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Old 12-20-2007   #1
NewKidOnTheBlock
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the why PR doesn't count anymore thread

Everybody seems to say that PR doesn't count anymore or to be more exact that the PR that is displayed by the toolbar isn't very helpful anymore.

I think if one knows how to look at links (which an SEO should be able to do, of course) looking at PR can be skipped completely, anyway.

However I'd like to know what the reasons are that make everyone believe that the PR toolbar has become so obsolete (other than the fact that it doesn't update a lot).

I remember reading that PR's of many sites went down without their rankings decreasing, at all. How many sites did this happen to? (I also heard Google did something like this to scare people from buying links...by lowering the PR of certain bloggers (who are the "connectors" or "sneezers" or "linkerati" who'd end up blogging about it and thus spreading the paid link FUD)

If you were to explain to somebody why PR (as displayed in the PR toolbar) is completely useless these days and you'd have to give him precise points, what would you say (that's what I'll try to do on a German SEO forum, once I actually understand it :-)).
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Old 12-20-2007   #2
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Re: the why PR doesn't count anymore thread

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Everybody seems to say that PR doesn't count anymore or to be more exact that the PR that is displayed by the toolbar isn't very helpful anymore.
I don't say that. I believe PR still has a significant impact on sites, and I still find the TBPR to be helpful, even though the data reflected isn't current or totally accurate.
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Old 12-20-2007   #3
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Re: the why PR doesn't count anymore thread

So true Marcia, PR is important in many ways! As far as toobar PR I see it as more of a guesstimate than an actual figure but either way still of value.
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Old 12-21-2007   #4
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Re: the why PR doesn't count anymore thread

Nice to hear that. To be honest I ran sort of with the 'PR (the one displayed by the toolbar) doesn't have much value anymore' crowd. However, I did kinda realized yesterday that that might be a bit extreme (and wrong).

But then again, if you know how to look at SERPs and analyze a site's backlink profiles using yahoo's site explorer (and can tell quality from quantity and related from unrelated and links from the same site vs. links from diff. sites, etc.) is there any reason for you to look at the PR-toolbar (even if you think it is a guesstimate and not completely random)?

Does it make sense to do that if you analyze SERPs thoroughly or does it only make sense if you want to get a quick picture as your firs step of analyzing the SERPs?

I read that recently lots of sites had their PR devalued w/o their rankings haven't changed. What's up with that? Just a rumour? Did it really happen? If it did happen did Google pull it off to scare people from paid links (I heard that theory though I cant see the connection, right now)
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Old 12-21-2007   #5
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Re: the why PR doesn't count anymore thread

Quote:
I read that recently lots of sites had their PR devalued w/o their rankings haven't changed. What's up with that? Just a rumour? Did it really happen? If it did happen did Google pull it off to scare people from paid links (I heard that theory though I cant see the connection, right now)
Yeah, it did happen and many search rankings did not change. And, yep again, it was part of Google's campaign against paid links.

It was done in two phases. The first was a shot across the bow when Google very noticeably dropped the toolbar PR of sites it suspected of selling links. The second phase, about a week or so later, was the "trickle down" effect -- an across the board PR recalculation with paid links now discounted, basically taken out of play.

It wasn't very noticeable overall, but was very apparent in certain sectors where buying links was quite common, such as the SEM/SEO niche. Many of the SEO-related sites whose PR was cut in the second round did not themselves buy links, but were directly or indirectly linked to by sites that did. With the devaluation of paid links there was less link juice in the sector to go around resulting in an overall across the board PR drop.

And that's why search rankings basically stayed the same. Since just about every site in the sector was affected to at least some extent, relative to each other they stayed the same.
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Old 12-21-2007   #6
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Re: the why PR doesn't count anymore thread

thx for the reply jim,

actually I also read that Google targeted some influential bloggers to spread panic about paid links. I'm not sure exactly what I read, but it'd make sense: influential bloggers are basically the connectors or "sneezers" as seth godin would call them..if you get them to panic and write about something on their blog it'll spread far as they have a huge audience (and get a whole lot of people to panic and stay away from buying links).

Any idea what was up with that?
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Old 12-21-2007   #7
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Re: the why PR doesn't count anymore thread

It was all part and parcel of the same thing. Some were selling links and got it with the first shot across the bow. Some weren't and got hit in the second round, 'cause with the sector as incestuous as it is just happened to have many now devalued links in their upstreams.

Here's a good video interview with Matt Cutts, the man behind the PR cuts, and Vanessa Fox, ex-Googler and now prominent search sneezer, that has a pretty good nutshell explanation of the brouhaha.
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