What value does pagerank provide?

The Google Pagerank – How much does it really matter?

Have you experienced a Google PR Update lately?   Were you upset or confused about the updates?

The Google Pagerank Update of January, 2011

The last update as of this writing was around Jan-Feb 2011 at which time 9 out of 10 blogs sprouted articles discussing the validity of the updates and comments bragging about their upgrades or crying about their losses.  It was like a big pissing content and like any contest there are winners and losers.  You should be able to guess from my language that I was a loser, retaining my lousy pagerank of zero.

So, the winners are happy and the losers like myself are left to think up reasons about why Pagerank is useless to make ourselves feel better.  So rest assured I am happy to announce that I was at work studying the Pagerank situation and I’ve come up with clever ideas about why Pagerank is useless.  I’ve even gone as far as coming up with a conspiracy theory that Google invented the pagerank as a clever diversion to protect their valuable commodity, the ability to provide the most meaningful search engine results pages for a set of search criteria.  Not only was the pagerank a great diversion but it turned out to be a commodity itself with careers being built around pagerank alone.

update: Aug 11, 2011 – This website finally earned some page-rank.  I believe it is a PR1 or PR2, not sure what the official number is but not a zero anymore. 🙂

Googles Brilliant PR Conspiracy Theory – Uncovered

Interestingly, I started doing some web searches including one about “Google PageRank Conspiracy Theory” and got some juicy hits…   I am not alone!   A surprising number of people were thinking along the same lines as me.

Google has cleverly invented the PR to create a profitable industry to capitalize on while successfully creating distractions and diversions away from their real formulas for valuing site quality and content quality.  It’s a stretch but it’s possible.  Bear in mind that I have not taken advantage of any professional link-building programs or done more than a few manual listings in directories.  I have instead focused on writing the best content I’m capable of and studying stats to measure my success/failure.  I am far from the person who feels they are better than everyone else, but I really thought I deserved a pagerank of 1 or 2 considering everything.  I expected 1, hoped for PR2 and got PR0.

Here are a few of my favorite Conspiracy Theories out there:

The Google Conspiracy Theory by Mark Daoust is the owner of Site Reference.

From Mark’s article

If Google Is Against Link Buying, Then Why Do They Sell Links Through Adwords?

Jim Tarabocchia of Just Binoculars was quick to point out that Google would be hypocritical to encourage website owners to not purchase text links. After all, as Jim put it, “if this is the case, why does Google sell Adwords”?

Many website owners believe that Google wants to keep sites from ranking well in order to turn them to Adwords. Bruce from A1 Web Design had this to say:

“How on earth does a new website online get ranked? Mmmmm… PPC and Adsense! Now there’s a good topic… Google frowns upon links but has created its own linking affiliate scheme!”

Another Google conspiracy theory along the lines of mine with the pagerank smokescreen.

In the past, I had assumed that if I scrolled through the search results, I would eventually find every page that included my search terms–that “pagerank” was simply a technology for placing the most “relevant” sites first. It appears it’s doing more than that. Is it because Google is “broken,” or is Google actively sacrificing search accuracy for globalization and commercialization?

This one is probably more realistic... and the one I should re-read.

When you start thinking of Google conspiracy theories that explain why your website is not performing well, then you may have already lost the game. Google doesn’t control the entire internet, it just seems like it at time. There are a number of other effective ways to get traffic to your website, although the Big G clearly is the most important. But you can’t start considering that they’re out to get you.

If Pagerank was really meaningful then why doesn’t Google use it themselves?

Please be aware that my thoughts and theories about pagerank are those of my own and not those of my employer or anyone else.  The first question I’d like to ask is this, “If pagerank were so useful then why doesn’t Google seem to put much weight in it?”.

In the six months leading up to the January 2011 pagerank update, this site has had an exponential increase in Organic Search engine referrals (most from Google) while at the lowest possible pagerank of zero.  If you were the CEO of Google, wouldn’t you be very careful about making your search engine results pages the BEST that they can be for you customers?  Of course, that is why Google is number one.  But if pagerank were a meaningful value in the decision of SERP results than why is this site being referred more and more traffic from Google when we are rated at the lowest possible pagerank?

A picture is worth a thousand words.   Google is indirectly saying, “We don’t really care much about Pagerank when we decide who gets to to top of our results pages”.

Organic Referrals Google

Google Organic (free) Referrals Increasing - PageRank = Zero

The last Google update felt like getting slapped to the ground by a bully (Google), kicked in the side while being told, “You suck!  Pagerank Zero, Pagerank Zero!”.  And just when you thought it was a nightmare, you were branded on the forehead with for all to see with the words, “Pagerank = 0”!

Google PR = 0

Google PR = 0

There is no proven correlation between Organic Referrals and Pagerank.

From seodesignsolutions.com, “What are the hallmarks of Organic SEO? Advantages such as appearing in the top 10 results whenever a potential prospect enters a query in Google for broad or exact match keywords that correlate to the subject or “optimized keyword” is the main benefit. Also consider that organic traffic gets 8 out of 10 clicks from search engines…”  (full article on Organic SEO)

Website Traffic would seem to imply a more popular site

And of course with traffic comes revenue and profitability we hope.

Google Conspiracy - Pagerank

Google Says I Am Bad - Why Does the data disagree?

Website Quality Type Statistics would seem to imply a better site

These would correlate to increased organic search referrals, and in this case they do.  Pagerank doesn’t seem to be in play here.


Pages Viewed Per Visitor Up - Analytics

Analytics Bounce Rate

Huge Bounce Rate Improvements

I hope this was taken lightly, it was intended to be fun and informational.  I really believe that PR is outdated and it is a matter of time before people catch on to the fact that the only value PR has is to link directories selling links.  For everyone else it is bragging rights.   I think there are far more important things to worry about and hope that I have proven this point and helped someone save their money by not buying expensive back-links.




4 Responses

  1. That’s a great read. Nevertheless I wonder if there is a real basis to all conspiracy theories, or we all are just doing our best to entertain ourselves with the made up illusion of hidden conflict as it gives everybody an opportunity to experience total immersion in life’s drama and fight the evil. See, imaginary conflict and its effect on our brain is as valid as the actual events, at least that’s how our body reads it. Fear is an incredibly powerful emotion. When something makes us feel afraid, the body momentarily releases endorphins, norepinephrine and dopamine. And as you may be aware of the more significant the release of these chemicals, the greater the addiction like symptoms to any conflict. You know what I am talking about, right? Of course, you do. By no means I am saying that your point of view is not the right one, I am just reflecting on general phenomena. Why are we so magnetized by conspiracy theories?

  2. Hi,

    Yes plagiarism happens quite often and sadly it is the articles that you are proud of and took many hours to write. Some people will copy your article word-for-word and they think that an attribution makes it okay but it doesn’t, it hurts both our SERP’s because of the duplicate content detected by search engines. . I don’t usually bother with it too much unless it is a page that contributes to Adsense earnings significantly and I’ve had pretty good success in getting them taken down, usually within a week or two.

    All you need to do is write an email to the hosting provider of the offending site and prove to them that the content was copied, and that yours was created as original before the other site copied the content. The reason this works is that the hosting company can be penalized with fines and they usually don’t waste much time in taking down the offending site. If the site is on a domain like wordpress.com or something like that it is even easier, they are very fast to protect against a possible lawsuit even though I don’t know if it is really illegal to copy content or not… definitely not very nice for sure.

    I always send a friendly note to the site owner first asking them to take down the content, give them a chance to resolve it before I go to their hosting provider and possibly get them in trouble. If the site owner doesn’t respond, and they usually do not because I think they have automated scraping sites and don’t even monitor the mail. The hosting company will take it down if you can show it was copied. Put some “not visible” code in your content, the person copying will usually do cut-paste and won’t even realize that they copied internal code that proves without a doubt the content was stolen. also add a DCMA line to any content that you are especially proud of and do not want to be copied verbatim. The DCMA line seems to scare some scrapers away.

    Good luck.

Leave a Reply to Google Pagerank Hoax - My Conspiracy Theory Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *