Google PageRank. Is PR Linking Important?

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There is an infographic being shared around various Google+ Communities at the moment (image copyright states created in 2010) featuring some basic SEO tips that many business owners will find useful. However what it also displays in some detail, is how Google PR (page rank) figures work.

Stop Chasing Google PageRank PR Links

Briefly Page Rank is a figure from 1-10, that determines a website’s popularity –
PR0 would be a new site (or a penalised spam site), with a site ranking PR10 being very popular, like Google, Amazon, YouTube, CNN etc.

Without going into great detail on this blog post about how Google PR came to be (just Google search “Google Page Rank”) what I will explain is how in 2013 Google PR is only a tiny fraction of what makes a website perform well in search.

Any business owner by now must be aware of the spam emails arriving daily, asking for a link exchange. The type that state “Add our popular PR4 website and we will place your link on a PR5 website”, those type.

Matt Cutts who currently (June 2013) heads up the Google Webspam team has stated clearly in black and white, that any attempt by websites to exchange links purely for the purpose of increasing their Page Rank (PR) will be penalised in the search rankings.

So Should I Ignore Google PR?

If you want to increase your popularity in Google search (and Bing, Yahoo etc) you should be concentrating on your own website content first.

You should be aiming to create quality content and more unique quality content. Create something unique and of interest to your niche. My first suggestion in any SEO campaign is to stop worrying about gaining high value PR backlinks. Let your website quality content be the driving factor behind organic linking. Create a compelling online experience and high value PR sites will discover and link back to your hard work.

There is no point building a great link network to 5 pages of mediocre content on your own site. That business plan will certainly do you more harm than good, both with your potential customers and the search engines.

The shared infographic and post doing the rounds on Google+, contains some very useful info but for absolute beginners the one tip is create Unique, Quality Content and then worry about PR ranking, .edu links, authorship.

Also I wouldn’t be too worried about your own PR rank to begin with. I have a PR3 website with 375K unique visitors per month. There are many sites with higher PR with a lot less traffic. Modern SEO, in my opinion is about becoming the authority on your niche subject, which Google believes my site is.

It’s great to have an understanding of PR rank, but Matt Cutts on many occasions has remarked that PR ranking was a figure from the old days of SEO.

It became easy for spam webmasters to manipulate PR figures through link exchange farms etc. So nowadays the PR of a page/site/blog forms only a tiny part of the search rank popularity.

Web traffic and conversion rates bring success to a business, not a PR number. There are many blogs out there with PR ranks far higher than their content quality suggests.

Google has been telling us for several years now, that a page’s ranking value (PR1-10) is just a small part of what makes a site popular in search algorithms.

The time spent reading about PR rank, would in my opinion be better spent researching your next killer article.

Note: NEVER ever respond to those spam emails that start with promising to add your website to a PR5 etc site if you place their PR3 link.

Exchanging links to solely gain PR increase is against Google’s terms. You might get a brief PR increase then you will fall into the abyss, never to be on page one again.

Matt Cutts Explains How To Get Good Back-Links Naturally.

Never Exchange Links to Gain PR Increase.

This image below was taken from a PR Checking website. It’s blatantly against Google’s rules on buying links for the benefit of PR increase, yet clearly it hasn’t dissuaded the business from advertising such services.

I cannot emphasise strongly enough, how much you should avoid these kinds of black-hat spam SEO link building websites. They will not benefit your business, they just seek to extract money for Page Rank link building activities that are in breech of Google’s Webspam guidelines. Sadly some “reputable” online marketing experts still naively post links to such websites, unaware of the “spammy” nature of them.

A final note;

The infographic that was being circulated on Google+ Communities in mid 2013 had a 2010 copyright logo. Where as much of the SEO information was accurate and relevant, the importance given to PageRank has now been superseded by the importance of becoming a verifiable subject authority.

If you think SEO hasn’t changed since 2010, you might be in for a ranking great shock 😉

Author by Malcolm Oakley

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