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Old 12-01-2004   #1
JohnGalt
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Google says: Toolbar PageRank is for entertainment purposes only

We just got this from a google rep. This is not helpful to me in trying to determine WHY one of our clients sites went from a Page Rank of 6 to 0. I could take it for what it's worth, and say "Oh, they launched a new site in October, therefore the pagerank just got set to zero (even though it was a 6, at the same domain name) because it's new, and I can just ignore it. Well, the thing is, the rankings went down as well. Admittedly the site has huge issues with indexability due to long dynamic url params. But, I this makes it so much harder to figure out the main culprit in the rapidly decreasing rankings. :The decrease coincides with the PR becoming 0, but also with a new version f the site getting launched.

"The PageRank that is displayed in the Google Toolbar is for
entertainment purposes only. Due to repeated attempts by hackers to
access this data, Google updates the PageRank data very infrequently
because is it not secure. On average, the PR that is displayed in the
Google Toolbar is several months old. If the toolbar is showing a PR of
zero, this is because the user is visiting a new URL that hasn't been
updated in the last update. The PR that is displayed by the Google
Toolbar is not the same PR that is used to rank the webpage results so
there is no need to be concerned if your PR is displayed as zero. If a
site is showing up in the search results, it doesn't not have a real PR
of zero, the Toolbar is just out of date"
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Old 12-01-2004   #2
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...

That sounds about right...

Problem is that as of right now text link ad pricing and the ability to secure quality and quantity in terms of reciprocal links is based on PR.

The SEO community (particularly those that engage in reciprocal linking or text link advertising) need to develop a 3rd party non-search engine based gauge for measuring the worthiness of a webpage.

Until then, PR will be the leading indicator for both of these industries.
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Old 12-01-2004   #3
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JohnGalt,

Thanks for the great info - is that really a direct link from a Google Rep? I haev found them to be much more "close" when writing a response - it's nice to see something a little more candid, but I must admit some skepticism.

Thanks, though - very nice to have a reference like that.
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Old 12-01-2004   #4
KeywordMonkey
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It's not a surprise but...

...if it's (a fairly) pointless cosmetic feature that will inevitably mislead most web users, why keep it?

It's of SEO value of course - but who deosn't have to re-educate clients about it?

In fact I think Google should put a well written explanation on the toolbar download page stating what it does and doesn't show, so we can point clients to that and then get on with the real job of SEO - making sure clients sites are spider and user friendly, with good content that Google etc. will be happy to send users to.

Right, climbing off my soap box now and reaching for a beer.
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Old 12-01-2004   #5
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Importance Measures and PageRank

It is frustrating (and nearly fruitless) trying to gauge the relative "importance" of a web page based upon the PageRank toolbar. The inverse logarithmic scale used to chop up actual PageRank values and make them fit into a convenient 0 to 10 package is not designed for accuracy to be sure (especially when you consider the possible differences in actual PageRank value between sites that could have identical toolbar PageRank values.).
Link-graph based importance metrics is a subject of great personal interest to me and I have developed a couple of unique methods with varying degrees of success, but the fact remains that the PageRank formula works relatively well even if we don't get to see the actual workings.
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Old 12-01-2004   #6
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Lightbulb Toolbar PR...

Here is a link that I use to check PR instead of the Toolbar because of its inability to stay up-to-date: http://www.webmasterbrain.com/upcoming-pagerank-value-checking-tool--tool11.htm

Hope it helps!

Brent

Last edited by Marcia : 12-04-2004 at 01:59 AM. Reason: Technicality.
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Old 12-01-2004   #7
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PR Tools

Thanks that's a neat tool. I wonder if there tends to be a variation between the datacenters. I used to be quite fascinated with the inner workings of PageRank and produced a fairly comprehensive research paper on it a while back. I also developed a windows PageRank calculator program that lets you simulate various linking models and view how various strategies can affect PageRank. It’s pretty simple though and its primary value is in simulating internal linking strategies, but I'm working on a new version (at a very leisurely pace) that will allow larger simulated link graphs. Thanks Again.
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Old 12-01-2004   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeywordMonkey
...if it's (a fairly) pointless cosmetic feature that will inevitably mislead most web users, why keep it
it has marketing value to google.
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Old 12-01-2004   #9
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D'oh!

I should have thought of that, SEO Book. What can I say...long day!
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Old 12-01-2004   #10
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Yes, right from the google rep

Randfish,

This was from the horse's mouth.

I agree with SEObook, it's a marketing tool at this point, from Google's perspective. It's entertaining. (It's just meaningless, but then again so are video games, and people love them)
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Old 12-01-2004   #11
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I think they may need to update some of their content

Quote:
And while we have dozens of engineers working to improve every aspect of Google on a daily basis, PageRank continues to provide the basis for all of our web search tools.
and

Quote:
Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search.
http://www.google.com/technology/
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Old 12-01-2004   #12
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I'd say that the statement were a tacit admission that PageRank is still a very important part of the algorithm, but that Google are doing their very best to stop the public seeing any kind of specific metrics on what's going on with it.
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Old 12-02-2004   #13
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While PageRank may, or may not, be a big factor in SERP position. It can be aHUGE factor if a PR update sends you from page 1 to page 2, or vice versa.

PageRank as entertainment hey. Anyone held, or been to, a PageRank party yet? Don't know about anyone else, but it sounds rather boring
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Old 12-02-2004   #14
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GoogleGuy answers...

GoogleGuy has posted here http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/001214.html#cm2270 that the statement isn't true and that it's not "just for entertainment"; he argues that the public use PR to judge the quality of pages.

Personally I'm not convinced - how many users have the toolbar, and of them, what % have the advanced options and so PR on? And what % of that group know what it means in even simple terms?

(Although I do install it on every PC I use and on family, friend's etc - mainly as a pop-up killer and to add "search UK" and "search site", w/o the advanced options.)
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Old 12-03-2004   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugo guzman
Problem is that as of right now text link ad pricing and the ability to secure quality and quantity in terms of reciprocal links is based on PR.
That is only the case from people with no idea that promote such an idea to begin with, the followers follow cause they know no better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hugo guzman
The SEO community (particularly those that engage in reciprocal linking or text link advertising) need to develop a 3rd party non-search engine based gauge for measuring the worthiness of a webpage.
It already exists. It's called statistical data. If people buy advertising based on pagerank, then that's their own silly fault. I check for statistics if I'm spending any reasonable amount on advertising. By reasonable I mean, anything that requires a monthly figure and not a one time permanent fee.
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Old 12-04-2004   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGalt
We just got this from a google rep. This is not helpful to me in trying to determine WHY one of our clients sites went from a Page Rank of 6 to 0. I could take it for what it's worth, and say "Oh, they launched a new site in October, therefore the pagerank just got set to zero (even though it was a 6, at the same domain name) because it's new, and I can just ignore it. Well, the thing is, the rankings went down as well. Admittedly the site has huge issues with indexability due to long dynamic url params. But, I this makes it so much harder to figure out the main culprit in the rapidly decreasing rankings. :The decrease coincides with the PR becoming 0, but also with a new version f the site getting launched.
If you have just launched a new site, then there are several reasons that your PR could have decreased, (though going to PR0 does seem a bit extreme):

If the site has new pagenames then all your internal PR rankings will have gone with the old pagenames and will not return until your new pages are indexed and the visible PR updated.

All links pointing to pages instead of the domain name may also have been lost since the old pages do not exist
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Old 12-04-2004   #17
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could be an penalty

JohnGalt: "This is not helpful to me in trying to determine WHY one of our clients sites went from a Page Rank of 6 to 0." What changed on the site before it dropped from a PR6 to a PR0? Did you loose PR on all the pages? Do you change filenames?

If you did nothing to change your site and your Rankings dropped at the same as the PR when south sounds like a penalty to me. PM me the domain if you don't mind, I'll take a look see.
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Old 12-06-2004   #18
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Google might have removed PageRank from Toolbar tour

According to SEO roundtable http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/001228.html Google *might* have reworded the toolbar tour to not mention PageRank.

Would be good to have this confirmed either way - and if it's true, thumbs up to Google for listening.
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Old 08-05-2006   #19
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Same problem

I also had pagerank problems with my client hissite, it dropped from 6 till 2! I dont understand why.

Does anyone know if it is important to have the server running in your own country?

Thanks

Last edited by Marcia : 10-08-2006 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 10-08-2006   #20
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PR change

I reason it may have droped is that some of the sites you had linking to it may have been dropped in rank due to "link farming", therefore leaving you with lower ranking sites that are linking to you thus giving you a lower rank.

Last edited by Marcia : 10-08-2006 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Removed anchor text links. No sigs please, per the FAQ.
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