Two Words About Google PageRank :: Who Cares

by derek on June 7, 2008 · 35 comments

When I first started blogging, I was obsessed with all of the rankings and statistics – Google PageRank being one of them. A few PageRank updates later and two of my blogs were sitting with a PR4, not too bad at all.
Fast forward to today and you will see that my personal finance blog has dropped to a PR0 and this blog has dropped to a PR2.
But you know what?
I don’t care.
That sentiment is shared by many across the blogosphere. One such sentiment that I encountered the other day was from Damien over at Postcards from the Funny Farm. Damien had the following to say while recapping his monthly traffic, earnings, and publishing:

PayPerPost and PayU2Blog probably are the culprits that caused me to lose my PR again … I don’t really care. Google can bite me. As long as I am meeting my personal goals, I am succeeding in my book.

You’ll recall that I also provide a monthly recap on blogging for money where I detail the tools that I have used to earn money. Each month I mention that two of the largest sources of income are LinkWorth and TLA. With each recap, it is common to see at least one question about whether using these services has damaged my Google rankings.
Up until this past month I have been able to answer “no” to that question.
However, now I have to assume that the PR for both of these blogs has dropped as a direct result of using these services. Unfortunately, that has had a ripple effect as a few of the advertisers through LinkWorth have dropped their advertisement.
As such, my efforts to blog for money have just become more difficult and I will likely see a slight decrease in earnings. Although that opens to the door to move more towards private advertisement deals, which are available here if anyone is interested.
When I started blogging and subsequently trying to earn money from blogging, I decided that my efforts would be overly transparent and I would discuss everything that I am doing. Maybe it would have been better to be less vocal about using these services and try to mask them, but that just doesn’t feel right to me.
Google seems to be going the way of Microsoft.
Think about it for a minute – Microsoft is hated by many for the tactics that they have used to force Internet Explorer down the throats of users of their operating systems. Google is now punishing site owners who opt to sell links using a service other than one provided by Google.
Am I the only one that sees a disturbing similarity there?
More and more people are recognizing this and the Google PageRank, once given the utmost respect and importance in determining the worth of a blog, is becoming more and more irrelevant.
Personally, I prefer to measure the worth of my site through metrics such as traffic and RSS subscribers – which have both been increasing rather steadily.
So I sit here before you today with two blogs that have experienced a PR decrease and I ask: who cares?

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Ling@Triphow June 7, 2008 at 10:39 am

Other than a few advertisers who still demand to a good PR, no one really gives two hoots about PR.
One thing I’d like to say, though. Right now, Google is only penalizing PR. If they start fiddling with search rankings, or banning sites or blogs altogether (which could happen in future) then you’ll have to comply with their wishes. Because like it or not, Google is the one who sends you all that traffic, without which the private advertisers would be useless.
Ling’s last blog post..Miami Confidential

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Ramana@Home Recording Studio June 9, 2008 at 5:48 am

This possibility is very frightening. I am however sure that sufficient legal provisions will be made sooner than later.

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Steve@Free iPods June 7, 2008 at 10:48 am

What we really need is someone to come along who can offer a genuine challenge to Google’s dominance of the search engine market.
As things stand, they can almost do what they feel like without fear of any significant loss to business.
In terms of private ads, is there any Google impact on the people who buy the ads, or is that just a problem for the people selling them (and links).

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Karen Putz / DeafMom June 7, 2008 at 10:52 am

Makes me glad that I’ve never looked up my Google rank– never had to care about it. 🙂

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Mr Business Golf June 7, 2008 at 11:08 am

Good point, and you are correct. Google is going to put the strangle hold on the market if they can. They see the writing on the wall and if Google does not start looking at what they can do to improve the morale of their loyal advertisers they will be forced to start cutting off bloggers who do not comply. Google sees that the interests of advertisers to go directly to sites that serve their needs is going to hit their bottomline. But as a business man, I would rather see my advertising dollar spent on a site like yours that serves my interest instead on sites that Google feels would be good for my business. So yaw, who cares…we will survive without them.
Mr Business Golf’s last blog post..OH Happy Day!

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Damien June 7, 2008 at 11:44 am

Thanks for the link Derek. Yeah, Google is a great company in many respects (ie; search, analytics …) but the “build you up smack you down” PR thing for millions of bloggers is currently detestable.
I wish I had an easy suggestion to fix it all for my excellent friends who write online. Unfortunately, they currently rule the blog advertising marketplace (Even PayPerPost still leans on it).
For me, as you so kindly quoted above, the most important thing is my goals AND one verrrrry important word that I will be breaking down and writing about extensively in some new posts this June:
The Great Blog Battle between RANK and V.A.L.U.E.?
or some title like that 😉
I may ask you for an interview since you clearly are going through that question yourself.
best
Damien
Damien’s last blog post..8 Things I Know 2008

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Kelvin Kao@Puppet Kaos June 7, 2008 at 3:29 pm

When I checked yesterday, I have PR4. But that really doesn’t mean much. I’ve seen far more popular sites with lower PR. In fact, after seeing my own PR that high, I don’t think it really means anything anymore. Hehe.
Kelvin Kao’s last blog post..Episode 15 – Godfather Nightmares

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Andrea June 7, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Im with you on this one. I would measure the “worth” of your website based on RSS subscribers and traffic that it gets. You got a good thing going on here. I am super glad i found my way here!

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Nick@romandock dot com June 7, 2008 at 4:23 pm

I agree that subscribers and traffic are much more important than PageRank, although I think PageRank still has some importance.
The biggest issue I see is that there are “educated people” like the ones that read this blog and actually know a little bit about how the system works and advertising and then there are the “average people” who type what they want to find in the search engine and click on the first thing that catches their eye.
The average people are the ones that make this a profitable business and they are sent to a given site generally through Google. It’s kind of a catch 22.
Nick’s last blog post..Wattmeters

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knife dude June 7, 2008 at 4:46 pm

You are missing something very big here. Google didn’t penalize you because you were using some service (like TLA), but because you messed with their business – which is SE rankings.
By selling links, you make it possible for the buyer to reach that Number 1 spot on SE artificially. He didn’t earn those links with quality posts/content, but because he bought the links. Anchored links from sites with PR. And your PR3 and aged site means a lot if that same buyer just bought 20 of them and pointed them all at one page. He played Google out. And Google doesn’t want anyone mess with their rankings. It’s as simple as that.
And yes, you need Google and PR to get SE traffic. Se traffic brings money, more then anything else.
knife dude’s last blog post..Diamond Knife Sharpener

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derek June 8, 2008 at 11:21 am

While I understand your point, if you think the sites that are ranked at the top of the SE rankings haven’t bought their share of links then you are drunk on the Google kool-aid.
They may do it more transparently but they are still doing it. In addition, Google often likes to ignore the “sins” of the big players and instead focus on the smaller sites. Why? Because those big players are putting loads of cash into Google’s pocket.
You’re right that search engine traffic is essential and does bring money in, which can certainly be impacted by the site PR. This only enforces my feelings that Google is becoming more and more like Microsoft, a company so many people despise for their hold on a market.

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Ramana@Home Recording Studio June 9, 2008 at 5:55 am

Derek, you are absolutely right. Unfortunately, if you were G you would do precisely the same thing to protect your own turf.
This is a David vs Goliath situation and at least for the moment, there is little that you can do other than the very correct way of saying “Who cares!”.
If you can get advertising revenue from private sources, nothing else should bother you any way.

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woog June 7, 2008 at 8:01 pm

You guys are gaming Google’s system in order to get traffic. They don’t like SEO, and they view it as the number one threat to their business. Search engines are one of the most important features of the net, and doing things that damage search engine results damages the usability of the net.
I should know. At one time I had over 70,000 splogs.
Point is, don’t bitch about how evil Google is because they get in the way of your junkmail.

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Melvin June 8, 2008 at 12:35 am

google pr isn’t really important… in my case i even buy pr3 domains and just sell loads of links and reviews, after a month pr is gone..
Melvin’s last blog post..People Will Not Read Your Blog

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datenverlust June 8, 2008 at 1:07 am

I care PR cause its play an important role for bloggers.
datenverlust’s last blog post..Datenrettung durch den Profi: Meist die einzige Option, um verloren geglaubte Daten retten zu können

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James Mann June 8, 2008 at 2:49 am

I have tried to say that Google PR doesn’t matter but really it does matter.
I have a number of sites that help me make money online and the higher my PageRank went the more I earn, until Google slapped me down.
Again I tried to say I don’t care but the truth is my income dropped considerably as my PR dropped. So even though I can say that I don’t care the fact that advertisers do care makes a difference because they pull their ads or I have to drop the price of ads.
I really do want to be able to say “I Don’t Care” but right now I still really do care. 🙂
James Mann’s last blog post..Yes, Create A Blog But Using Too Many Wordpress Plugins Won’t Make Money Online.

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derek June 8, 2008 at 11:27 am

James, I have already witnessed this as my income for June has already taken a hit as a result of the decrease in page rank.
Certainly I care that my income has dropped, as I am sure anyone would. A decrease in page rank means that I will have to work that much harder to increase my income.
On the sites that you have had a PR decrease, have you removed any links that Google doesn’t like?

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John Walters@Free iPod Touch June 8, 2008 at 6:36 am

PR is only useful if you are looking to sell links or use the PR value to help value your site if you are about to sell it.
Look at it this way, it can be seen as bad to have a low PR but it can never be seen as bad to have a high one! When I got a PR 2 (dizzy heights) I was pleased to see that my hard work had payed off. Chances are it will go down next update as my site has got nowhere.
Shame to hear your earnings may go down.
John

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knife dude@knife sharpener June 8, 2008 at 8:51 am

@Melvin
You just answered the question. You SELL links, then Google devalues your site authority and you have 0 power with that site.
PR matters, I will try to explain. I can make a post on PR4 site and it will be ranked quite well, no matter what I write about. This is because my site has an authority. If you put the same post on your PR1 site, keyword stuff it and get links to it, I would rank better just because of PR. You would need a lot of links to get in front of me in SE, and this is why PR means power and money.
knife dude’s last blog post..Diamond Knife Sharpener

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Shawn Knight June 8, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Google Page Rank has gone the way of Alexa, Technorati, etc… totally useless in my book. At the end of the day, traffic stats are all that matter and if they keep steady or increase, I am doing just fine 🙂
Shawn Knight’s last blog post..Busting Debt and Money Myths With Dave Ramsey Part III

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Asia'h Epperson June 8, 2008 at 7:20 pm

I think I have to disagree with you guys who said PR is not important, at least in terms of buying links. Those who buy links DO look at PR.
Asia’h Epperson’s last blog post..Writer’s Block

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pauletet June 8, 2008 at 9:41 pm

For me gpr is not as accurate as we look at it.

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Daisy@baby shower food ideas June 8, 2008 at 11:55 pm

We all know PR really is irrelevant, it’s the advertisers that think differently. Wasn’t there a company who introduced a real rank as a countermeasure? Izee or something?

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derek June 9, 2008 at 8:21 am

Yes, IZEA released the RealRank as an alternative to the Google PageRank. You can see more about this rank at the FAQ here.

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Nicole Price June 10, 2008 at 5:31 am

Do you honestly believe that this will in anyway affect Google’s status when you try to sell your site for ad revenue?
Nicole Prices last blog post..Father’s Day Gift Ideas

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Airsoft Guns June 9, 2008 at 4:42 am

I agree, PageRank does not matter unless you are selling links, because link buyers always care about PageRank, even though in reality it does not matter as much as people think. As long as you are getting good traffic and making a lot of money, that’s what matters.

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Steve@Free iPods June 9, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Does it matter whether the links you sell are no follow? In that way, the advertiser still get’s hits but you are not (in G’s eyes) manipulating PR.
I am a novice so expect to be shot down, was just a thought.

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Nicole Price June 10, 2008 at 5:29 am

This battle has been going on for quite some time. There is the school that says that it is essential, and the other that says that it is not. I suspect that it depends on how much you depend on Google for your advertising revenue. The way I look at it is to have Google on your side will be a better option.
Nicole Prices last blog post..Father’s Day Gift Ideas

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Futon-Matt June 10, 2008 at 11:04 am

Advertisers do, that’s who. And Google I guess.

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Futon-Matt June 10, 2008 at 11:04 am

Oh yeah, I’m back from my hiatus.
🙂

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chuck@facts about Niagara Falls June 11, 2008 at 8:14 pm

I don’t care much about PR at all…certainly not on my own sites. I DO care very much about ranking in Google…as that is the difference between being seen and not being seen.
The only time I care about PR is if I am purchasing advertising (usually a text link) on a site. I want to know Google’s relative sense of value for the page…and that’s one indicator. Many pages don’t have a lot of traffic…so I need SOME sense that there is perceived value there.
But, as far as worrying about “passing link juice” and all that…nah. I’ve had sites rank #1 for their primary keyword phrase that were only a PR4. PR means little-to-nothing, in my view.

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tereaa June 17, 2008 at 9:21 pm

i think your blog is great,it have many unique content,so very soon it will get high pr

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Nuno Teixeira July 20, 2008 at 7:34 am

This seems very un-Google-like! I respect Google for much they have done and it’ll take me a little longer to let something like this tactic derail my opinions of them–but I surely hope they take this more seriously and avoid tainting their “don’t do evil” boyscout image.
Nuno Teixeiras last blog post..Twitter Updates for 2008-07-19

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Miss Sonia December 13, 2010 at 3:39 am

PageRank is an algorithim google invented that assesses the strength of a website. The algorithim evaluates a site on a scale of n/a to 10 with 0 being the lowest/weakest and 10 being the highest/strongest. We can check our site’s rank by using a checker pagerank tool.

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