Google PageRank Update Analysis

by: admin Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

For those of you not yet aware, Google is currently updating the
PageRank they are displaying in their toolbar. Each update
causes a stir among the SEO community and webmasters trying to
get their websites to the top of the Google Rankings.

What Is PageRank?

Without getting into too much detail, PageRank is essentially a
score out of ten as to the “value” of your site in comparison to
other websites on the Internet. It is based on two primary
factors; the number of links you have pointing to your website
and the value of the links pointing to your website. The value
is calculated based on the PageRank of the page linking to you
and debatably the relevancy of the page linking to you (there is
no hard evidence to back up the relevancy factor in regards to
PageRank that I have seen however it definitely is a factor in
your overall ranking).

If you are interested in more information on PageRank you would
do well to visit the many forums and articles on the topic and
also visit Google’s own description on their website at where
theygive a brief description of the technology.

What’s New?

The most current PageRank update will undoubtedly cause a larger
stir than usual in that many sites have shown drops in their
visible PageRank while at the same time showing significant
increases in their backlinks. This fact reveals that one of
three things has occurred in this latest update:

  1. Google has raised the bar on PageRank, making it more
    difficult to attain a high level, or
  2. The way they are
    displaying their backlinks has changed, or
  3. The way they
    calculate the value of an incoming link has changed.

Any of these are possible and has been noted in the past as
something they are willing to do. Additionally, it is possible
for all to occur at the same time.

As we don’t like to use client’s as examples I will use the
Beanstalk site, backlink counts, and PageRank changes as the
meter by which the following conclusions are drawn, however this
information was attained through looking at a number of client
website, and their competitors.

Google Raising The Bar To Lower Yours

In the past few PageRank updates it has become quite apparent
that Google is continuously raising the bar on PageRank. In
their defense, with all of the reciprocal link building, link
renting, etc. going on this was a natural reaction to the
growing number high PageRank sites that attained those ranks
simply by building or buying hundreds and thousands of

There is no doubt that this is a factor in the changes in this
current update. If your site has maintained it’s PageRank, and
the PageRanks of your second-level pages then you have done well
in holding steady and if your competitors have not been as
diligent their positions will slip.

New Backlink Calculations I mention this one
only to bring to light that it is a possibility for your future
consideration during other updates. The Beanstalk website went
from 750 shown backlinks on Google to 864. it should be noted
that Google does not show all backlinks (if you want a more
accurate backlink count go to Yahoo! and enter
“link:” (don’t forget the

When the Beanstalk site showed 750 backlinks on Google we were
showing around 12,000 on Yahoo! (about 6.5% showing on Google).
The Beanstalk site is now showing 864 on Google and 15,500 on
Yahoo! (about 5.6%). If anything then, Google is showing less
links than before which negates the possibility that a website’s
PageRank is dropping due to a decrease in links but being hidden
by an increased number being displayed.

In short, while which backlinks Google chooses to display has
certainly changed over time it does not appear to be a major
factor in this update. If you see an increase in your sites
backlink counts during this update you undoubtedly have an
increased number of links.

The Value Of Links

Separate from the number of links you have is their value. This
appears to be an area of significant change in this update.
Areas that appear to have reduced value in regards to affecting
PageRank are:

  1. Multiple links from the same site
    or run-of-site links
    Intelligent and relevant reciprocal
    links do not seem to have been penalized, probably due to the
    increased relevancy factor. If you reduce the value of
    irrelevant links and raise the value of relevant ones then there
    is no need to penalize reciprocal links as, done incorrectly,
    they will penalize themselves.
  2. Links with text
    around them that indicate they are purchased such as “Partners”,
    “Advertising”, etc.
    Google has and is actively trying to
    reduce the value of paid links. This appears to have been
    moderately successful where there is clear indication that the
    link is paid for.
  3. Links from sites that hold
    little relevancy (this factor is based on educated speculation)
    The relevancy factor appears to have become more
    important. Links from sites with content related to yours is
    showing positive results while sites with larger numbers of less
    relevant links are showing drops in PageRank.

What Does This Mean?

For those of you who have been proactive in your link building,
and focused on relevant sites using the Google Directory,
searches or a tool like PR Prowler it means, “stay the course”. Those of you
who have been building or buying links based only on PageRank
with little concern for it’s location, or how it is presented -
you will need to adjust your link building efforts

What Do I Do – My PageRank Dropped ?!!?

The first thing not to do is panic. Take a deep
breath, PageRank is one factor of dozens that Google uses to
determine the ranking of your page, it is not the only thing.
Now, visit your main competitors sites – there’s a good chance
you’ll see that they too dropped in PageRank. The plus side to
these kinds of updates is that they’re universal. It’s not as if
Google has it in for you specifically and so when they do an
update, the positive and negative impact is felt by all.

Now, if you’ve noticed that everyone around you has stayed the
same or increased in PageRank try to remember this, there’s
nothing you can do about where you’re currently positioned in
regards to PageRank and it will probably be another 3 months
before Google updates the public PageRank again so … start
building some good quality (high relevancy, solid PageRank)
links, work towards and increase in the next update.

Panicking now won’t help, intelligent reaction will.

What Happens Now?

Traditionally the search engine results will begin to fluctuate
based on the new visible PageRank 3 to 7 days after they are
visible. This does not have to be the case as Google’s had these
numbers all along but it’s worked this way in the majority of
cases in recent history. So monitor your search engine positions
over the next week or two and watch for changes. Try to hold
back on making major changes to your site during this time as
often the final positions will differ from those that can be
viewed during the shuffling. In a couple weeks time evaluate
where you stand and tweak your site as necessary but don’t spend
too much time on that … you have a solid link building effort
to undertake.
Get bunches discount code for free
Dave Davies

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