On PageRank

There’s been a lot of talk about PageRank lately. Google has suggested that people are getting too het up over it, and there has been a flood of posts with titles like “Does PageRank Matter Any More?”

My PageRank just increased, and I got a bit of a kick out of it. Do I expect it to change my life? No.

PageRank is like grades in school. It’s one indication of how you’re doing. If your PageRank is increasing, that’s probably a good thing. If your PageRank hasn’t improved recently, that’s not a good sign.

But just as with grades, it’s not the only measure of how your web site is doing. It doesn’t measure your value as a human being. And doing things that focus on PageRank rather than on the value of your site to your visitors will probably give you neither a better PageRank nor a better website — just as focusing on grades rather than learning will usually backfire.

Here’s what I’ve seen with clients and PageRank, though:

  • Improving the website from the point of view of the user experience usually leads to an increase in PageRank.
  • An increase in PageRank is usually followed by higher rankings, or more stable rankings, in search results.

So my conclusion is this: don’t work on increasing PageRank. Do notice your PageRank and use it as one of the many ways of measuring how you’re doing.

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