Earlier today I was doing the usual, searching for articles on Search Engine Marketing. I ran into some very odd replies to someone asking how long does it take for Google Page Rank to update. Here are some of the replies below.

Anonymous poster 1 “There’s no point in worrying about PR anyway. It’s a minor ranking factor at best.”

Me “Page Rank is part of a multi-part solution called SEO. You cannot just focus on Page rank or not look at page rank. Regardless page rank happens if you do everything you are supposed to using white hat seo”

Anonymous poster 2 ” Search results are not ordered by page rank. People always say this, But none of them have bothered to check, They just assume that it must be this way.”

Me “Of course not, but the rankings are part of a much larger equation and Page Rank is part of it. You will find a lot of websites with very high page rank show up for keywords that you are working tirelessly to rank for. These websites are not really targeting these keywords and they only have to put a couple keywords in their text and they rank fairly quickly and highly for your keyword. Why? Because they are trusted by other users who found it valuable enough to link to.”

Why is page rank important for SEO

As we all know, everyone looks at page rank, some more than others.  Sites like Facebook and NYtimes have some awesome page rank. Why? Because they are some of the most popular websites on the internet. A lot of the top news portals, blogs, forums talk about these sites and send links there way. Why? Because they provide legit services, content and media.
Before I get carried away, let’s talk about why Google added” page rank” to their algorithm. From all of my experience and research I found that the Google’s  “counter spammer unit” led by the seasoned operative Matt Cutts created Page Rank.

Spammers number one goal is to make money by getting more hits, selling a product or maliciously hurting you pocket book. If these spammers could simply create a website and have every other word be their top performing keyword and show up number one, they would probably sink their hooks into the majority of search engine users pocket books in one way or another. In turn, Google would not be such a great tool for finding quality websites, answers and information. And these spammers would get rich and create more websites which would drain Google of any search authority it has left.

So Google wants to trust your website and that is through the Page Rank factor. Your job as a website owner is to get popularity votes (links) pointing to your website from other trusted and popular websites. This is where it gets complicated and I will try to keep it short. Google does not only look at how many website are pointing to your website, they look at the quality of those websites by checking how much page rank is on the site which is linking to yours. Which means, they are also looking at which websites are pointing to that and so forth. Which turns into a massive linking pyramid of websites and page rank calculations.

This means, you cannot just go out and get a million links and expect your page rank or trust relationship with Google to grow. Several years ago I worked with a company in Houston that provided Search Engine Optimization for its clients. They got half of the SEO right, they would optimize a websites code, content, images, alt tags, title tags, meta descriptions and so forth.

Next they would submit your website to hundreds of directories over the course of several months hoping for your rankings and page rank to increase. I was mainly an Ecommerce and web development guy at the time. Being new to SEO at the time I had my Ecommerce website put into this service for free and years later it has a page rank of zero. Actually, four months after they submitted me to hundreds of directories my page rank fell from 2 to 1 and then a few months later it dropped to zero. I speak nothing but the truth. I have learned my lesson.

What probably happened was, they submitted me to directories which had poor page rank. Which means,  my website was not having quality back links and in turn they decided that the site should not be shown on the search results as high as it used to for keywords that I used to rank for on the first three pages.  Makes sense right, who wants to buy something from a store that is being linked from sites that are not getting any real popularity votes on the web.

Linkbuildling through directory submissions is not all bad.

Right now I have an excel file filled with about 100 paid & non-paid directories which have high PR and are industry relevant. These directories review submissions and make sure the websites they are putting in their directory are not spam sites.  Included is the fact that these industry relevant directories are content and keyword relative to the content on your website. This means, Google sees that you are a “Houston Attorney” having a link from a directory of Legal Professionals in a category with other Houston Attorneys. Yes, this is beneficial and a great link to obtain.

Natural Linkbuildling

If you provide a good product or service backed by a real effort to please your customers, you should have zero problems getting some quality backlinks for your website. It can take time and patience but it will happen. You will get links from review sites, blogs, forums, friends, business associates and so forth. Or hire a Search Engine Optimization agency.

Have you ever gone to a Blog and seen comments where some mentally deranged chap decides to post a link to his favorite “Viagra” website in the middle of a Political debate of comments? I know you have. These guys are trying to get links to their website in order to rank higher for keywords. But you will rarely find these websites, they get blacklisted and thrown on the millionth page of the search results. All due to Page Rank factor and of course other spam deterrent features Google has put into its algorithm.

Page rank does matter when you are trying to optimize your website for keywords

Allot of factors are taken into account when doing Search Engine Optimization. Page rank falls in the middle somewhere and is part of a multi-part solution rather than the only solution. You need to first focus on the “on page seo” of your website by choosing the right keywords, title tags, quality content, interlinking and much more. You also need to focus on “off page seo” by getting some contextual links with anchor text from blogs, or sites, news sites and other community or article type of websites. If your website is trusted by Google, then you will get closer to being put in front of searchers when they type in keywords which are relevant to your website.

This takes a lot of work, start by building a strong foundation, researching keywords and competition. Or hire a Search Marketing Company and let them do the work.