Why You Should Not Be Obsessed Over Google PageRank

There are people who still care about their website’s PageRank displayed in Google Toolbar or other PageRank Checking Tool. Well, it’s definitely a factor for gaining a better search rank, but it’s not wise to have eyes for that thing only. A few days ago Google published an official statement that made it clear that you should focus on other things than PageRank.

What is Google Thinking about PageRank?

Susan Moskwa, Webmaster Trends Analyst on Google was pretty clear on this issue..
“The Webmaster Central team has been telling webmasters for years that they shouldn’t focus so much on PageRank as a metric for representing the success of one’s website.”

“The most famous part of our ranking algorithm is PageRank, an algorithm developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who founded Google. PageRank is still in use today, but it is now a part of a much larger system.”

“PageRank may have distinguished Google as a search engine when it was founded in 1998; but given the rate of change Manber describes—launching “about 9 [improvements] per week on the average”—we’ve had a lot of opportunities to augment and refine our ranking systems over the last decade. PageRank is no longer—if it ever was—the be-all and end-all of ranking.”

Okay, so what should we really care about?

Three things that Susan suggested are:

  1. Conversion Rate: The percentage of visitors to your site who converted in a sale or lead or whatever you want them to do.
  2. Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors to your site who left your page without visiting another one or just left your page immediately after landing on it.
  3. Clickthrough Rate (CTR): CTR is the percentage of clicks on your site out of all the times your site gets shown in search results.

Those are the things you should focus on improving, but how to set course to them?

Set a Goal and Make Plans

It’s clear that a high PageRank is not what you really need. If you really want to make more money with your website, then you probably want to generate more sales or more leads or more signup to your newsletter. Let’s see what can be seriously done to achieve those goals:

  1. Choose the Right Keywords: Do not go for a high traffic keyword, instead start with low competitive keyword but highly targeted keyword (Often called ‘long tail keywords’). It is easier to get high rankings for this type of keywords and traffic from those keywords tends to convert better than the high stream of general traffic.
  2. Get as many Backlinks as you can: There are plenty of statements from Google mentioning that backlinks is what matters most. However, you need to choose your backlinks wisely as backlinks from ‘blacklisted’ niches like Gambling, Porn or Warez can do more harm than good. Try to get backlinks from within your niche.

Okay.. Here I am telling you once again. Do not be obsessed with PageRank; rather focus on other metrics, which can make you real money.

This post is written by Abhik, who talks about Online Marketing and Make Money by Blogging at ItsAbhik. If you like to know how he makes money online, go subscribe to his newsletter and follow him in Twitter.

83 thoughts on “Why You Should Not Be Obsessed Over Google PageRank”

  1. Kevin Kimes says:

    I’ve been noticing what is probably an “inaccuracy” of Page Rank lately myself. I’ve recently installed the Firebug Firefox addon, and found some sites have a good page rank but are dismally low in Alexa traffic rating. Other sites that have no page rank at all will have a much higher Alexa traffic rating.

    Targeted traffic is the key. And the way to get that is by providing great content. Great content will cause other people to link to your site, which is better than any “SEO method”. Worry about “SEO” only in a sense that it’s a method of making it easier for the search engines to know about your content, and in letting real people find it.

    1. Abhik says:

      Kevin, in a matter of fact, Google is on their way to pull the PageRank feature completely. They already removed the PageRank distribution data from Webmaster Tools.

      1. Virtual Tour says:

        I kinda miss that in the webmaster tools 🙁

        1. It’s also true for me.

      2. d3so says:

        Really I didn’t hear about this.

    2. Graham Lutz says:

      Great point, Kevin. I’ve found the same thing…seems like there is no rhyme or reason to PR and there are plenty of sites that I would classify as “terrible” that have a high PageRank.

    3. Sadia Komal says:

      Alexa in also not a perfect tool to measure traffic, alexa counting only toolbar visitors.

      1. Alexa traffic rank is totally fake.

        1. d3so says:

          What’s a good source to determine your site’s ranking with others?

        2. Not Rajib Alexa is not totally fake….Alexa Internet, Inc. is a California-based subsidiary company of Amazon.com that is known for its toolbar and website. Once installed, the toolbar collects data on browsing behavior which is transmitted to the website where it is stored and analyzed and is the basis for the company’s web traffic reporting.

      2. Yes alexa just ranks on the basis of their tool bar use…and their toolbar users are so small as compared to web users…

  2. Ask this question to those people who are into link selling or website selling business.

    They will tell you how much they are obsessed about the PR (specially if they are selling links) Lolllzz

    1. Abhik says:

      ZK, those days are long gone when a PR5 link was being sold for $999.
      I am sure, link selling businesses will face a huge drop off in a year or two.

      1. Definitely Abhik …. But at the moment only those people who are into link selling business are concerned about PR.

        1. Abhik says:

          Of course they are.. That’s probably the only USP for their offerings.

  3. Justin says:

    I am not obsessed with PR anymore.. I have a site with PR2 ranking for more than 3yrs now but has a lot of traffic. For me PR is nothing without a site traffic .

    1. I totally agree. Having decent traffic is way more important than having a decent Pagerank.

    2. Virtual Tour says:

      I agree with that!

    3. d3so says:

      Just focus on more important things and pagerank will follow.

    4. @Justin that’s true, I have a pr2 site with virtually no traffic

      1. Yes there are some sites that haven even page rank 4 or 5 thaey have nothing on their site…

    5. Hmmm if you are getting your desired traffic at PR 2 then thats great….

  4. Thank you very, very much for giving us an important information.

  5. Also I’m very much tired with Google but I know I have nothing to do in this subject. Because Google is Almighty, ha ha

    1. Tired … Lolzzz

      Yes Google is the King at the moment. If facebook will start its search engine than believe me Google will face tough competition.

      1. Hi ZK,
        Unfortunately, Facebook does not get any good search engine when it is built as social media engine and not an evidence search engine.

        1. Yeah.. Its quite difficult but anything can happen

          1. I am sure Facebook will come up with one intention with Google …

            “If you will attack our territory than we will do same with your as well.”

            So google is trying to bring many social things (they had orkut … sorry they have), they tried wave, buzz and now +1. So I am sure in coming days facebook will come up with such kind of feature soon.

      2. Thats the point…but facebook does not have any plan for search engine…

  6. PPC Ian says:

    i agree with this post. I have sites with low PageRank (2) that get more traffic than my sites with higher PageRank (3-4).

    1. Are thry on same niche ?

    2. Google sends traffic not only on the basis of PR but also consider some others elements…

  7. I am not obsessed over Google PR.

    1. Neither am I. I’m just obessed over traffic…. 🙂

      1. @Michael traffic is the name of the game

    2. Due to change in algorithm now peoples are not obsessing over PR.

  8. Alexis says:

    I’m not in that mindset anymore. My interests now are providing value and building my list
    that’s what gives me revenue.

    1. Abhik says:

      That’s exactly what I meant. Focus on something which may make you a steady source of income.

  9. AvoidErros says:

    I have ner worried about PR. I just concentrate on providing a problem solver content. That is it.

    1. Thats a great approach…

  10. Abhik, nice to see your post here, but where are you mate … You should reply to each comments once this post is up …

    1. Abhik says:

      Hey ZK,
      Sorry. I was busy with other things. I am glad that you liked my post.

      1. John informed you that when your post is going to publish … ?

  11. I have to agree with your points here John. People always think that Google page rank is what matters they also need to realize that it is not everything. You can have a PR of 1 but have tons of traffic which is still good.

  12. A relief to hear those words coming from google 🙂

    Did they mean to say that the metrics influence the ranking? I know that bouncerate is monitored, but was not aware that they use analytics data for ranking. Understand it if they were referring to it as an answer to what we should focus on instead of pagerank, though.

    Good points from Susan Moskwa, and liked your suggestions Abhik!

  13. Vince Trenna says:

    I think many people are too worried about the little things in life. There is no need to worry about pagerank status like google. Focus on building your site and in time your rank will increase. Patience and time. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

    1. Vince really good comments,i am impressed by you…i agree on this point people are worried about little things and no worried about Page rank….keep it up.

  14. Louie Sison says:

    is pagerank still important these days?

    1. Abhik says:

      Hello Louie,
      If you read my post above, you’ll get your answer.

      1. Virtual Tour says:

        HAHAHA, yea I don’t think he read it!

  15. Patric House says:

    It was nice to read this post.I am curious to know is this page rank so important and why?

  16. kishore says:

    I have noticed that in so many cases google is giving important to low page rank sites with unique content. For example google any keyword and check the PRs of the search results and compare them. You ll get the point.

    So in my opinion we need to concentrate on the Google PR upto some stage then to on the remain things.

  17. fas says:

    PR is still given importance by advertisers.

    1. Yes advertiser are still focusing on page rank ,alexa rank and compete rank…

  18. Patrick says:

    I have had my PR drop to 0 with no drop in traffic. Go figure!

  19. Jay says:

    I think Google Pagerank is mattering less and less with each update. I would say that this will stay true for awhile. Even though links and so on still matters I think Google and Bing are both looking more towards social and CTR, etc.

  20. Health Blog says:

    Thanks Abhik, for eye opening post on Pagerank. Backlinks and quality of back links are most important metrics for ranking.

    1. Abhik says:

      That’s 100% true.
      Being a professional SEO myself, I can bet on that.

  21. Great post Abhik. Thanks for the info.

    1. Abhik says:

      Thanks Michael..

  22. Selena says:

    I agree. There is no exact “method.” I stress over Google Pagerank a lot too, but should probably stop.

  23. Dale says:

    Hi John,

    I was wondering if it would be best to get a website with my name or just try to brand the name of the site that I come up with? I think I can do either, but which do you think is best. Thanks.

  24. Very nice post Abhik!! Thanks for your tips..

  25. Makesh says:

    Thanks Abhik. I check my sites’ Page Rank everyday whether it is increased or decreased but now i think i should stop this thing. 🙂

  26. I can’t believe some people still care about it. I stopped caring a long time ago.

  27. Google Page Rank is both good and bad and it does not matter how many times a year Google changing the Page Ranking, you can see with the Page Ranking if Google see the blog or web site as a good or bad page.

  28. Hotdogman says:

    PR is a good tool if you sell direct advertising- it’s an easily scaled and understood number and a great sales tool. However, it is more important that you rank for the keywords you want to rank for. If you are operating a micro niche site, you want to be found for the keywords you are targeting and then be concerned with CTR, bounce rate etc.

    Another stat I like to look at is average time on site and average number of pageviews. I would rather have ten visitors spend several minutes on the site looking at more than one page than a thousand visitors spending three seconds.

    Of course the most important stat is the bottom line: how much money did the site make in a month.

    1. Yeah Hotdogman i agree with you this is great tool and PageRank is also a link analysis algorithm, named after Larry Page…..

  29. rakesh kumar says:

    When I lost my 2 page rank points in latest google Rank Update, I was very upsate to see that. After reading your article i am little bit relaxed.

  30. Virtual Tour says:

    I’d much rather have visitors rather than page rank though it’s nice to see how many people are linking to you and how popular you are. I’m sure most big sites and link farms could care less what their ranking is as long as they have millions of people coming to their site.

  31. TheUKTrader says:

    For the past five years I haven’t been concerned with PR on any of my sites. In the latest update, Google dropped the PR on one of my main sites from 4 to 2. Overnight the traffic for the site in question plummeted but only for competitive keywords (previously on page 1 now on page 6). The less competitive keywords still hold page 1 positions.

    PR may not be all it once was but it clearly still has an effect and if you are targeting competitive keywords, it could be the difference between page 1 and page 6 🙂

  32. college guy says:

    im not sure how significant pr still is,but there is too much talk about it not being so important anymore,according to me,its only a stauts symbol nowdays,something that a pr 6 guy can show off with

  33. fazal mayar says:

    great post abhik. i think pr doesnt matter that much because traffic is more important. But still, pr is a nice stat to have for seo and other purposes (seeking advertisers).

  34. Liem Saty says:

    good question, but why? obviously I do not know and still learning

  35. I like Page rank too and thanks for this article. It is very useful, hope you will share with us more.

  36. Forex News says:

    What’s a good source to determine your site’s ranking with others?

    1. Usually Page rank,Alexa rank and compete ranks are used for that…

  37. Pr still matters especially if you want to flip the site and maybe if you intend selling links

  38. Forex News says:

    A relief to hear those words coming from google 🙂

    Did they mean to say that the metrics influence the ranking? I know that bouncerate is monitored, but was not aware that they use analytics data for ranking. Understand it if they were referring to it as an answer to what we should focus on instead of pagerank, though.

  39. google doing plenty of thinks to make search engine more friendly for users

  40. Thanks for the tips sure will check it out with my website

  41. it could be help ful for me to decide about the page rank.

  42. Technary says:

    Page rank is not that important. Well it drives good traffic but there is really no need to look to increase it. It increases eventually as your traffic increases.

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