What is Google PageRank? Why PageRank Doesn’t Matter Anymore.
If you are just started research SEO (Search Engine Optimization) you have probably come across the term, “PageRank,” and wondered, “What is Google PageRank?” … or more importantly, “How Do You Improve PageRank?” This blog post will attempt to give you some answers.
PageRank, or PR, is what Google uses to determine the importance of a web page. It’s one of many factors used to determine which pages appear in search results. PageRank is measured on a scale of one to ten and assigned to individual pages within a website, not the entire website.
What Does Page Rank Measure?
Basically, Page Rank measures how important a webpage is to Google.
One of the main things that PageRank measures is the number and quality of backlinks you have going into a webpage. Each backlink is like a “vote” that the page has good, relevant content for the page’s keywords.
The quality of the backlink is measured two ways:
1) The PageRank of the page providing the link to the webpage being ranked. The backlinks from webpage with a higher PageRank carries more weight, or “link juice”, than a page with a lower PageRank.
2) The number of links coming from the source webpage also influences the quality of the backlink. If a webpage has lots of links, the “link juice” reduced per link because it has to accommodate all the outgoing links. Therefore a backlink from a page with a single link and a weaker PageRank could carry more weight than a link from a higher PageRank webpage that has a lot of links going out from it.
The way I look at it is that the source of the backlink has a finite amount of link juice. That link juice is then passed on to other webpage(s), must like streams from body of water.
How to Determine My Page Rank
You can determine your PageRank using sites like Page Rank Calculator. Keep in mind that PageRank is not calculated very often (maybe once or twice a year) so it will probably be well out of date.
Why PageRank Doesn’t Matter Anymore
The visible PR used to be updated every three months, but that has changed. Now it is only updated roughly once or twice a year. So it will almost always be out of date.
This means that it may be higher (or lower because of spammy practices) than you expect so it is not wise to rely on PR.
Besides, a lower PR webpage may rank higher in a search query that a higher PR website IF Google finds the site has content more relevant to the search query.
So let’s forget about PageRank.
What Should You Focus On?
The metrics you want to monitor are the:
- bounce rate
- clickthrough rate (CTR)
- conversion rate
1. Bounce Rate
Your bounce rate tracks the number of visitors who come to your site and then leave quickly… which is not a good thing.
A visitor is flagged as “bounced if either of these two criteria are met:
- The visitor who came to your website never clicked over to a different page within your site, OR
- The visitor does not spend a lot of time of your webpage – usually anything under five seconds counts towards your bounce rate.
Your bounce rate is a good indicator of the QUALITY of traffic you are getting to your site and how targeted that traffic is. It is also a good indicator of the QUALITY of your content. What is your visitor’s first experience when they arrive on the webpage?
High bounce rate translates into lower conversions; low bounce rate, alternatively, results in better conversions and getting to your business goals a lot sooner.
To learn how to reduce bounce rate check out my blog post on bounce rate.
2. Clickthrough Rate
Just because your webpage shows up in the search listing doesn’t make that people are going to visit your webpage. You still need to make sure that search engine users actually click on your listing.
That’s what the clickthrough rate (CTR) is all about.
The best way to improve your CTR is to take a look at your titles and descriptions that show up in the search engine results. Are they compelling? And how they compare to your competition? Are they relevant to the search that was conducted to find them?
Check out this article from Google to help you improve your CTR.
Remember… it doesn’t matter how well you rank in Google if nobody click on your listing.
3. Conversion Rate
This is probably the best metric to determine the performance of your webpages.
A “conversion” happens when your website visitor performs an action that you want. This could be signing up to your email list, clicking an affiliate link, or even going to your product page.
And the better your traffic converts the quicker you will get to profitability.
Why bother having all the traffic in the world driven to your website if they don’t convert?
The best way to track conversion is by setting up goals in Google Analytics, and then tracking them against all your traffic.
The first step is to setup the goals by following these instructions.
Now you can’t evaluate the results of this until you allow Google Analytics to collect some data, but once you have some data…
Next from within Google Analytics, using the menu on the left select “Behavior”, “Site Content”, then “All Pages”.
Add a Segment to the view to see how the goal changes over time for the webpages.
To Wrap Up
PageRank isn’t worth worrying about. There are other metrics you should be looking at to help the overall performance of your website.
Here’s to your future success blogging!