Just wondering what your view was on PR being dead – it’s what a lot of SEO professionals are saying.
I guess I’m curious also because it seems it’s the only way to be able to track any kind of progress with our linking campaigns. What are your thoughts? Is PR dead?
Regarding the death of PageRank, I wouldn’t go that far. It might be true that webmasters don’t need to obsess about the little green bar that is the Google Toolbar PageRank score, but the influence of links in Google’s PageRank algorithm is alive and well.
Just take a look at the results of the 2009 Ranking Factor survey that SEOmoz gives to 75 top SEO professionals worldwide (me included) every two years.
You’ll see that 4 of the Top 5 Ranking Factors (as agreed by the world’s busiest SEO practitioners) are link related.
So while Toolbar PageRank scores may not be as indicative as they used to be, link building is still absolutely vital as a way to boost search ranking for a page. Measurement now though is via observation, individual search query rank, number of pages indexed and number of backlinks achieved.
Of particular importance is the flow of linkjuice between inner pages on your own site and the achievement of external links pointing to those inner pages rather than all pointing to your home page.
I’d agree that links remain a vital for rankings.
But I would say that PageRank is pretty much dead. It’s a poor metric at best because it’s fairly meaningless at the best of times. Outdated by months, updated rarely and with billions of pages online 1-10 just doesn’t really cut it. If anything, the total lack of PageRank might be an indication of a problem, but even that can be little more than a guess. Even then however, I’ve seen pages with no PageRank rank higher in the SERPS than pages with a PageRank of 4 or 5.
You can rank with a low PR but it’s a lot easier to rank with a high PR. Analyzing the top ten Google positions for a high competition keyword, like “search engine” will reveal that all of the results have a page rank of 7 or higher.
CEO and founder,
Secret Search Engine Labs
I agree with Simon… Especially for longtail KWs you can rank high, but hard to move high PR sites, especially fruitless .gov & .edu type.
As to other Authority sites, don’t worry if the domain has millions of links (Squidoo, etc). If the ranked page has no or few inlinks you could outrank it with better onpage and offpage SEO.
What matters too is the PR of the inlinks to a page…
As well as anchor text and the context of the page (to some degree).
I would most def. not conclude that Google Page Rank is dead. It is also a great tool for marketing ones site to advertisers.