Your Take: Do You Think PageRank is Still Important?
Years ago, Google PageRank was the public measure of “success” in blogging. Blogs with higher PageRank, specifically Google Toolbar PageRank, were seen are more important and influential. The higher your PageRank, the more street cred you had and more others wanted to work with you. It made sense.
Google assigned your site a PageRank, based on a variety of factors but mostly based on inbound links, and it was there for the world to see (if they installed the toolbar).
Unlike an Alexa ranking, which was a measure of how many visitors your site had based on their measurement tools, it couldn’t be gamed. Alexa, on the other hand, can be easily gamed. Install the toolbar, visit your site, and you’d see your Alexa ranking go down (#1 meant you were the most popular site on the planet, which in this case is Google). You couldn’t install anything to make your Google PageRank go up (10 is the max and there are only a few of them).
In the years since, PageRank has lost a bit of its luster but is still a relatively good barometer of a site’s influence. It’s less valuable now because it’s less frequently updated. The toolbar Pagerank often lags a site’s actual PageRank, which is used in the search algorithms. People have gotten savvier and can now fake PageRank (you basically 301 redirect a domain to one with the desired PageRank, link to the redirected page, and then wait for the update… then remove the redirect and now you have a spoofed PageRank until the next update), though you can often use other indicators to figure out if the PR has been faked (does the site look like it should have that PR? Usually they don’t!).
For me, PageRank is an valuable measure for a site’s credibility if I have no other trust factors. I’ve seen sites with a PR of 1 or 2 with a dozen non-owner comments on each post. That’s a sign that the site is probably relatively new, the owner doesn’t know the linking game, but there is a high level of engagement and a lot of real people on that site. It’s only a matter of time before the toolbar catches up (if it ever does).
What do you think of PageRank these days? Has it lost it’s value? Do you use it differently? Do you use other tools or measurements?
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