Google Toolbar has once again changed the green painted color. PageRank which is indeed a great link analysis algorithm has been refreshed and websites are now ranked again on the scale of 0-10 based on the quality backlinks. This latest Google PageRank update took place today i.e. 4th February 2013 as expected. Google rolls out a PR update on quarterly basis which means websites are ranked on a scale of 0 to 10 after every 3 months. The last update was on November 2012 and just after three months a new update was rolled out. For over two years, despite thousands of backlinks (over 7,800) our blog maintained a PR 4.0 and just today Google was generous enough to finally take us to the next level. We have Alhamdulillah attained PR 5.0 and it's indeed a great motivational feedback from Google. There are reasons why our PR did not increase for such a long time. For the past three months we had been working on a strategy that really played well and I will be sharing all these details today.
What is PageRank?
It dates back to 1998 when Larry Page and Sergey brin first brought their paper formula's to public. PageRank is the backbone of Google and it's the major functionality that differentiates it from other Search engine giants like Yahoo! and Bing. It is an effective Page Popularity algorithm that keeps track of all incoming backlinks to a page in a safe record. Whenever search robots crawl your pages they count the number of incoming links pointing your web page and also keeps track of the number of links pointing from your web page to other niche sites. Based on the quality and not quantity of backlinks, the PR algo scales sites between integer values starting from zero to 10. For a normal blog, PR7 is the maximum achievable rank, for corporate blogs PR can go as high as 9 or 10.
PR differentiates low quality websites from good content publishers. The more quality links or recommendations a site receive, the higher the chances are for it to attain a high PR.
SEO Importance of PageRank
Websites that are referred or recommended via backlinks rank higher in PR scale and get the benefit of faster crawl and index rate. Sites with higher PR are crawled faster compared to those with lower PageRank. For instance a PR 6 webpage is crawled several times per minute compared to a PR 4 page that is crawled once every minute. The faster the robot crawls your page the greater the chances for you to drive organic traffic and hit headlines in SERPs.
Should you rely too much on PageRank?
I have always advised new comers to rely only on their post frequency and quality of their topic selection. Its solely readership that counts first, rankings come second. A good PR does not guarantee that you will receive an exceptional treatment from Google in terms of Traffic. High PR does surely increase crawl rate but SERP ranking is based on a total different criteria. For your page to hit high on Google's first page, you must focus on nothing but trending topics. Think and act as a journalist and never share out-dated news. Be unique in your style and keep sharing content that may offer something new and different.
In my 4-year blogging experience I have seen several PR2-PR3 websites receiving much more traffic then PR5-PR7. The reason being one i.e. Right selection of topics and Quick publishing skills. Succeeding with online traffic is just like taking part in Rabbit and Turtle race - the slightest slumber could push you way back.
So in our priority list, PR comes fourth in the success queue.
- Readership First (i.e. Posting quality content)
- Traffic second
- ALEXA third
- PageRank Fourth
Revenue, trust and respect in the eyes of online community and internet marketing agencies rely mostly on readership. No one can judge how much traffic you receive per day. People estimate your traffic from your fan following count and then rankings. If we have to compare ALEXA and PR, then my vote will always favour ALEXA, for reasons explained in the post below.
- Read: How to find sponsors for your blog?
Why was our PR not increasing?
As you may already know PR is never sequential and neither dependent on the quantity of backlinks. If you have PR4 today then don't expect PR5 on next update because if you don't carefully follow the SEO guidelines then your PR could drop too.
I have already explained three important fundamental reasons on why a PageRank doesn't increase for a website and I will be sharing yet two more reasons today.
- Read: 3 Reasons Why your PageRank is not increasing
For the past two years we were carefully choosing products and we would write a quality 1K word review on it with three paid links. The income was really impressive and that motivated us further to accept more reviews. Most of these products were related to our niche so we thought may be we were not doing something weird but I failed to realize that Google's artificial intelligence is way ahead of us all now. Google carefully keeps a record of websites that sell products and marks every single link pointing to them. These websites include sites like web hosting companies, merchandise sellers, software vendors, electronic dealers etc. A nofollow link pointing to them would never cause you harm but a dofollow link would decrease your importance in the eyes of Google. Promoting such product sites is a great risk and therefore we have stopped practicing this bad hobby permanently. The result was such that the moment we stopped this practice, our PR jumped high. We had always doubted this practice and our doubts are now a fact.
For sites which promote revenue sharing programs and accept guest posting, PR would remain constant for them too because every single out-going link in those guest posts leaks out half of your PR juice.
We have therefore stopped accepting both reviews and guest posts. The result this time was somehow expected and we knew that the PR would certainly change. Alhamdulillah the right decision played well in our part.Must check:
- How to inter-link Pages smartly to Flow the PR Juice?
- When should you tag external links as nofollow?
- Never Tag internal links with rel="nofollow"
Quick PageRank Formula
Receiving a high PR is surely not as difficult today as it was 3 years ago. The community has grown pretty generous now and you have several platforms where you can place your link. You are no more limited to article directories and painful forum registrations. In our SEO package, I always suggest clients with a PR boosting formula that is based solely on common sense.
The formula revolves around guest posting. Nothing works well for PR except few quality guest posts. Now the main question is how to reach some generous web masters who may accept your guest posts and provide you a juicy backlink.
You will need to build strong mutual relations with 3-4 of your favorite blog admins on daily or at least weekly basis. You will first need to win their trust. Once you succeed in drawing their attention, you can then ask them for a guest post without any hesitation.
- Read: How guest posting can boost your PageRank?
Quick PR Formula:
- Select 3-4 niche high PR blogs
- Comment daily or on alternate days on these blogs by leaving a useful and sense-full comment.
- Do send them feedback and suggestions via their contact form once a week
- Report to them any Copyright violation you may observe - They will love you for this!
- Build a family type relationship
- Practice this for 2 months.
- When the time is right, send them a polite request for a guest post.
- Make sure your blog is well designed, presented and contains at least 50 posts. You must provide a solid reason so that the author may offer a link.
- Make your Post of at least 1K words
- Make your post presentable, sound mature and to the point
- Never try to promote yourself or your brand on a guest post, talk about the topic only.
- Add images and video to make the post stand out
Next update?We are listing old and coming updates below along with our PR status on each update:
- June 2011 PR 4
- August 2011 Dropped to PR 3 then within two months stepped back to PR 4
- NOV 2011 PR 4
- May 2012 PR 4
- August 2012 PR 4
- NOV 2012 PR 4
- Feb 2013.... PR 5
- May 2013
- August 2013
What's your PR Status?
With all that said, tell us what is your PageRank update status? Feel free to ask for any suggestions if needed. If you experienced a PR dropped then do not loose hope and keep working on your brilliant content and if in case your PR increased then you should be extra careful to utilize it well and avoid all bad practices. I wish all the best to every new comer who are gifted with a PR increase and request them to work with even more zeal and enthusiasm. Wish you more power buddies. Peace and blessings always! :)