A WebmasterWorld thread has interesting discussion around the topic of pages earning Google PageRank with little or no links to those pages.
The discussion was started by a webmaster who asked, how can his page have a PageRank score of four, when Google webmaster tools reports the page has zero links? The obvious answer is that Google is not reporting all the links yet and it is very possible the page has links, but just not being reported yet. But that might not be the full answer.
WebmasterWorld administrator, Tedster, feels that Google gives "mom and pop" sites an artificial PageRank boost, in some cases. Let me quote Tedster:
My assumption is that this unusual PR boost is one of the ways that Google helps "mom and pop" sites compete - something that Matt Cutts made a side comment about on his blog a few years ago. He never said WHAT Google does specifically, only that they do a few things.
It seems like many top names in the thread believe in this "artificial PageRank boost." The question is, what is the artificial part? Is it the score shown, how the score is made up, or how Google sees the page in terms of trust and popularity?
In any event, do you believe in the artificial PageRank boost? Take the poll below:
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.