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I'm surprised that with over 900 posts you haven't come across any discussions regarding this concept.
You can almost guarantee a PR3 or 4 the next time the update rolls around. (I say almost because G is a fickle beast). How can you do that, you ask? You just get a single link from the home page of a PR5 site. That's usually all it takes. Will it help your SERP? Probably not, unless your site is on the same topic. Then you might see a small lift. But the lift will happen weeks before the little green bar moves.
[edited by: tedster at 4:55 pm (utc) on April 5, 2009]
I think this is why over the years, SEO's have said to pay less attention to the "little green bar".
The original pagerank algo provided a "score" from "votes" in the form of links. After the pagerank algo worked through the link graph several times each page was left with a "score".
You could buy a high PR link and easily boost your rankings from it, particularly for the anchor text used in the link.
But the connection is actually less now because their algo has continually evolved?
Pretty much. Understandably too. It's safe to say in the past 10 years there are many more off-page factors than "pagerank" and anchor text.
Quality is always subjective though, hence why people discuss what they think is good/bad for helping Google understand your page topic...
I wouldn't worry about PR when your traffic/rankings haven't been reduced
when its been rather steady for ages and in fact we just kept going up up and up. Now our biggest drop since we began (for this site) but pr2
I do need some more good quality links but thats another story.