Does PageRank Affect Rankings?

Google search engine, SEO Tutorials | September 7th, 2009 | 4 Comments

The PageRank discussion is an endless one. On every webmaster blog or forum you would most likely find a discussion related to Google’s PageRank metric and how/if that affects the rankings of a website. The sad part of the story this type of discussion are often started from those webmasters that do have profit from Google’s PageRank (yes, by selling textual links) so it is obvious they will continue and continue to defend and create a myth that will keep their business alive by confusing new webmasters.

I bet that every time you have crossed over a similar discussion you have put your own knowledge in question too, Does it really affect rankings? What if he is right, he seems so convinced. Well this kind of discussion can really get you confused, waste time and money by trying to hunt out those magic high PR sites and try to grab a link from them.

The reason why I decided to blog about this topic is the recent case that happened to me during this weekend. A client of mine from my wordpress development site for which I had build a site has been constantly asking me questions regarding seo, a topic which I love discussing often. Weeks later I had build his site I decided to check out if he has done anything to improve his sites ranking or his questions were just out of curiosity. Well i found out he had worked out pretty hard, and very wrong too. He had spend so much time to find high pagerank sites and grab a link from those sites even tho the content of those sites had nothing to do with his site. WRONG. Later the same day, i ended up in one of those threads that do spread disinformation’s and thought…hell, my client must have read one of these threads and that most have convinced him that he was doing the wrong thing.

See what happened to my client by reading those threads that concentrate only on nonsense discussions and spreading partial information’s (that often happen to turn into disinformation’s) with the sole purpose of protecting their business model? Well that is the reason why I am blogging about that subject now, I want to try and explain you in the best way I can how and when PageRank will affect your website rankings.

What is PageRank

PageRank is a metric, a numeric value representing votes casted for your site. All the links that are pointing to your site are giving a vote in eyes of Google, and with PageRank as tool Google can determine how trustworthy your site is and how many votes it has.

Explained that we have to go one step backward to better understand, how search engine spider bots work. Its pretty simple to explain for the part that we need, search engine spider bots crawl a site by following links that they find on a site that they are currently crawling. So again, those votes (i.e. links) pointing to your site do play an important role, the more links you have pointing to your site the more often your search engine spider bot will be crawling your site and yet the higher your page rank becomes as the number of incoming links increase.

PageRank Doesn’t Affect Rankings, Links DO

Just in case someone didn’t got the point while reading this post. PageRank is a metric that calculates votes/links caste to your site, nothing more nothing less, as such it can’t affect rankings at all. What actually does affect the rankings are the incoming links that have your specific keywords as anchor text.

From other point of view, incoming links from higher PR sites that are content related with your site do give a better boost to your rankings, but that is not because of the PageRank it is because the site is trustworthy enough (i.e. site’s vote weights more because of its status/credibility/trustworthiness).

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4 Responses to “Does PageRank Affect Rankings?”
  1. You are right.Text in the external Links is something which search engine uses to decide the relevancy of your page.But strong PageRank will always help you to compete for very competitive keywords.

  2. SEO Optimization says:

    I believe you mean backlink from strong pagerank will help, indeed it will..if the site that has strong pagerank is content related to your site, otherways within a short period of time that link won’t even count, or if it will will give same weight as a backlink with lower pagerank but content-related (at least not for Google).

  3. OK.PageRank does not affect Rankings.But what affects PageRank.You must have noticed that sometimes a website having thousands of external links having a Pagerank of 3(example again sometimes you will notice that a website having some 200 external backlinks is sitting pretty at pagerank 5.

    Not directly related to this topic but asking this just out of curiosity.

  4. Indeed, it is backlinks that affect rankings and PageRank, and not pagerank affecting rankings. That’s where the confusion lays in.

    The example you just gave is an excellent one, ranks pretty well for many SEO related keywords, but has thousands of outgoing links and a low pagerank (4 currently), while few spots lower, has pagerank of 6 and still is ranking lower then

    As far as it regards PageRank the only thing that affects it is incoming and outgoing links. Those sites that still have a healthy PageRank even tho have a good amount of outgoing links apparently have some really strong incoming links from HIGH PageRank sites.

    Hope this explains pretty much your question.