PR possible with the site. Should I be worried?


4:08 am on Dec 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Why are you worrying about the PR in the toolbar as it is a not an accurate indication of your real PR at Google.


6:29 pm on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm worried because I'm afraid my rankings will be affected. Now, after the Dec 31 PR update, the site has dropped again to PR 2. Rankings are still strong however.

Also, I am not selling any links from the site and have few outgoing links.


6:44 pm on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

One more thing, all internal pages have gone PR 0. Previously, they ranged from PR 3 to PR 1.


6:50 pm on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Don't worry unless your traffic is affected - that's my basic rule for sanity. Whatever Google is doing with toolbar PR (and they certainly are up to something strange and new) any ranking changes and traffic changes will happen BEFORE the toolbar shows changes to PR.

Google's 3-card Monte game with TBPR may be something worth noticing, but it's not worth any concern if you are still getting the well-targeted search traffic.


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