Does Google PageRank Count Anymore?

Being a full-time SEM (Search Engine Marketer) I have been conditioned like Pavlov’s dog (not a pretty picture) to jump every time Google twitches. Lately Google has been doing a lot of twitching.

Specifically, the rather startling news from Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Susan Moskwa that Google has ditched PageRank from Webmaster Tools.

“We’ve been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it’s the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true,” states Moskwa. “We removed it because we felt it was silly to tell people not to think about it, but then to show them the data, implying that they should look at it.” (Source: WebProNews)

Now, for SEO reasons or for ranking in Google’s index, PageRank has long been eunuchified by Google. However, even missing a few dangling bits, history has shown us, eunuchs still wheel tremendous power. PageRank is no different.

Regardless of what Google wants to happen, PageRank is still extremely important to anyone marketing on the web, especially if you’re selling SEO services or operating a web business. Try selling SEO services when that little green bar on your site is pointing to PR0 or worst yet, pointing to a solid gray bar.

Obtaining a high PR7 or PR8 simply means more business and revenues… regardless of how Google is or is not using PageRank. People know how to count and they learned long ago, a ten is a lot more than a big fat zero.

Placed against a PR1 site, a PR8 will win more respect in the eyes of potential clients and can produce enormous profits for the site owner and we won’t even mention the still widely practiced habit of selling links, which Google is desperately trying to stop. Total and full elimination of PageRank would be an honest start but it will still be an uphill, if not an unwinnable battle, for Google to fully eliminate link selling.

Even with my modest sites, I have turned down a small fortune by not selling text links on any of my sites. When I had a PR6 site instead of a PR4 – those link requests were nearly doubled. So one can easily understand Google’s position and the need to downplay PageRank, if they want to put even a small dent in all this link selling and buying, which is still running rampant on today’s web.

PageRank is Google’s creation, and unless they remove it fully from their system and the Google toolbar, then PageRank still Counts. Actually, in the whole scheme of marketing your website on the net, PageRank counts big time. And in more ways than one.

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t count PageRank out.

For years Google has been downplaying the important of PageRank and states it’s only one of about 200 ranking factors which determines how Google ranks its index for keywords. Obtaining top organic rankings for popular lucrative keywords in Google simply means money in the bank. Actually, even a movement of only one or two places on those first page SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) can make a major difference to any online marketer’s bottom line.

Now while you can have a lower PR number and still rank above other higher PR pages for your chosen keywords, I have even had many times when my PR drops but my actual SERPs rankings in Google goes up, mainly due to building related relevant backlinks. So PageRank counts little towards your keyword rankings but it can’t be totally dismissed.

Mainly because, even if PR is just one ranking factor, in close competitive keyword battles (I am presently fighting tooth and nail for some very choice keywords) just one ranking factor such as high PR can make the difference of whether or not you get to the top spot. Big dogs are still jumping and for those of us who know how to count, getting a number one spot in Google makes all the difference in the world.

Not only because Google controls roughly 80% of all search engine traffic, but more importantly Google has established unmatched credibility and brand recognition in the eyes of potential customers visiting your site. Web users trust Google. Web users look to Google for guidance and direction. Web users believe what Google is telling them. In the online world, rightly or wrongly, perception is everything.

As an online marketer, I am completely amazed each day at the marketing power Google now commands with web surfers and with the general population. Google is king of online search and no other search engine even comes close to Google.

PageRank is Google’s ranking system, and in the eyes of those who notice these things, it still wheels tremendous influence and power. By default, PageRank is Google’s opinion of your site, and web users can count (at least to 10) and if Google believes people are still not counting when it comes to PageRank, then they are fully mistaken.

Titus Hoskins is a full-time professional online marketer who has numerous niche websites. For the latest web marketing tools try: Internet Marketing Tools or here: Free Marketing Tools 2009 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.

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  • Google is somewhat of a black art when it comes to ranking and how to rank within google. Just when you think you know it, they change it. We have a few websites that rank well in keywords but still do not have a pagerank at all from google.

  • yes that for sure. the page ranking of the Google is not understandable, when i started the blogging it was rated on the base of traffic. later it was changed to the quality and again changed to keywords.

    Google keeps changing it strategic, it creates problem to the low inverter like us to adopt the changing procedures.

  • I think Google management are hopeless hypocrites.
    The tell me I am not allowed to use any “rude” keywords in my adword advertising. Yet they use every same key word in their search results!
    So it doesn’t suprise me that they say “PR” does not count anymore, when in fact “PR” is the very focus of their business!

  • No, I think Google is a futuristic company that evolves with time. I would hate if they didn’t respond to changing times frequent enough:-)

  • First of all let me say that I agree with Titus and enjoyed reading this article. In the past three years I have lived this daily fight for best results in the only search engine that really counts today whether we like it or not. The struggle is fierce and certainly not for the weak. I have a blogger blog since 2006 and man, I have wasted thousands of sleep hours into working on my SEO. All this time, Google’s page rank has been part of my life as a sine qua non condition to be someone in the market. With time we have learned to read Google’s mind, their algorithm, their moves and practically we have behaved like any character taken out of 1984 before the surveillance of big brothers screens. So it is highly, contradictory that all of a sudden the PR system is declared as not advisable by decree. Our previous experience tells us there is some secret message concealed and this has to do with an external cause. This cause as you so well put, must be related to the whole link selling business which is evidently stealing clients to Adsense and their ads not only on people’s sites but also on direct publicity in the search engine. This is a huge market that gives Google in my opinion the big money. It is clever to subtly deter link buyers and sponsors from going straight to the client by telling them not to count on PR that much. I suppose the will be successful after all as with all they do but as you say it will be an uphill fight.

  • You wrote: “Try selling SEO services when that little green bar on your site is pointing to PR0 or worst yet, pointing to a solid gray bar.”

    Pardon my naivete, but what do you mean by this sentence?

  • What good is page rank and fighting to be in the organic list when google is giving away top spots with google map listings (Top Ten)for free? To me this is a huge problem, what say you?

  • I dont know if google will stop considering page rank or not …But all my clients are much worried about the page ranks ….

  • Two issues with the following paragraph:

    “Now, for SEO reasons or for ranking in Google’s index, PageRank has long been eunuchified by Google. However, even missing a few dangling bits, history has shown us, eunuchs still wheel tremendous power. PageRank is no different.”

    Just a note: “eunuchified” is not a word – I believe the term you are looking for is “emasculated”.

    Second: Eunuchs do not “wheel power” but rather, they “wield power”, though often as a secretary or servant.

  • This article makes an excellent point. Regardless of whether Google has deprecated the importance of PageRank in its ranking algorithm or not, the fact that webmasters have been conditioned to rely on PageRank means it will still be widely used as a measuring stick (rightly or wrongly) in the SEO world.

    If Google truly wants to take the focus off of PageRank, then Google needs to remove the tool altogether. Otherwise, they are playing the game, “Do as I say but not as I do.”

  • Excellent article and key points about Google Pagerank.. Google keeps changing it strategic (Google Dance) , it creates problem to us to adopt the changing procedures.

    Enjoyed reading this article.

  • A follow up comment to Bill Platt’s post…

    While PageRank is important, it’s the result of high PageRank (and rankings in SERPs) that is most important: TRAFFIC!

    So Bill is correct: even though his site may not have PageRank (yet), if he has the traffic then he shouldn’t have any problems with sales.

    Too bad there isn’t a more reliable source of traffic stats (Alexa is a complete joke) that we can use to help portray a site’s true value.

  • Great article, Titus! And you’re absolutely correct, many marketers do place a great deal (too much in my opinion) of credibility into PageRank.

  • We see sites with lower page ranks ranking better than sites with a higher page rank, so there is definitively a switch on Google’s part on the importance they place on a site’s PR.

  • As always,,,Greedle sneezes and the whole world and his dog jumps up to say ‘bless you’ Well not me, I just wish the swine flu would get greedle and take em down.
    They have behaved despicably for years, a corrupt momopoly in my, and many other peoples opinion.
    If they want to stop ‘link selling practces’ then they should abandon the idea of the more quality backlinks a site has got the more they respect it and dish out the relevant place in the serps (Or PR Even!)
    They start these stupid situations and then get all upset when they can’t control them.
    There’s an easy answer to all of this stupidity….STOP USING GOOGLE!!!!!!!! and preach that message EVERYWHERE. That’s the only way we’ll get the web back to what it should be instead of the fat cat dictatorship it has become with Tyrants like Google sitting in the corridors of Power.

  • Titus is a friend of mine, but I have to disparage one of his statements. Sorry dude. 😉

    “Try selling SEO services when that little green bar on your site is pointing to PR0 or worst yet, pointing to a solid gray bar.”

    When a site or web page is brand-new on the web, it WILL have a gray bar, until the next Toolbar PageRank update.

    I put up a new site two weeks ago – a new SEO site at that – and it will have a gray bar until the next Google update, period. So there will be no PageRank on my SEO site until after about Christmas, when the next Toolbar PageRank update happens.

    I forwarded my old SEO site to the new one, so the site will have PageRank fairly quickly, but it will still have the gray bar until after Christmas.

    Will the gray bar hurt my sales? Maybe. But I have posted on the site the date for the site’ registration to combat that possibility.

    Will the gray bar really hurt my sales? Maybe a little bit, but I anticipate that I will still manage some sales – with or without the gray bar.

    Some people will assume my site worthless because their is a gray bar, but I honestly believe that most people will see that it is a new site from a proven performer, and those people will buy from me despite my PageRank or lack thereof.

  • Google is one of many search engines, we also have many sites that havce good raking, but a low PR.

  • Interesting article. Our new website was lauch this year our pr dropped however our overall site has improved with sales. Dispite this I feel pr is very important inrelation to your keywords. One thing we have really struggled with is links to good pr sites.


  • Great article.Everyone is think about PR.I saw many website ranks on 1st position in google serp and have low pr. I still don’t understand why peoples worry about pr.

  • I enjoyed reading your article.
    I think that the Page Rank is important as far as back links from sites are concerned. Content remains number one in Google’s ranking system but web masters can still manipulate their ranking based on ‘back links’ – bought or artifically created.
    I’m always surprised how some sites reach the top and don’t have a better content than the site at number 10. Either they started their sites earlier or created back links.
    I feel a site that gives maximum benefit to the end user about a specific topic or subject and is regularly updated should decide its rankings.
    How that can be achieved is to be debated!

  • Of course PR matters, but as Titus brings up, it is only one of many factors. I too, work with it daily, and I find it to be never a dull moment analyzing the changes in ranking results.

  • […] If there’s no PageRank what else is left in life? Titus Hoskins: Does Google PageRank Count Anymore? […]

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