Is Pagerank going the way of the dinosaurs?
If you eagerly watch your PageRank bar to check for any tiny little fluctuation in your site's rank, you've probably noticed that it hardly ever changes. Long gone are the days when we used to see PageRank update on a regular basis, and you could make decisions for link building and site health based on what your PageRank was..
But if you aren't seeing your PageRank change at all, does it mean anything in today's SEO world? This is the topic of a new Google webmaster help video.
"Our website is not improving in Google PageRank despite having regular updates and foolproof content authorized by proven editors. What could be the reason for this? Kindly help in sussing out the issue. Thank you."
Google's Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts explained that PageRank isn't something that gets updated frequently. In fact, if you've been working in the SEO industry for at least the past couple years, you can probably only name a handful of times it has been updated. Cutts said:
"It's only updated periodically so you know for a while we would update it relatively often, now we'll update it a few times a year. Over time the toolbar PageRank is getting less usage just because recent versions of Internet Explorer don't really let you install toolbars that easily and Chrome doesn't have the toolbar, so over time the PageRank indicator will probably start to go away a little bit. But it's also the case that we only update this information every few months so it does take time in order to show up."
His statement that PageRank will "start to go away a little bit" does bring up the speculation that perhaps we will see PageRank get retired, something many of us have been expecting for a while, simply because it doesn't really get updated, and it isn't one of the signals that we tend to value as highly as we used to (although it is something many of us still check).
Cutts also reminded people that PageRank isn't about the quality content you have on your site, although it can play a role. PageRank is really about the number of links to your site, Cutts said:
"So check and make sure that you have a good architecture, that you have a home page with well linked static links going to the individual pages of your site, something like a tree like structure that leads to the individual pages can be good. Make sure that the pages that are really important are just one or two links from your home page so that the PageRank is still relatively high there."
For any site that wants to rank well and get natural links, you need to make sure you do have that great quality content that makes people want to link to you and share with others.
"Make sure that a lot of people know about your content to know that high quality content because if a lot of people are linking to your site and those people who are linking to you have high PageRank then you'll be more likely to have higher page rank as well. So it's not just the quality of your content, the quality content is a little bit determining how much people want to link to you and then that will determine your PageRank but PageRank doesn't look at the quality of the text on your site its look at the number of links and the quality of those links and how they point to your website."
So once again, it comes down to creating great content in order to get the good quality links you need to increase your PageRank.