What’s the Importance of Pagerank

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PageRank: What is it Good For?

Once companies with online presences start to think about SEO (“Search Engine Optimization”) PageRank often becomes a big focus. “Why, after all this link-building and content creation is our website still only a PageRank 3 site.” Or “Why can’t I get this keyword to rank on the first page of the SERP’s while this other one is at the top?”

It has become fairly clear, even to those inside Google itself, that PageRank is a bit of an outdated metric. Take the following quote written by Susan Moskwa, a Web Trends Analyst for Google, on the official Google Blog at the end of June:

PageRank may have distinguished Google as a search engine when it was founded in 1998; but […] we’ve had a lot of opportunity 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.

Moskwa goes on to say that we should really be focusing on other metrics when it comes to the success of our websites. Namely, how much relevant traffic are we attracting and even more importantly, how much of that traffic is increasing our conversion rate—the rate at which visitors to our site actually take the action we have drawn them to our web pages for in the first place. For example, how often does a website visitor buy the product advertised on your page or sign up for your e-mail marketing?

Regardless of what PageRank a site has, the real measure of success is, well, success.

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PageRank actually only has minor importance when it comes to doing well on the internet. If you do your keyword analysis well, target the web visitors that are most likely to be interested in your product, and get them to visit your site, it really doesn’t matter whether you have a PageRank of 7 or a PageRank of 2.

In fact, stats like CTR (Click Through Rate) tell us a lot more about how successful we are being online than our specific PageRank.

So, for example, let’s consider the following: Sites with “no-follow” links. Let us say that you have a link from one of these sites. If your main focus is PageRank then you think: “This link is useless to me. The Googlebot and other spiders will not follow this to my site, which means I get no link juice from this.” No link juice=worthless in this mindset. You might not even create the link in the first place.

But what if you get ten extra human visitors every day from that site and one of them converts. That is thirty more sales per month. Your PageRank will not show it but your pocket book will.

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It is the same thing when it comes to social media marketing. Recent studies show that you get very little PageRank love from sites like Twitter and Facebook. But who cares so long as you get customers? After all, we are not trying to be the highest PageRanked site on the internet, we are trying to run an online business that actually benefits us financially.

PageRank is just a tool of measurement (and not a terribly insightful one at that), not an end in itself.

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