Despite already 10 years of existence, Pagerank continues to arouse interest and unleash the passions of webmasters and SEOs. In turn important criterion in the classification then put in the closet by his little brother the Trustrank, the Pagerank continues to be in the news … Deciphering the myths and realities around this algorithm …
History of Pagerank…
The first studies that led to Pagerank started in 1997 around a patent property of Stanford University then ceded to Google when it was created in 1998. This concerned a method of classification within a database and made it possible to develop the algorithm Pagerank whose name refers to one of the two founders of Google: Larry Page.
This algorithm is based on a certain number of criteria making it possible to score the popularity of a site : inbound and outbound links, source of these links … It assesses the relevance of a page based on the number of pages that link to it, giving it a score of 1 to 10 visible in the Google Bar. The update of this note was made more or less regularly during Google Dances which have disappeared today, the update is now in near real time. However, the Pagerank update in the Google Bar when it’s not in real time and only acts at Google’s discretion several times a year.
This is why we are now talking about Pagerank displayed (in the Google Barre) and real Pagerank, the first indicates the score obtained at a time T during the last Google Barre update, while the second indicates the score taken into account in the classification algorithm.
If in his youth, the Pagerank was a fundamental criterion, in recent years it has become less and less important in the classification algorithm which contains more and more criteria which drown out the importance of the Pagerank history.
The arrival of trustrank also diminished the importance of it. Trustrank qualifies a certain number of reference sites in their field. Getting links from these sites is therefore considered more important. The quali becomes more important than the quanti. This evolution is due to the past abuses of certain sites running for links to artificially increase their popularity (link farm, multiplication of link exchanges without worrying about the field of activity …).
Myths and realities…
Since the Pagerank generates a lot of buzz, it is important to clarify what is effective and what is not:
- Having a link from a high PR site will take off my traffic: FALSE. This is not necessarily beneficial if it is not in the same theme as your site, this link will have little impact on your positioning. We will prefer several links with medium PR coming from the thematic site rather than a link with high PR outside the theme.
- The Pagerank is an indicator of good referencing: FALSE. The Pagerank displayed in the Google Bar is not up to date, so there is no point in tracking this indicator, the algorithm takes into account the Pagerank in real time. In addition, the positioning algorithm takes into account hundreds of other criteria to classify the sites, so you can have a low PR but position yourself well. Having rich and targeted content on an industry and getting site links with a good Trustrank is much more effective.
- A drop in Pagerank will cause my positions to fall: FALSE. During the waves of Pagerank drop sanctions around link selling, the sites that had a drop in popularity did not see their visits decrease.
- The Pagerank is updated in real time: TRUE.
- The links present in the flash animations are followed by the engines and therefore transmit Pagerank: TRUE.
- Better to get a link from a site with low PR but having authority in the field of activity where our site is located than a link from a site with high PR without a coherent link with our activity: TRUE.
Myth or reality ?
To conclude, if the creation of Pagerank by Google was one of the success factors of the engine in its beginnings, today it is part of a much more complex mechanism and is much less important. We will therefore always pay attention to it but it will not be the center of an SEO strategy.
Article written for Student Marketing.