SEO Ibiza – Pagerank dead? – Wanna bet your SERPS on it?

by seoibiza on 16, January, 2008

We missed this too, so thanks to the Search Engine Blog for posting about it and to HTML4SEO for doing the research in the first place. If you don’t want to read the paper in full it basically says that having conducted a six-month audit involving tracking PR and SERPS results across thousands of searches in latter 2007 that PR is, after all the noise from the experts for so long now, in direct correlation to SERPS results.

This is Toolbar PR we’re talking about, as obviously they wouldnt have been able to see Google’s real PR scores. The forum bandwagon jumping has been enormous in recent months, with people regularly saying things like “Toolbar PR is unrelated to real PageRank” just forget about it etc, but we have not really been able to agree from our view of things.

Without doubt PR is a definite indication of how Google views that site, nobody would seem to argue with that? You can probably trust the information to be better in a PR 6 site, than a PR 0 site, would you not agree? We have been thinking for some time along the lines that G have been purposely downplaying Toolbar PR, spinning that it isnt really too related to SERPS and not to worry about it too much.

..Playing it down as much as they realistically can do without raising too much suspicion, to try to quieten down the link buying & selling sectors as much as possible before having to start getting nasty, which they’ve done recently anyway. You can kind of see their point, if Pagerank belonged to me, I wouldnt want other people getting rich from selling it, but then again perhaps if I were as rich as Google I may not care so much :)

Now of course, linkbuilding these days is much more complicated than just getting high PR links inbound, its about your anchor text, page positioning and relevancy, the link should be natural, i.e. in context from within relevant text.

But, assuming all else is equal, is a link from a PR7 site is still greater than a link from a PR2 site?
…Of course it is. ..Ok its not the whole picture, far from it, but does anyone believe that if all else were equal relevancy-wise between 2 pages in a search, that the higher PR site would not win in the SERPS?

..You’d have a hard job convincing us of that, particularly as Google seem to be fretting enough about people about selling PR-flowing links to go to the trouble of pretending to impose penalties on offenders to discourage it. Particularly in the light of this, see ..concerning a recent slip up by Google showing what looks like it could still be the *real* (Toolbar) PR for penalised sites.

Andy Beard said of it:

It seems Google used their real dataset for PageRank for the Google Directory export, forgetting that they are telling their millions of users lies on their toolbar with manual penalties, which until now had no visible proof.

It would look as though G are manually adjusting toolbar PR to make it look like they’ve penalised people, but rankings and traffic didnt change.Now that we can see that actually, neither did the PR, it possibly all makes a little more sense?

Everybody else can forget about PR all they want to, we are still of the opinion that even Google’s (propaganda) PR score gives us more clues than no feedback information from them at all would, and studies like the one linked at the top of this post give us a whole lot more besides.

Toolbar PR is as ever an SEO validation tool, Google’s own weapon to use against offenders, and an object of (possibly more covert these days) desire to SEO’s and the website owners alike. Yes, of course, get on and build the best website you can, but we think its a little early yet to be disregarding PR altogether.

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Grey ToolBar Disease
19, February, 2009 at 8:52 pm

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