PageRank Update - how does it affect you?
Google PageRank Update 13/7/06
PageRank has been and gone. How did it affect your site? Having analysed some 60 odd sites for the effects of the PageRank update, I have come to the following conclusions:
- The pages that were given an over-rank in the last Google toolbar PR update, have been corrected this time around, which has seen many index pages that went straight from PR0 to PR6 or PR5 last time, being readjusted by a couple of PageRank values. Many internal pages that were over-ranked in the last toolbar update have been treated more harshly, and it’s hard to work out why, but over 50% of them seem to have lost PageRank altogether, with the rest ranging from PR1 to PR4, (assuming that they went from PR0 to PR5 or PR6 last time).
- Very few long established pages have gained PageRank in this update, but quite a few pages with longevity have lost PageRank - many losing PR altogether. The pages that have lost their PageRank altogether seem to be pages that have not been regularly updated, or are on sites with a haphazard linking structure, with no external links pointing to the internal page.
- New sites and new pages seem to have jumped from PR0 to PR4 or PR5 on the index page, if properly linked, but less than 20% of the sites I reviewed received much in the way of internal PageRank.
- Many dynamic sites, with dynamic urls lost internal PageRank altogether.
- Many sites that have been involved in link exchange schemes, in particular the much-vaunted Digital Point Co-op system seem to have been heavily affected with PageRank drops in internal pages.
Despite the changes to the PageRank, I have witnessed very little effect on Google positions, other than the people who were involved in the Digital Point Co-op system and other link exchange schemes, many of whom have been wiped from the face of Google altogether, or at the very least been penalised by five or six pages.
It’s still early days yet, but this PageRank update doesn’t seem to have affected many sites’ positions on the Google index, either up or down, although the backlink update, which was run in conjunction with the PR Toolbar update, seems to have penalised people who were involved in the Digital Point Co-op and other link schemes, irrespective if their PR has changed or not. Please note, I’m not having a go at the Digital Point Co-op scheme, as it seems to me that it is the closest thing that there is to a link exchange scheme that almost falls inside the Google Webmaster’s Guidelines - you don’t pay anything to get involved, there is no reciprocal linking and the links appear on your page, driven by PHP, similar to Adsense, Miva or Overture. It seems, however, Google no longer approves of the Co-op and has the technology to find out who has it on their site. I would not advise anyone to get involved in any link scheme that involves a third party database, whether paid or not, as it now seems inevitable that Google will discover it on your site and they will penalise you.
So, if PageRank has has very little affect on the SERPs, why bother having it? The way I view PageRank is that it is an indication how much relevance Google is giving to a page, without having to check into the page’s longevity, the number and quality of backlinks the page has, etc, for link exchange purposes only. If someone offers you a link exchange, irrespective of the actual effect of the Google Toolbar PageRank figure of the SERPs, a vote for your site from a PR6 page, is always going to be a more valuable vote for your site than a vote from a site with PR1 on their index page and no PageRank on the page that’s linking to you. Use PR for link analysis, which I believe is what Google is now using it for and don’t fret if your site is sitting on the front page of the engines, but you index PageRank is only PR2 - it’s the position that is important, not the PageRank!