Courtesy Of Cornerstone Cellars
April 15th 2016 saw the demise of the classic 1-10 Google PageRank scale, although it had not been updated for a few years, Google PageRank had been the go-to tool for SEO’s and Website owners looking to improve their rankings.
So What Is Google Pagerank?
To put it simply, Google PR is a metric that Google use as a way of measuring the importance of webpages across the internet. It’s an algorithm that calculates the number of links to a specific page, from whom the links come from, and how important those links are. A judgement will be made on how authoritative those linking websites are and the page will be ranked accordingly with a number between 1 – 10 (on the google toolbar). Of course there are many other algorithms at work when it comes to ranking websites on Google, PageRank was initially heavily relied upon.
The Google Toolbar used a scale of whole numbers from 0 to 10 although the metric may be different from within google.
PR0 is the bottom of the scale, these are the websites of the least importance.
PR10 is the top of the pile, the most important. There are not many PR10 sites, Twitter, and USA.gov are well known PR10s, Google itself is only a PR9.
Below is an example that shows some smaller PR1 sites (shown in green) linking to the slightly larger sites shown in blue, these in turn will link to the even larger sites. The authority of the smaller websites and the quantity all have an effect on improving the PageRank of the websites they are pointing to. How much effect each link will have though, is another story, although it is safe to say the bigger the PR the better results you would have gotten.
Courtesy of Filipe Micaroni
What Did PageRank Do For The Internet?
To be honest, PageRank ended up being a big tool for SEOs. Being able to track a website’s PR helped let you know if what you were doing was actually working. If you’ve had a particular strategy over the last year and you’ve noticed your PageRank go up, well done your are on the right track, if not, rethink your methods. It didn’t only have this benefit, it also helped you find the higher PageRank websites and target them in your link building strategies. This is when mass link-building really got into full swing. If you’ve ever received an email from somebody asking whether they can guestpost on your site with a low quality unoriginal article? then you can blame PageRank. This is also the same for spam comments that you may get on your blog that link to random websites.
PageRank changed the way SEO’s carried out their link-building, mainly for the worse, and it was a big mistake for Google to release a tool to allow people to see the metric because it gave people the wrong ideas. PageRank was only one small factor in the larger Google Search Algorithm but PR led people to believe that all that matters is links. This paved the way for linking selling, link exchanging, and many other services that are seen in a bad light today. If you are an SEO and you are using these types of techniques in 2016, you may need a change in profession.
Where Has PageRank Gone?
PageRank hasn’t just vanished off the face of the planet, the support for PageRank had been dwindling with Google having started to phase it out from around 2010 and keeping PR updates under wraps. I don’t think the PR scores had been updated for quite a few years anyway. Originally PageRank was a secret metric used internally at Google, and that is how it should have stayed. Now checking whether a website is authoritative or not becomes slightly more of a guessing game, using third party metrics like Majestic’s Citation Flow or Moz’s Domain Authority will help ease the pain, but PR has finally returned from whence it came, back to being a secret.