Understanding Google PageRank Versus Pure "Link Value"
by, 06-23-2008 at 11:47 PM (12927 Views)
[LIST][*][B][I]PageRank Withdrawal Syndrome[/I] (PWS): [/B]You see many people asking how to increase their Google PageRank, with an expressed urgency that shows they firmly believe it to still be the ultimate SEO factor.[*][I][B]Insider Wrath[/B][/I][B][I]yopia (i.e. Anger + Near Sightedness)[/I]:[/B] You see a lot of SEO insiders dismiss it as worthless, and then tell you to just build links. [/LIST]
Well - as it turns out, [B][U][COLOR=Blue]Google's Visible Toolbar PageRank[/COLOR] [/U][/B]is [B]*NOT*[/B] as important as you might think. It's also [B]*NOT*[/B] completely useless! It's also not the same as pure "[B]link value[/B]".
Why is the force of gravity so great between you and PageRank?[/B][/SIZE]
For those experienced in [B][I]Searchologi[/I][/B]*, it should be a no-brainer as to why less experienced webmasters still focus on PageRank in their SEO discussions.
[I][SIZE=1]* Google trademarked the version ending in "Y" [/SIZE][/I]
[B]Here is why:[/B]
Larry Page and Sergey Brin made [I][B]it[/B][/I] the foundation of their infamous [URL="http://infolab.stanford.edu/%7Ebackrub/google.html"]search ranking algorithm[/URL].
The problems with having [B]PWS[/B] are that (1) the search ranking algorithms have been changed and improved over time, and as such (2) the [I]visible toolbar PageRank[/I] is not an accurate reflection of a page's ranking for specific terms.
You're Talking about "Visible Toolbar PageRank" - But You Call It Just "PageRank"[/B][/SIZE]
Yes - that's what you see (scaled from 1 to 10) when you have the Google toolbar installed in your browser. The little green bars you hope to see span deeply from left to right.
It is [B][I]supposed[/I][/B] [B][I]to[/I][/B] indicate the popularity (based on the # and quality of inbound links) Google assigns to your page.
[B][COLOR=Blue] Toolbar page rank is a largely inaccurate, cosmetic indicator of pure link value.
[/COLOR][/B]Certainly there may not be a very *strong correlation* between visible toolbar PageRank and how well a page gets ranked, but there certainly is some relationship.
While toolbar PageRank is not going to be the biggest determining factor in your web rankings, it's not chosen completely at random. If you have a PR of 10, you are going to get some traffic.
Having some PR indicates that you have *some* [U][B]link value[/B][/U], but it does not indicate how your site/page will rank since [B][U]there are 100s of SEO factors taken into consideration.[/U][/B]
If you have it, that's good. If you don't, do not be discouraged. Keep building link value.
What is "Link Value"?[/SIZE][/B]
We know that incoming [B]links [/B]*from* other relevant sites, *to* your site have [B]value[/B] for SEO. Hence, [B]link value[/B].
Let's not confuse this with PageRank anymore. Real "link value" can only be measured by [B]results[/B]. If you build relevant links to your page(s), they can get ranked high enough for specific search keywords, and can deliver you Web traffic.
It's *NOT* just the [I][B]rank of the page[/B][/I] that is a factor. If it was, then every keyword on the page would receive about the same amount of traffic.
The fact is, [B]a page is going to be ranked largely term specifically[/B] in the end. It will probably generate traffic for only 1 (or very few) keywords. All the others will be ignored (i.e. won't rank or won't deliver traffic).
Toolbar PageRank doesn't care how you got to the page, whether by a search, via a link from another site, or directly entering the URL into the browser. Therefore, [I][B]it is certainly NOT search term specific[/B][/I]. But neither is link value.
[B][COLOR=Blue]Link value is the amount of favoritism given to a page because of the relevant links point to it, a large factor in the ranking calculation, and may be keyword specific.[/COLOR][/B]
So - how can we expect something that is "page specific" to impact a calculation that is "term specific"?
Well - we can expect *some* influence, as overall link value for a page will be a factor (of some degree). But other factors such as the anchor text in links pointing to the page will be more heavily influential in determining which of the terms on the page will allow it to rank, and at what position in the SERPs.
[B]In other words, your page may have more link value for one keyword than for another (think: anchor text).[/B]
[B]Link value is invisible[/B]. It is also not specific to Google. All search engines who take linking into consideration have their own process for assigning pure link value. You cannot determine the amount of link value your page has received for a particular term. And the only way to know that you are successfully building link value is to see a measurable increase in search traffic to your page!
[SIZE=4][B]How does PageRank or "Link Value" Work for Forums?[/B][/SIZE]
Over time, you *will* see visible toolbar PageRank flowing into your sub forum and thread pages, but more importantly you should think of it as representing some of the [B][I]invisible link value[/I][/B] that is fully achieved only with [URL="http://www.vbseo.com/f2/pin-tail-seo-donkey-link-consensus-14029/"][B]link consensus[/B][/URL] and [B]external relevant link building[/B].
[COLOR=Blue][B]Focus more on "link value" than your actual PageRank (visible in the Google Toolbar).
[/B][COLOR=Black][B]So - just build relevant links.[/B] Be happy if you see some green PageRank in your toolbar. But realize that PageRank is just a blinking light. Underneath it all lies the mysterious link value. [/COLOR][/COLOR]
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