Since I’ve put up a blog post every other time Google updated it’s toolbar PageRank, I might as well not make tonight’s any different. The final quarterly PageRank update for 2008 is here, and (for me, at least) it’s been extremely friendly. I no longer have a client or a site with a PageRank of less than 4, and I’ve helped several sites up to 5 or 6.
Yeah I said it. While I am pleased with the blogs and NJ small business websites I’ve brought from new domains with a zero up to 4, 5 or 6 — because we all know it’s tough to get an unknown new blog or website started — in the end, PageRank doesn’t mean much. A good link building strategy may help bolster your PageRank, but an effective online marketing strategy will help you target more customers and convert more sales. So why bother with PageRank?
Google PageRank is just one yardstick to help measure the authority a site may carry in the Google index. Note I said it is just one of many tools which may help; PageRank is not, I repeat, not an effective measurement of a successful online marketing strategy. You can have a PageRank of 10 but if your traffic isn’t converting into sales, what good does it do you?
What’s important to note is that PageRank doesn’t even necessarily help your site rank for your target keywords in Google. There are so many factors which go into determining where your site ranks in the SERPs that it would be ludicrous to assume Google is going to boil down its billion dollar patented ranking algorythm into a number from zero to 10.
In fact, I don’t even like to work with clients who just want high rankings in SERPs; I prefer to work with clients who want to create an engaging customer experience, intelligent branding, and effective marketing. Let’s face it — as Google and the other search engines evolve to offer more personalized results (and perhaps even begin basing results on user involvement), better websites which offer a better user experience will always rank better in results.
It can be useful for a few reasons:
A higher PageRank will help you sell more advertising space. I’m not sure why, for all the reasons outlined above, but it does. You’ll find sites with higher PageRanks can charge more for monthly banners, text link ads, or site reviews.
A higher PageRank will raise the value on your site. If you’re in the business of flipping domains or selling blogs, PageRank comes into play for the valuation of your site.
A higher PageRank will let you laud it over your friends and competitors. Let’s face it; among SEOs, website owners and Bloggers, PageRank will always be an ego stroke. It feels good to have a higher PageRank, because it leads you to believe your site is more important than those with a lesser rank. In some cases, but not all, this is actually true.