Up until late 2013, PageRank (PR) was still arguably one of the most valuable assets a website could possess. A website with a relatively high PR with high PR backlinks would most likely result in higher SEO rankings. This simple equation has since changed moving into 2014.
With the relevance of PR becoming less and less important it’s become quiet well-known that as SEOs, SEMs and IMs, we should be considering numerous other metrics and factors and not purely relying on PR as an all-one-in ranking factor.
Why PR has dropped as a Potential Ranking Signal
Over the course of the past few months, Matt Cutts has revealed the use of internal PR (Google’s own internal PR system). It was revealed Google’s internal PR system is constantly changing on a daily basis. The internal system pulls all forms of data from Google’s internal system, and as a result the data would be exported to the public Toolbar PageRank (TBPR) once every 3-4 months. However, in 2013 TBPR was only updated twice, which further reinforces the belief that Google now places now value on TBPR.
With the public PageRank having been revealed as simply an exported figure from Google’s ever-changing internal data, we can only come to the conclusion that PR has most likely lost a great deal of ranking relevancy within the overall scheme of things.
For those that missed out on Cutts’ talk at 2013 Pubcon addressing this issue, you can read it below:
“We have our own internal version of PageRank, it’s always updating, it’s continuous and continual, and every single day we have new PageRanks.Then there’s also an export that says, “OK, given our internal PageRanks, export that to the Google Toolbar. And normally it runs once every 3 months, or so, maybe every 3, or 4 months.”
You can also check out Cutts’ full video talk here.
Using PR as a Reputation Signal Instead of a Ranking Signal
I’m sure many of you’s have grown the habit of regularly using PR as a reputation signal. And truthfully, this is what I believe Google has intended for it to be used for. Cutts has revealed numerous times that the PR value of a website is the reputation value of how Google values the site. How Google values the page and the ranking of the page would be considered as totally two different things.
For example, you’d enter a website and immediately gaze upon the website’s TBPR. The website possesses a PR6, which is relatively very high. This then would create a sense of reliability and trust within the website and its content. The PR6 reputation value will further enforce a sense of trust for the website when making transactional decisions and the sharing of personal information.
Taking the public PR value as a reputation signal instead of a ranking signal would be the best way to go moving on in 2014.
2014: What Page Metrics Should We Focus On
With PR out of the ranking equation, it’s time to focus on metrics which really matter. Not one metric can tell it all, much like not one single PR value could tell it all. It’s important to keep our data diverse, only then can we measure and test studies accordingly.
The various key metrics below should be taken into consideration when determining the value of a webpage. If you have metrics which you think are equally important, please feel free to share your findings in the comments below.
Through the use of the metrics listed above, we may work to better understand the true value of webpages and further build on our understanding of what works and what is slowly diminishing. Similar to what has happened to PR, it’s best to not solely rely on one signal and to always keep our strategies diversified when working with SEO campaigns.
Whether you agree, disagree or simply have something to say, please leave your comments in the comments section below.