News,Search Engine Optimization

Google December Pagerank Update for the 2009 New Year

31 Dec , 2008  

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.

But PageRank is Pointless

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?

PageRank Doesn’t Determine Your Position In Results

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.

So What Good Is PageRank?

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.

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30 Responses

  1. Another reason for having an high PageRank: it helps you to exchange links!
    Very good post.

  2. why it matters says:

    you white hat guys crack me up with your useless drivel.
    PR matters when I have 5, PR6 farm blogs linking to my money site and you sit back and wonder why the hell you can’t beat me. Ha!
    then again, you make your money targeting keywords like “aunt may’s fruit salad” and I make mine ranking atop the “credit cards” of the world.

  3. Barry Wise says:

    @why – In a roundabout way, you did touch on why PageRank can be important. Your own site’s PR isn’t that important, but the rank of the sites which link to yours is. Get enough high pagerank sites linking to you, and you’ll do better in the SERPs.

  4. Barry Wise says:

    Thanks Ty – I like that “word of mouse” maretking :) I also think more people, or at least I hope more, will begin focusing on broader online marketing efforts than just linkbuilding for pagerank.

  5. page rank is indeed a mix of ego and linking receptivity. I wonder why advertising has to be relative to pagerank rather than the number of visitors.

    your post is quite an eye opener

  6. Maneet Puri says:

    Google page rank doesn’t have any practical benefits. But then it sure cannot be undermined. It’s like grades Google gives to websites as a way to rank them casually!

  7. Webkinz Tipz says:

    And why do the little time bloggers and blogs get penalized for having a paid link on their site or paid advertising but the big time sites to not get penalized. Oh…it is because the little sites are taking that pocket change out of googles pockets. Greedy bastards!

    And I have NO paid links on my site at all….still my page rank continues to fall. I did better when I first got my site and it had no content on it…I was at a 4!

  8. Barry Wise says:

    @Webkinz While it is true Google doesn’t like the practice of buying and selling links, it will tolerate it if you use the nofollow tag.

    But if your pagerank dropped it has nothing to do with paid links; Toolbar Pagerank is just a calculation based on the pagerank of other links which point to your site.

  9. Barry,

    Nice post. I agree with everything you have to say about page rank. It has its good points and worthless points. Many beginners dwell too much on PR and slowly learn that PR isn’t that important in the long run.


  10. Casey,

    I couldn’t agree with you more….people in the know – know that it doesn’t mean much. But we have to show the clients how much we have improved their PR as a selling point. No one really knows how much it effects your rank.

  11. Tom Brooks says:

    Barry you are right, PageRank is pointless from SEO point of view. But when you search for anything in Google, just check the first 10 results, normally you will find sites with high PageRank(More than 5 or 6).And, thats why our clients want higher PR. Only Web Masters and SEOs know that PageRank is not so important, normal people don’t. But lets not forget one more thing, PageRank is also part of Google. It shows importance of page on net.

  12. malcolm says:

    While I agree it doesn’t matter – out of date, not really what google uses etc – it still feels good when yours goes up. Plus it’s better than nothing when deciding on the trustworthiness of the page you’re looking at. Until they bring out a trust rank bar in the toolbar …

  13. Aparajita says:

    I do agree. Although page rank is just one of the yardsticks to measure your site’s authority, it is indeed very popular in SEO fraternity to prove their site’s importance for Google.

  14. “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.”

    So true, PageRank has become the who’s cool or not ranking system among SEOs and website owners. Even though many of us know it really does not mean to much.

    And on your point about being able to sell more ads and such because you have a high PR website – that’s so true. I’ve watch on of my personal sites with lower PR, great traffic and offers some really useful stuff to viewers but it go virtually no requests for ads because of the PR.

  15. I know on some of my blogs I cannot sell text links until I get a PR of 3. It may not matter for SERPs, but I agree it does affect advertising.

  16. Raj says:

    Page rank was major factor in ranking system before florida update ( as dmoz listing sorting by pr) the same high pr valued site on top in google rankings.

    But now the page rank in one of many factors for google ranking. Though i have promoted few sites which ranks no. 3 with keyword seo in australia, no. 1 with buy car and no. 2 with chef ( no. 1 if not counting all time favorite wikipedia !! duh.

    but my website pr :( :( SAD 2 only.. also i dont work on my site at all it ranks well

  17. Web Talk says:

    Despite i hear this story about pagerank being useless (which is true, by the way) i am compelled to say that this is partially true. first of all having a high pagerank helps you a lot if you want to see space for ads. Secondly, it is also important to have a good SERP.

  18. Infomaroto says:

    My pagerank is still 3 =/

  19. I’ve stil got 0.. poor me
    When is the next google update?

  20. I assume all of us still take PR as important thing for our website / blog. Even though like you said that PR is dont have any influence in your keyword position, but it does have “selling” value to paid review :D

  21. I agree with you. My website has higher page than my competitors site but they are ranking well in all the search engine. I am pissed off with this page rank. Can you plese help me out, how to rank well in all the search engines without concentrating more on page rank.



  22. Ken Maldo says:

    What keyword are you going for? Don’t use a broad keyword, find an offbeat one that still gets a few hundred searches a day and optimize for that one.

  23. PageRank itself may not be important any more but it does seem to represent something. Its hard to deny the fact that sites that rank well in SERPs usually carry a higher PR. So it may not be the PR that is making a site rank, but if a site ranks well its PR will reflect this at some point.

  24. Google PageRank is just one yardstick to help measure the authority a site may carry in the Google index.

  25. Beads says:

    Yay, PigeonRank!

    As poster above says, it’s just one of many measuring sticks available. Plus most people get confuddled with the distinction between ‘live’ pagerank and ‘toolbar’ pagerank..!

  26. Deaf school says:

    I agree with you that Google will not boil everything down to the horizontal length of a green bar. As it is, this is only a “Toolbar” ranking update. The overall ‘algo’ processes triple digit factors into how your site is positioned in the SERP’s.

  27. Esenzendya says:


    I’ve checked past google page ranks update like from 2000-2008. In 2000-2004 Google upated the page ranks of site within a month or two. And from last two years google page rank is updating within 3 months only. This year also google updates the page rank first in April and then July. I think the next google page rank update is in September-2009.



  28. Text to Voice Mobile App - says:

    PR matters when I have 5, PR6 farm blogs linking to my money site and you sit back and wonder why the hell you can’t beat me. Ha!

  29. I think a lot of people realize that PageRank isn’t about your place on the SERPs, but it a really useful tool for other things like you mention in the article. Google turned off one of the ways to check your PR in September, but at we’ve managed to get one working if you want to check your PR quickly.

  30. iman354 says:

    I like this post…..
    “PR …. was not important for the long term”

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