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Q: SEO question for Serenata ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: SEO question for Serenata
Category: Computers > Algorithms
Asked by: bluelake-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 24 Mar 2004 00:18 PST
Expires: 23 Apr 2004 01:18 PDT
Question ID: 319906
Greetings again Serenata,

Another perplexing question for you. I've been building my own site at for 15 months. In particular, I've developed
around 40 PR4 links. But still my home page is stuck on PR4 also -
after hundreds of hours of effort. Yet I see simple sites with no
external links also with a PR4. I'm wondering if it's worth all the
effort - or am I doing something majorly wrong?

Thanks for your words of wisdom.
Subject: Re: SEO question for Serenata
Answered By: serenata-ga on 24 Mar 2004 23:51 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi again Eamonn ~

In the grander scheme of things, all that value you see in the Toolbar
with respect to PageRank means is that Google has estimated
approximately what your site's percentile ranking in VALUE TO THE

It has absolutely nothing to do with how your page fares in the search results.

PageRank changes for many sites every time Google updates its
database, however often they do it, but that number in the toolbar is
an approximate value.

What really matters is where you site ranks in the site results for
your search terms, and that is still calculated in terms of relevant
content. The reason you may see pages with no PageRank placing higher
than yours is because Google's algorithm has determined it is more
relevant for that search term.

It's not easy to get all Google's databases updated at one time. Each
time you check your search term, you get the most expedient data
center for that moment, and its data may or may not be identical to a
previous search. Since updates are an ongoing practice, you are bound
to see some facets which are not updated yet.

Are the search results irrelevant? Wait a couple weeks or so, things
change rapidly, and they do have a tendency to straighten themselves
out. How do you rank in the other engines? If you're near the top
there, chances are you're caught in a 'catchup' or a change in Google,
and you'll be back or near the top again.

Links to your site will always be a 'vote' of importance and a part of
Google's algorithm. The types of links are making a difference,
because the old link farms and exchanges were too easy to use to game
the system, and the search engines don't like to be fooled.

I noticed that if I search for "virtual tours South Wales" in Google's
search box, your site is first. Although I'm not sure it is a term I'd
use, ever, it is first for that term.

As far as that PR number, they do get updated, and no, your efforts to
establish relevant links are not wasted, but will ultimately work in
your favor.

You might want to take a look at Jill Whalen's March 24th High Ranking
Advisor where she discusses Google's Page Rank,

and recent discussions on Webmaster World where the discussion is
regarding many sites losing hundreds or thousands of backlinks ... how
much do you want to make a bet those links weren't the same type you
are building?

Here's the Google News part with those conversations:

   "Should I still be collecting incoming/reciprocal links?
    Even if they are irrelevant"

   "Backlinks not working"

   "Latest Google Update; Lost 1000's of Backlinks - Same PR
    Lost many backlinks in the last update, but PR is the same."

All those changes have got to be taking time to be distributed through
Google's various data centers and updates. I know it's no help, but it
is happening to others, too, so it seems more a case of wait it out,
and keep on doing what you're doing right.

Search terms

In this case, I was aware of this phenomenon and relied on the
resources mentioned to help answer this question.

I hope this is at least some small note of hope for you,

Google Answers Researcher

Request for Answer Clarification by bluelake-ga on 26 Mar 2004 00:07 PST
Thanks Serenata,

If PR has absolutely nothing to do with how the page fares with search
results, why is it so cherished? Why is there so much talk on forums
about PR?

Are you saying that if I work on getting 100 more quality inbound
links, it won't affect my PR -but may improve my ranking?

And does it mean that a site could get a PR8 without having any backward links?

Clarification of Answer by serenata-ga on 26 Mar 2004 05:12 PST
Hi Eamonn ~

PageRank, that is links to your site from other "important" sites is
still relevant and important. And no, I'm not saying it's totally
irrelevant, but because of the fact that they figured how to game the
system, it is no longer as important as it once was.

That 'number' on the Google Toolbar isn't really a true indicator of
what your PageRank is, because it isn't all links, or all content,
etc., but rather a  combination of "important" links, "relevant"
content, good design (HTML), and other factors. You'll find people who
swear that whether you beg, buy or steal it, a link from a PR8 is
better than a link from a PR4.

The evidence, though, is showing that unless that PR8 is relevant, it
doesn't do a site much good. If that PR8 is selling wing nuts, and the
other site is selling doll clothes, the PR8 link is irrelevant.

The weights each or any of the factors are given can and do change,
but those sites which maintain a good balance of all the factors find
themselves not fluctuating much from one update to another. Others
experience all sorts of strange phenomena when they're trying to guess
or game the system.

Links *are* important in many ways. If and when they cease to be
important Google will tell you so. And part of the weight given a site
depends on the importance of the link itself. We have seen recently
that a page with thousands of links from nothing but a link page of
other sites (link exchanges, schemes, etc.) become meaningless and in
some cases detrimental to a site.

We have also seen those sites which were affected not lose that number
on the Google Toolbar. You yourself said "Yet I see simple sites with
no external links also with a PR4". This only means that in this
particular go-round whatever they  do have on that page is weighted
enough to put them there and gain them that 'number'.

Links to your site are important, but I cannot tell you an exact
number or when/if it will increase your PageRank from 4 to 5. There
are too many factors to try to figure it out - and just about the time
you do figure it out, the algorithm changes, anyway.

Think of it this way: sites that don't fluctuate much have a healthy
combination of "important" links to their page, a logical number of
links FROM their page, content relative to their search terms without
'spamming' those key words or terms, and are designed in such a way
that it is easy to crawl and index the sites.

They present something of value which other sites link to for no other
reason than there is value and relevancy on those sites.

The sheer number of pages crawled and indexed, and getting the "most
relevant" to the searcher's query is any search engine's highest
priority, recalculating that number for the toolbar would be a much
lower priority, and it is one of those things that would always be
trying to catch up with the reality of SERPs rankings.

If there is a logical reason for any site, no matter what their
PageRank, to link to your site, they should be encouraged to do so.
But it is only one part of the complicated algorithm. To be concerned
with one portion of the algorithm (PageRank) without paying attention
to other important factors (relevant content, ease of use, etc.) may
help - but only until the algorithms change.

Does Google make mistakes in some search terms? Undoubtedly! But they
also get 'fixed'. In the meantime, add links that make sense and
relate to your own content, and don't worry too much about that number
on the toolbar. There is too much evidence that its relevancy to SERPs
isn't always reliable.

Developing links is an ongoing process - but one constant is that if
you are offering relevant material, the links seem to come by
themselves, too.

I occasionally check the links to my pages (both in my web logs and
just checking a search engine's links), and am surprised by the number
of people who will link to an article or information page. I don't
know them. I don't know how they found the site and/or that portion,
but over the years it has built up.

My PageRank? Last time I looked, it was 5. It was 4, then 6, then 5.
The number of unique visitors to my own sites, though, is fairly
consistant; which ultimately is more important than that toolbar

I hope this clarifies my answer - get the links that make sense to
get, and don't worry too much about their PageRank, either. If it
makes sense to link, it can only help.

Warm regards,
bluelake-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Great answer to a perplexing problem. Thanks Serenata.

Subject: Re: SEO question for Serenata
From: philmar-ga on 24 Mar 2004 13:23 PST
It?s not all about PR Number.

You may have a lower PR, but still have a good position on SE for some keywords.
?	You may need a little more content to add on your pages /I mean
targeted text- useful both for your visitors and for your SE ranking/
?	I found a lot of broken links on your site ? you may wish to work on this issue.
?	You will need a little bit SEO help or knowledge on SE. When a SE
crawler index your pages it will find a lot of script first then the
page?s content if any-:)

Subject: Re: SEO question for Serenata
From: bluelake-ga on 26 Mar 2004 00:09 PST
Thanks for that Philmar,

I'll check out my links and consider moving the header scripts to an external file.
Subject: Re: SEO question for Serenata
From: serenata-ga on 03 Apr 2004 19:23 PST
Hi Bluelake ~

Thank you for your kind comments and the rating. Thank you, too, for
the tip. That was a very nice thing for you to do.

Warm regards,

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