The Truth About Pagerank and Why It Doesn't Determine Ranking

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Filed Under SEO

If you hang around webmaster and "SEO" type forums (you know the ones), you're bound to read more than one post about the importance of pagerank. We all know that the most important factor in ranking for your chosen keyword is to get backlinks right? You should be getting lots of them, right? You should also be getting these backlinks from so-called authority websites, right? You should also be getting links from high pagerank sites, right?


This is a myth that just won't die. There is no end to the line of hucksters and misguided SEO "experts" who will try to either sell you on the idea of getting backlinks from high PR sites, or pages within sites, or they'll try to just sell you the link themselves through some type of link-building service.

The truth of the matter is that it doesn't matter whether you get a link from a high PR site, or page, or not. Pagerank doesn't matter. That might be a tough pill to swallow if you've spent thousands of dollars chasing pagerank, but it's pretty simple to demonstrate.

Fire up your favorite SEO tool that checks for pagerank. A popular tool for this is SEObook's SEO for Firefox. You can also get pagerank information from SEObook's SEO toolbar.

Once you've installed the toolbar or you have it activated, log out of your Google account (if you're logged in) and do a search. Any search will do. Now look at the pagerank for the top search term in Google. Look at the pagerank for all of the other search terms on the first page. You might see that the highest pagerank wins. You might not. Do another search and compare your results. You'll find that sometimes the highest pagerank wins in Google. Other times, it does not.


Pagerank no longer important for rankings


Take puppies, for example. Everyone loves puppies. How could you not? As of this writing, if you search for "puppies" in Google, you're going to see something very interesting. The top search result is a site called "" The second listing is "" Look at the pagerank for both sites. "puppyfind" has a pagerank of 4. "Dailypuppy" has a pagerank of 6. You might scoff at this and argue that while pagerank doesn't necessarily affect ranking, getting backlinks from high PR sites does. That just doesn't make any sense if you think about it.

This isn't an isolated instance either. It happens for a lot of searches. Search for terms that will yield results showing government websites and you'll smash two myths. Government websites don't always outrank commercial websites, and pagerank still doesn't determine ranking.

Keep doing these searches until you're convinced that pagerank isn't a major determining factor in ranking. If it was, then you would not be seeing the contradiction staring you right in the face.

About the author
David Lewis
David Lewis
David C. Lewis, RFC is the owner of Twin Tier Financial. He writes extensively about personal and business finance, purpose and goal-setting, and both online and offline business marketing. Touch base with David by visiting - Read more stories from .
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