I’ve been writing a few threads on an SEO forum over at SitePoint and other places recently and trying to dispel the myth that Page Rank is not as useful as most people think.
When I optimize a website and its pages for search terms it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy when I check the logs and see that I am getting a large percentage of my traffic from search engines and more importantly from the search terms that I have optimized my pages for.
I also like to see my site in the top 10 on a SERP for a phrase I am optimizing for.
Unfortunately, I don’t see Google apply a page rank to my sites and pages that reflect my top positioning for the core terms.
- If I have a site about “blue widgets”, let’s state the following assumptions:
- the site has the domain blue-widgets.com or bluewidgets.com.
- the site has a moderate volume of traffic, nothing to write home about.
- the site is on page one of Google for the term “blue widgets”
- the site is #1 for the term “blue widgets” since it is a niche site with no real competition
- 90% of my traffic is from search engines
- 80% of the traffic from search engines are from key terms and phrases that I have optimized for, including “blue widgets
I have optimized many sites for myself and for others that fit this framework. What I am finding is that the traffic may be low to moderate in volume but the product or information is being received well, users are clicking on related adverts and everything is looking good with regards to visitors coming to the site because they searched for the right phrases that my site provides information on.
Then Google applies its Page Rank. I get my first Page Rank allocation after a few months. My traffic is growing and the traffic is good and related to what I am discussing/advertising/selling/ranting about. I get a PR of 3, woohoo!!! The next 6 months I get upgraded to Page Rank 4, wow! All that hard work and now I have PR of 4! Then what? My site is making a lot of money from the targeted ads I am using and from Adsense. I am the #1 authority on “blue widgets” globally so I decide to make more localized results and pages for specific countries and hope that my PR grows!
After a year it is still a 4, maybe I’ll get lucky and hit a PR of 5. What next? I can go to advertisers and say, “hey I have a Page Rank of 5 and ummm, I am top of Google for “blue widgets” which is what you sell, oh, and my traffic is growing!” I wonder why they would care about Page Rank in that sentence? It is ultimately useless if you’re getting the targeted traffic from the terms you optimize for.
When you download a browser or when you get a new computer with Internet Exploder pre-installed on a Windows PC (or Safari on a Mac), the lil green bar that represents Page Rank, is it there? Or do you have to download the Google search bar?
I love seeing highly ranked pages based on PR that have garbage content. If you see any, please drop a comment in here.