Google PageRank: It Means Nothing!

Feb 7, 2008 • 9:02 am | comments (28) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

While everyone continues to stress about Google PageRank (and I, too, am one of those types at times... some people make fun of me often), it's rather easy to give up and hand it to Google for impacting your site rankings.

But guess what? A High Rankings Forum member mentions that his site went from a PR5 to a PR0. And the traffic went up, not down!

The point is that PageRank is overrated. We reported the same thing in November and nothing has changed for the worse.

I just don't get PageRank Obsession. Unless you sell PageRank (in the form of text links), what your PR is simply doesn't matter. PR is simply a means to an end. Focussing on the ends makes more sense.

In a way, I wish Larry Page would get it. The toolbar needs to go away!

Forum discussion continues at High Rankings Forum.

Previous story: A Look into a Manual Review by Google


Sajal Kayan

02/07/2008 02:25 pm

No, Page Rank is very important. It gets the webmaster Bragging rights for sure ;)


02/07/2008 03:24 pm

If page rank is not important why are you still sulking, face the truth you would love to be a pr7 once again.

Darrell Long

02/07/2008 03:42 pm

Page rank should be taken away. The only reason why it still exists today is because people would flip out if it was gone. Its not an up to date showcase on how your page is doing. I personally would be concerned with my bottom line (IE: Traffic, conversions) than what a green bar has to say.


02/07/2008 03:50 pm

What would happen to DP... hehehe

Tamar Weinberg

02/07/2008 04:23 pm

Actually, Peter, I was talking about a completely different site. Barry and I don't care that SERoundtable is a PR4.

No Name

02/07/2008 04:24 pm

PR had always been an issue but why concentrate on it? Google is not the only existing major search engine there's still Yahoo and MSN... PR is only a thing about Google, it's their way of indicating a site's credibility... it has always been a game for webmasters, because if you were able to have a high PR it means you were able to satisfy Google enough.. now the question will be were you able to do the same thing for the other search engines?


02/07/2008 05:35 pm

One of my sites fell from a PR2 to a PR0...not done much link building...anyway it had 44,000 uniques in December last year...


02/07/2008 05:52 pm

Another tedious article with a headline that claims PageRank 'means nothing' only for the content of the actual article to make the entirely banal point that PageRank is not all-important.

Lisa Barone

02/07/2008 06:16 pm

PageRank does not mean nothing. Toolbar PageRank means nothing. There is a huge, huge difference.


02/07/2008 08:24 pm

Recently I did consulting work for the leading web analytics company, one of their clients was a large computer company (I won't say their name but it rhymes with hell). Their biggest concern for an SEO strategy was how to increase their little green bar. Some people just don't get it. Jacob


02/07/2008 08:43 pm

We have many sites that lost PageRank and they have not lost visitors. For years we have been teaching our clients about SEO and the value of PR. Now we have to tell them that everything we told them is not true. Well....


02/07/2008 10:03 pm

Page rank is important which is why we are debating it yet again. A lot of so called seo/web marketing experts had their pr slashed as they were not applying the rules of their own industry. Experts! I am glad their not doctors working in my local hospital. Having a high page rank site shows the public that you are a trusted site in the eyes of Google - a powerful vote indeed.


02/07/2008 10:17 pm

What percentage of "the public" actually have Page Rank displayed in their browser? It is mostly SEOs who use it IMO...

Matt Webb

02/07/2008 10:17 pm

Let's settle this for once and all. PR matters to webmasters, but it doesn't matter to visitors. Who gives you money from your site? Also we have toolbar pagerank, and actual pagerank. Toolbar is useless, and actual PR serves an internal purpose at Google that we little ol' webmasters shouldn't worry our pretty little heads over. Otherwise, we would see that live PR total. Point Being: screw pagerank. Focus on user experience and conversions. Bottom line.

CVOS man

02/07/2008 10:35 pm

Most of the online world equates the quality of a website to the pagerank number. An average person will make an unconscious judgement of you or your web property based on the PR.


02/07/2008 11:02 pm

lol not this again. when will everyone figure it out... oh thats right, never!

Michael Growan

02/08/2008 06:13 am

A year ago, James Brausch wrote this on his blog: "I don’t look at Google PageRank at all. First of all it’s only available for Google and I look at all three search engines the same way… so it’s ruled out as a metric for just that reason. Secondly, it is a very gross metric. There is no specificity. It is a number from 0 to 10. That number is assigned to the entire page. It has no specificity for a specific keyword. So, it’s just plain not useful for anything. Finally, Google controls it and purposefully introduces error into the reported number. So not only it is a massively broad measurement (0 to 10 with no keyword specificity), but it is purposefully erroneous."

Chris Beasley

02/08/2008 01:49 pm

Saying PageRank doesn't matter is ignorant and only shows what a SEO neophyte you area. PageRank is just Google proprietary link popularity algorith. So you're saying link popularity doesn't matter. It may be trendy to say it doesn't matter, like some pathetic Goth kid in a highschool somewhere whining about all the conformists, but it isn't quite true. Now you can say Toolbar PR as an indicator has questionable value because in the best case scenario it is only a partial read that is 3 months old, but to say PageRank in general is meaningless just makes you look dumb. I'll also point out that whomever James Brausch is in the previous comment is equally ignorant. Google does not assign values from 1-10 for ranking purposes. That is purely for toolbar visual representation. Every page does indeed have an actual weight associated with it, one that isn't rounded off on a one to ten scale. The fact is, PageRank hasn't really changed much since Google created it, only perception has changed. The same ignorant people who now say PageRank is meaningless, are those who a few years ago had the equally ignorant position that PageRank was the only thing that matters. It is a kneejerk reaction to finding out they're wrong. They go from one extreme to another. The fact is PageRank hasn't changed much, it was always just one factor, it still is just one factor. (and yes, I'm talking about actual PageRank here, I shouldn't have to preface the word "PageRank" with "actual" every time I use it, but apparently too many people think actual PageRank is what you see in the toolbar, it isn't. The toolbar is a purposefully stale, purposefully partial, and purposefully imprecise indicator. It is not the actual value of what is used in the algorithm.)


02/08/2008 02:48 pm

More 'pagewank' again ;-). I think Matt pointed out a little while ago that the PageRank numbers should be ignored, and definitely the numbers in the green bar are not a true reflection of a sites or pages value. I much prefer overall mindshare within a sector as a value metric.


02/08/2008 05:59 pm

Has anyone looked at how Google defines it? PageRank A Google feature that helps determine the rank of a site in our search results. PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search. Google combines PageRank with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your searches.

Adam Snider

02/11/2008 10:15 pm

I have to agree with Lisa Barone on this one. While Toolbar PR doesn't matter, the PR that Google actually uses (which rarely, if ever, matches the Toolbar PR) absolutely matters.

Barry Schwartz

03/28/2008 02:02 pm

Sorry, just catching up on this. The title should have been Google Toolbar PageRank... In any event, it does give sites a stature. I honestly did not loose traffic here at the Search Engine Roundtable nor did I loose advertising income, it actually is more then ever on both fronts. Like I said many times. I agree with Google's move on this. It is a great way to discourage the sale of links for PageRank.

No Name

12/20/2008 08:55 pm

i am a newbie in seo subject. i think your PR is a temporary thing. in the beginning you need to get it to be found from search results. but after a while your direct traffic can be enough. when you don't need search engine traffic too much you don't care PR


02/09/2009 06:13 pm

Pagerank means nothing... I have 2 relatively new sites up online (6 months old at max) - one is PR1 and the other is PR0. Both are performing well in google, yahoo & msn. In fact one of them went down from a PR2 to PR1 recently and is still no.1 in google for several resonably competative keyphrases. In fact over the last few months the performance on several other keyphrases has improved, nothing has gone down.

Gram Josi

01/28/2011 11:45 pm

This doesn't make sense since appearing on the first page of a Google results for a web search usually means the business is considered a viable option for consumers to check out. From real estate to online shoe shopping, being found is the issue in many cases for getting a broader customer base.


03/23/2011 01:09 pm

Pagerank really does means nothing and I can prove it. I entered "web design" in a standard Google search... then I copied and pasted the top web site that was listed in that search into Google's PageRank system, and guess what.... it gave me an error code saying that URL was not indexed by Google. Maybe Google should rename this system to Google PRank.

Sub Zero

06/26/2011 04:35 am

This entire post is disinformation. Read this and educate yourselves -

Johnny Hotdog

07/09/2011 02:10 am

My sites page just went to PR4 but my traffic has cut in half of what it used to be. wire and cable

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