PageRank: What Is It? Is It Still As Important?
As I already told you in previous articles, I was traveling for the last 10 days of June. When I came back, I checked various stats for my websites, including Dukeo. I was really excited to discover that Dukeo received its very first PageRank: 4. In my opinion, getting a pagerank of 4 straight from the beginning is not that bad. Some will argue over the importance of PageRank: this is what gave me the idea of this post.
Let’s take things back from the very beginning! PageRank is an algorithm-based system which allows to give a numeric “weight” to each and every element of a network of linked documents, with the goal of determining the importance of each element relatively to each other.
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Here is a small description of PageRank as given by Google:
PageRank reflects our view of the importance of web pages by considering more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms. Pages that we believe are important pages receive a higher PageRank and are more likely to appear at the top of the search results.
PageRank also considers the importance of each page that casts a vote, as votes from some pages are considered to have greater value, thus giving the linked page greater value. We have always taken a pragmatic approach to help improve search quality and create useful products, and our technology uses the collective intelligence of the web to determine a page’s importance.
To make it simple: the first rule of PageRank is that the more links you get to your website, the more “votes of confidence” you are receiving. So Google considers that your content must be valuable. (This is why it’s important to build links to your website)
The second rule which was taken into consideration by SEO specialists is that it’s probably working the other way too: the more you link to authority websites in your field, the more it looks like your know your field. If you link to A-list websites, it should increase the value of your own website. (This is why it’s important to link to authority websites in your pages)
The third rule was a consequence of both previous rules: the concept of neighborhood. People quickly understood that by building link farms, they could game the system by creating thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of links to their own A-list websites. To face this issue, the concept of neighborhood was introduced. Your website could have thousands of links to its pages, but if all these links are coming from low quality websites, it will actually lower the value of your site. (This is why it’s important to build links to your website, from quality sites only)
Then, with the development of semantic analysis, people started saying that the PageRank lost some of its importance. Instead of building link farms, people started building content farms. The links were not considered as the Graal of improving your rankings. The quality and uniqueness of the content came into the equation.
In my opinion, we shouldn’t be as extreme as the people who are saying that PageRank doesn’t mean anything anymore. It may have lost some of its importance, but certainly not that much. It would be pretty dumb to say that working to improve your PageRank is useless. And it would be pretty dumb to say that Google doesn’t weight their own PageRank classification anymore.
I’m pretty sure that Google must have updated the way PageRank is calculated, and checking websites’ PageRank to have an idea of how they are doing in Google’s Search Engine is still a very important thing to do. If your website has a high PageRank, it still means that it is appreciated by Google algorithms and you will get better rankings in the SERPs.
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