More info on PageRank

Every few months we update the PageRank data that we show in the toolbar, and every few months I see a few repeated questions, so let me take a pass at some of them. Note: I wrote this kinda quickly, so I think this is pretty good, but if I spot something incorrect later, I’ll change it.

Philipp Lenssen asks: “Matt, I often wonder, how is the PageRank value stored internally, is it a floating-point number as many people suggest or is it just the integer value itself due to the heavy recursive PR computations?”

It’s more accurate to think of it as a floating-point number. Certainly our internal PageRank computations have many more degrees of resolution than the 0-10 values shown in the toolbar.

viggen says: “Do i need to know that? What does it tell me when i know it? Why would i care? Meaning, what purpose has the Pagerank for the mom and pop site out there?”

viggen, I think that’s a perfectly healthy attitude. If you don’t care about PageRank and your site is doing well, that’s fine by me. :)

Andrew Hunter asks: “Will the data centers using the slightly older infrastructure be updated in due course, or will my PR be split by data center for the next couple of months?”

The latter. I think most data centers are running the newer infrastructure for things like info:, related:, link: and PageRank, and I believe every data center that has that newer infrastructure has the recent snapshot of PageRank now. I wouldn’t be surprised if it took at least 1-2 months for the other data center IPs to get the newer infrastructure in some way. (Yes, this is smaller, different infrastructure than the stuff that made site: queries have more accurate results estimates.)

Lots of folks ask questions like: “Is this PageRank from day X or day Y? And it looks like backlinks are from day Z?”

Really, I wouldn’t worry about it–I’m not even sure myself. At some point we take our internal PageRanks, put them on a 0-10 scale, and export them so that they’re visible to Google Toolbar users. If you’re splitting hairs about the exact date that backlinks were taken from, you’re probably suffering from “B.O.” (backlink obsession) and should stop and go do something else for a bit until the backlink obsession passes. I highly recommend keyword analysis, looking at server logs to figure out new content to add, thinking of new hooks to make your site attract more word-of-mouth buzz, pondering how to improve conversion once visitors land on your site, etc.

I’ll do a follow-up. Supplemental Challenged said: “The fact that Google can only create a PR update that is a full quarter behind the times is awfully troubling.”

I believe that I’ve said before that PageRank is computed continuously; there are machines that take inputs to the PageRank algorithm at Google and compute the resulting PageRanks. So at any given time, a url in Google’s system has up-to-date PageRank as a result of running the computation with the inputs to the algorithm. From time-to-time, that internal PageRank value is exported so that it’s visible to Google Toolbar users (see the question below for more details on the timing).

Matt Crouch asks: “Actually, I am just curious why you are bothering telling us about a new PR update…. is this the first time you ever did?”

Well asked, Matt Crouch; I’m not sure if I’ve given the official word on a PageRank export before. It’s not a big event here at Google. Frankly, I didn’t even know we’d done our 3-4 month-ish push of this data. When I saw people talking about it online, I went to check and see whether it was a real push or not. In the past few months, people have noticed when an engineer grabs an obscure data center and tinkers around with things like backlinks or info: queries (e.g. when “Update Pluto” got downgraded because it was just an engineer tinkering at one data center). So I figured I’d let people know that this was a real PageRank export and not just one person doing something. :)

New Jersey SEO asked: “Will this PR update affect SERPs? Are we going to have also a SERP data refresh / update?”

Great question. By the time you see newer PageRanks in the toolbar, those values have already been incorporated in how we score/rank our search results. So while you may be happy to see that the Google Toolbar shows a little more PageRank for a given page, it’s not as if that causes a change in search results at that point. So you won’t see any search engine result page (SERP) changes as a result of this PageRank export–those changes have been gradually baking in since the last PageRank export.

228 Responses to More info on PageRank (Leave a comment)

  1. Jeez, talk about linkbait :)

    Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, Matt.

  2. Thanks, Matt.

    We’ve all picked up a lot of PageRank info along the way here, but it’s nice to actually hear it from someone inside.

    At the risk of pressing my luck, I believe that many of us would like to hear your response to those who say that PageRank is dead.

  3. Hi, It’s the first time I am on this website and I wonder if I can ask a question here;

    the question is:

    The pageranks is mainly given regarding the number of good ranked links towards the website. How is it possible that websites with very few links and a far lower rank at Alexa still pop up a lot higher on the Google searchresult?
    Regards from Cannes

  4. Hi Matt, nice comments :-)
    - Do you re-scale pagerank values from time to time? (too many PR9s or PR10s)
    - How does link-devaluation play into the PR algorithm?
    - Are penalties reflected in PR? How do sites with penalties pass PR?
    - What is the reason you’re exporting PR values at all?

  5. ChrisF


    “it’s not as if that causes a change in search results at that point. So you won’t see any search engine result page (SERP) changes as a result of this PageRank export–those changes have been gradually baking in since the last PageRank export.”

    Is this true, i’ve seen large changes with regards to my site from the time Google updated the vissible pagerank?

  6. Kelly Jones

    Thanks Matt, truly appreciated.

    Can you confirm or deny something? If we’re seeing drastic SERP changes during this time period and you’re saying they’re not related to the PR update, is there some form of push or algo change going on as well?

    Or, is this because I finally un-tripped the filter which killed us on August 17th by making MASSIVE changes in my site?


  7. Hi Matt,

    I have a question for you. Given the excellent insights you are given into Google does this mark a shift in policy at Google? I thought Google Sitemaps might be the start of a process whereby Google opened up.

    Your articles have been very useful and I feel that more transparency will help both Google and responsible webmasters get want they want.


  8. Thanks Matt.

    Great insight and really good of you to take the time to answer the daily barrage of questions! ;)

  9. Ok now that’s a great PR FAQ Matt.


  10. Great post Matt. I’ve noticed that page rank and search engine rankings are really not related. Why does page rank exist? What is it’s purpose?

  11. Like Viggen, I rarely bother too much about PageRank (Mac based webmasters seldom do, since it took us so long to get acccess to these vaues).

    But since it is the topic of the with many clients, I’ve had to start keeping an eye on that little white-green bar in the toolbar.

    But I have to ask you about one strange fact that I’m observing right now.

    How come has a PageRank of 7, when shows a white PR bar?

    It seems strange, since you promote the www flavour yourself in the top link (Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO). Is this yet another weird www vs non-www effect?

  12. Hi Matt,
    I’m just courius, it’s possible that you tell us how many are PR10 sites out there?
    For fun only:)

  13. it’s ameliorate but I think also that Pagerank-system up from zip to ten is like to measure the earth with millimeters.
    I think to compare a political site with an art site in such a constricted system is nearly impossible.

    How can my german startsite be a PR2 and the same part in English PR3 and the german picture gallerie PR2 but the same gallerie in English only PR1?

    Please think about specialized searchbots for categories like:

    and so on …

    and add this to the info in the serps or make the PR-scale
    much wider.

  14. JLH

    Thanks for the post, I’m sure this will be cited often in the forums when people start the weekly PR update thread.

  15. Jan

    I’d love to see PageRank to be more accurate on highly dynamic websites. ATM it seems PR inheritance is based mostly on URL-depth (delimited by / ) instead of true link-depth. Our mainsite has PR4 while links to dynamic pages from that page usually have PR0 at best. The target-page content is always static we’re just using mod_rewrite to hide highly parameterized URLs.

  16. Dave (Original)

    Matt, you overlooked my question which was the very 1st one :)

    “But are the toolbar PR values the exact same values as the one Google’s algo uses on a daily basis? ”

    Another one, why do Google feed the PR frenzy by showing TBPR? Why not just dump and NEVER let us know about PR?

  17. I’d also like to hear what Google’s rationale is for releasing PageRank. I can imagine it being useful to a someone browsing the web, to look at their toolbar and see the prominence according to Google of the page they’re on. If a blog has a 7 or 8 or 9 I might think, “lots of folks like this guy”. On the other hand, it seems to encourage the wrong kind of SEO which is the opposite of what Google seems to try to do in most other circumstances.

  18. Roger Balmer

    Hi Matt, thank you for all your answers to questions about PageRank and the Datacenters. Hope this time, my post will not just be deleted…

  19. Thanks Matt, I always refer people to this

    Do you agree with it?

    Cheers CTABUK

  20. Thanks for the info. Nice to know how things work..

  21. Well Matt,

    Pagerank may be calculated continuously, but there most definitely are parts in the algorithms/spam detection/adsense quality assesment of a site/etc. that use the data which is represented by the toolbar.

    There are just too many things changing when Google does a PR update… :)

    I am really curious if you can shed a light on what uses specifically the PR data that is represented by the toolbar.

  22. @Dave (Original) –

    Actually, he did answer that question. The answer is “sometimes yes, but almost all the time no”.

    PR changes much more frequently on the backend driving SERPs, etc. than what the user sees in the Toolbar. The Toolbar PR data just gets pushed every so often to the user. However, the very next day, that data could be out-of-date if Google decides to run datacenter updates, push a new algo, etc., then the PR numbers may change, but Toolbar users will not be aware of those changes until another PR data push to the Toolbar app.

    Or I could be talking out my ass. :)

  23. PageRank is computed continuously; there are machines that take inputs to the PageRank algorithm at Google and compute the resulting PageRanks. So at any given time, a url in Google’s system has up-to-date PageRank as a result of running the computation with the inputs to the algorithm. From time-to-time, that internal PageRank value is exported so that it’s visible to Google Toolbar users (see the question below for more details on the timing).


    this would be an opportunity to pretest and archve the results of the various PAGERANK PREDICTOR TOOLS – to access which one is consistantly the closest :?

  24. Matt,

    This is a great service you are doing to give the official nod for a PR update. I am a serious member at DP Forums and we are inundated with a plethora of threads asking if an update is on. We find ourselves repeatedly forwarding members to view the url’s that have a service to check multiple datacenters to find out for themselves. However, the member list at DP keeps growing at an enormous rate that it is hard to keep up with it all.

    Thanks again.

    Col :)

  25. Hi Matt,

    Sorry about changing the subject, but what’s up with Is it a testing ground for the Orion algorithm?


  26. Ron

    I think this is probably the best post I’ve read here in quite a while. Thanks for posting about the update and for answering those questions.

  27. I noticed that under the privacy policy that Google lays claim to the web site.

  28. Matt-

    Whooaaa buddy, simmer down if you start answering all of our questions here, I won’t have any need to go to Pubcon in Vegas. If my wife even gets a whiff of their not being a need to go to Vegas this November, I’ll get stuck going to visit family in Missouri. The bad part of Missouri, the very bad part, and the one they don’t tell you about at the tourist information centers.


  29. “Search Engines WEB” , there is NO such thing as pagerank prediction tools. You know that right ? And here are the tests to prove that. Part 1 and Part 2.

  30. I tend to agree with Dave. I’d personally be happier if the PageRank in the toolbar weren’t displayed and it were replaced with an indicator containing of one of three words:

    1) Indexed (without penalty, but that’s implied.)
    2) Not Indexed
    3) Banned

    Nice and easy.

  31. Ian

    Here’s one frequently-asked question that I didn’t see anyone ask in either PageRank-article’s comments.

    Is PageRank (as stored internally, I guess), linear, logarithmic, or something else?

    (I’ve got a bit of a bias towards it being logarithmic, what with one of my ancestors having invented logarithms :))

  32. At the first begenning I had nerver understand nothing at google, but google understood my website even with a 0 for my pagerank…

    Now, I understand all, it’s a kind of magic, years ago, google found millions of gobelins. They use and are very cruel with them to make them work fast. That IS the explaination why the system works!

    Conclusion : Don’t spend nights facking meta or farming link or everything else! Google gobelins are everywhere…

    A demoniac denonciator Anonyme (all my apologizes for my English)

  33. Oy, enough PageRank questions! :) My advice is not to obsess about PageRank too much; it is one of more than 100 different factors in how we score documents.

  34. Bob

    So how about letting us know what the other 99 factors are so we can stop obsessing about it? :) haha

  35. Harith


    You keep talking about PageRank her on your blog, on forums and webmaster conferences. And now you ask us not to be obsessed about PageRank?

    C’mon Matt. Give us a break :)

  36. Hi Matt, glad you explained PR and PR Obsession. But the one thing that seems obvious when you look at the datacenters in a short time is that they are not all even similar in the SERP they return for some searches. So there has to be huge difference not just in PR, SITE: but in the actual indexes.

  37. Matt Crouch

    So would it be unfair to say that people who work in departments pertaining to Google Search, do not pay attention to what the other departments within Search do? — Quote -”Frankly, I didn’t even know we’d done our 3-4 month-ish push of this data. When I saw people talking about it online, I went to check and see whether it was a real push or not.”

  38. Great FAQ.. i always see those topics on DP or WWW opened.. :) , but “PageRank is computed continuously”, hopefully they saw it now. I like Andrews Hunter question about the splitting. This could be better, but is difficult ofcourse.


  39. Thanks for update as the ‘site’ and ‘links’ checks have been a bit quirky recently I guessed something was going on. Blogs and furums all have the same conclusion about pagerank – that you should not get obsessed with PR – everybody nods knowingly. Then along comes an update and the forums are full of postings – ‘wow we’ve gone to a PR7′ and ‘oh no were gone back to PR of 3′ – who’s NOT interested in pagerank?!

    The problem is that the web is huge and there are very few ( 1? ) ways of assessing the relevance, quality and usefulness of websites. Pagerank tries to convey all of these things in one little green bar. It can’t be done. but its the best (only) measure there is. What we/ the web needs is some more specialised ranking/ ratings tools to measure these things – relevance/ quality/ accessibility/ usefulness etc. At the moment pagerank – ‘measures the importance of this page’ but thats like trying to measure the importance of an individual! How do you even begin to do that – look at their job, money, friends, looks, social actions, friendliness etc it can’t be done in any meaningful way. And remember there are more webpages than there are people on the planet.

    So what we need is a portfolio of measurers for different aspects of a webpage – and you could get really creative with the colours too – greens getting a bit boring!! ;-)

  40. Thanks for this post … will help clear up a lotta myths surrounding the PR debate. I had a single question though .. if 2 different websites get similar backlinks will the PR be always same? I was anxious ‘coz I have seen different results (for PR) with similar promotions.

  41. OK Matt, thanks for the information re: toolbar pagerank and the toolbar pagerank update. I do have a couple of questions.

    1) Is it possible to ‘focus’ pagerank within a site to the pages that I feel are most important by selectively using ‘rel=nofollow’? In other words, I would create two identical looking versions of my TOC and the most heavily linked pages would use the version of the TOC that has ‘rel=nofollow’ to the pages that I want to de-emphasize.

    For example, I have a Glassblowing Glossary page on my web site that may be linked to as a general glassblowing resource. I would like to pass the credit for those links primarily to my home page and class information page. So, could I change the TOC on the Glossary page to use the ‘rel=nofollow’ attributes for all links except for the two where I would like to ‘focus’ the pagerank?

    2) Can you speak at all about the status of updates from DMOZ to Google Directory? Google’s current image is quite stale, about 10 months old.

  42. Excellent post. Although I don’t dwell on pagerank too much, its good to know some of the questions you’ve answered.

  43. Matt Crouch

    Sorry about my previous comment, I read your statement wrong.

  44. James M

    Thank you! I’ve got sick of the silly arguments about PageRank over the last x years. How good to have a simple, rational explanation.

  45. Rob

    Hi Matt,

    Aside from Pagerank Matt – I’d really like to discuss sites that are using, to my knowledge “poor site modificaitons and intruducing a new type of cloaked information” to gain quick ranking in Google’s index. Seems a certain group I found online to be flooding thier site index page (built in frames) none the less, and equipted with poor site information, NO backlink structure (found certain link farms in this research also) and are practicing poor Google ethical guidelined SEO.

    What is happening here?

    I can’t figure this one out. I consitantly work on the algorythm to meet the needs of Google’s guidelines, using the webmaster toolset, and reports, have a certain volume of quality site backlinks, numerous first position listed terms for researched keywords from server logs and new content creation, creating that valuable site content with unique and expert articles on marketplace information and a well structure for both user, and Serp’s informational structure. with almost 7 years experience and always solid results in my work based on Google guidelines, I hate to see what’s happening here – and am now turning to the Guru.

    I’m at a loss here, and when reviewing thier code and site structure (I’m a programmer), the frames, the lack of quality backlinks to relevant site information, poor information, framed toolsets that aren’t even thier using IFRAMES, as well as thier spammed tags for increased HEAD content relevancy, and poor head content, it leads me to believe that sites like this will always triumph over the smaller, yet smarter guys – even though these guys are outsourcing their work to another outside firm.

    Any insight here would be helpful on your part. I’d love to figure out why this is happening after having done everything I can do increase relevance, site development and qualtiy information (in fact, our site has the most relevant and quality listed site info available) of any site in the marketplace here.

    Very frustrating, considering I love the Google index, and it’s results – but these guys have been up to no good, with no penalization from Google or it’s engineers. I think they found a loophole in the system. It’s the only possible explanation.

    As Always – thanks for the great info, and keep up the good work at Google. Maybe I’ll see you around sometime if they ever hire me!!!!! :| Regards, Rob

  46. Adam

    I don’t get it man…my main page is a PR4 and it appears to be headed to PR0…it all went supplemental after adding forum software…now I went to your site for advice, but your main page is zero right now too ? Which end is needs some fixing, mine or Google’s?

  47. Matt Cutts Said,
    October 3, 2006 @ 9:08 am

    Oy, enough PageRank questions! My advice is not to obsess about PageRank too much; it is one of more than 100 different factors in how we score documents.


    lol, you don’t get it Matt, PR is mathematical… It´s fun to understand it. But you´re right, being obsessed with it, isn’t the smartest thing to do. Actually, if one should be obsessed with something, it´s anchor texts in links.

    (as if you didn’t know that yet, lol)

  48. Dave (Original)

    RE: “Oy, enough PageRank questions! My advice is not to obsess about PageRank too much; it is one of more than 100 different factors in how we score documents.”

    Matt, agree. However, why post about it and show a green bar on the Google toolbar. Google MUST have known by doing that they were feeding what was already a frenzy and obssession on PR. Just look at most SEO forums (not all) and it doesn’t take long to work out there is already obssession on PR and has been since Google rose to fame.

    What about Multi-Worded Adam suggestion. That sure would be nice, don’t you agree?

    RE: “Actually, he did answer that question. The answer is “sometimes yes, but almost all the time no”.”
    Thanks, where is that? I cannot find it.

    To me that sais, no they are not the same, BUT, by chance they might be at any given time for any given page. Probably more chance of winning Lotto :)

  49. Well, the official word is out now…or maybe I hadn’t heard it before.
    I am a “cuttlett”. :-)

    Matt, can I be some kind of officer in your fan club? :-)

  50. Dave (Original)

    RE: “lol, you don’t get it Matt, PR is mathematical”

    There is tones of that side of PR on the www.

    RE: “Actually, if one should be obsessed with something, it´s anchor texts in links.”

    I don’t think any obession is healthy, especially when it comes to SEO.

    IMO, the best way to forget about Google and design your site for humans and continually add more content pages. It’s not by chance or coincidence that Google seeks out pages that humans want returned in their SERPs.

  51. Matt – A great summary as usual. I’m sure these take you some time to pull together but it’s nice to see this level of detail and see that it’s totally consistent with what you’ve said before both here and in person.

    Of course if you do too much of this clarification what are all the people over at WMW going to argue about again, and again, and again…and.

  52. Dave (Original)

    RE: “Of course if you do too much of this clarification what are all the people over at WMW going to argue about again, and again, and again…and.’

    Anchor Text ;)

  53. Of course if you do too much of this clarification what are all the people over at WMW going to argue about again, and again, and again…and.

    As long as there are stupid topics to argue about, there will always be stupid people to argue about them.

    Have faith, Joseph. Idiots will be fighting until time stops marching on. :)

  54. A very good and detailed explanation on PageRank! Thanks, Matt!

    Somehow, I am still lost! I have seen some old corporate websites with little backlinks having a higher PR than newer ecommerce websites with lots of reciprocal links.

  55. It’s easier said than done when you advise us to “…not to obsess about PageRank too much…”

    Because when you’re selling a website or domain name, exchanging links, selling textads, etc. the first question you’re asked is “…what’s your PageRank?” :)

    IMHO the best way to get people’s mind off PageRank is to keep the information internally and remove it from the Google toolbar altogether.

  56. Since some people has been wondering what I had been smoking yesterday, after leaving my comment on white toobar PR for, I had to check back to write that I checked on several different computers yesterday and got the white PR bar on half of them.
    However, today Matt’s PR is back on both the non-www and the www-flavour.

    Now imagine if this PR glitch had happened to any of the tinfoil hatted PR webmasters suffering not only from B.O. but alsw with PRitis and what-not, who after some years of frantic linkswapping and linkbaiting had managed to achieve a PR of 7…

  57. Hi Matt,

    I’ve been a big reader of your blog for a while now and I must say I do enjoy your blog postings and some of your humour, even if it’s a bit nerdy at times.

    PR is one of those things people freak out about and I would like to say that while I understand people are concerned with rankings PR seems to take the brunt of their attention.

    My obersvation when it comes to PR is when I consider linking to websites what Google gives the site as a guideline score. If the site is blank or has no page rank I have to consider their content more carefully and more often than not I will move on to another activity.

    I appreciate your input on the PR and backlinking issues.



  58. I wish Google would be more customer-centric about this and less product-driven, as one popular scale of company excellence goes. If the customers want to know more, as is so very apparent, why not meet their wishes.

    All the discussion about the present way of doing it is not really very positive for Google. People are frustrated. Why not roll out the values once a week. That would lower the temperature of all this discussion. This 3-monthly or so update has no merit as far as I can see.

  59. Phew…we talked about this on “The Pulse” last night, and unfortunately I had not read this post. However, we seemed to be in line with what you have said. :)

  60. More than PR I think site’s ranking is more important. So as long as your site is ranking well in the search engines PR won’t matter. High PR is good for link exchanges but doesn’t necessarily ensure good rankings.

  61. Thanks for sharing dude…


  62. Why doesn’t Google just remove pagerank as a public value since it is only 1 factor in 100. It would be more useful to expose more factors or just get rid of pagerank.

    I guess I could answer this as it provides great conversation among the web communities and thus the name “Google” comes up more often then the compeititors. I always thought it was stupid yahoo/msn didn’t have some type of public ranking to create their own buzz. Maybe because it is a double edged sword and they are afraid to cut themselves too deeply. :)

  63. Joseph Hunkins, I read Jim’s post here:

    Sounds like Martinibuster is handling most of the common questions just fine..

  64. Viz

    I ‘ve just launched a new recruitment portal and I can’t see anybody using it before it gets off ground zero.
    Google shouldn’t have triggered this linkomania and PR. Web masters’ main concern, nowadays, is link exchange and sale not content or good accessible and useful web sites


  65. I find it very interesting reading all the data on PR good and bad, though it appears to be the thoughts of other to ingore it, though to me this is wrong, lets take a simple point of trying to get good links, the same ol story comes back time and time again, “Sorry ol Chum” you dont have any PR, or your links page does not have a PR, so it is really hard to try and ignore PR, if there is no value in PR then get rid of it.


    Hey guys,

    I am a link analyst for one of the leading SEO companies, and I am seeing lots of PR activity. A lot of our clients are jumping from PR zeros and ones to threes and fours. And the threes and fours are jumping to fives. We even had a client that went from a seven to an 8 which is very exciting. I want to mention that the changes in SERPS is very marginal compared to the changes in PR, because the SERPS have been moving up more gradually. Versus the PR where we get a big hit at once. Also different data centers show different PR and even different SERPS, so google is still doing its DANCE…… I would like to thank Matt for being a good sport and giving us some actual answers about PR.



  67. Thanks for some myth-busting info. However, I am curious about those Future PageRank prediction tools that gather PR values from the various data centers. I’m not sure if there’s an exact answer but is there a way to determine that “bump” for a page to the next PR? If, say, 70% of the data centers show the higher PR … 100% … 51%?

  68. Dear Matt
    Thanks for all these usefull informations.
    I have read all of this article. I can not imagine that google’s datacenters are not working synchroniusly. Exported PR doesn’t takes lots of BW or lots of cpu usage. You can change them giving same results in a few hours.

  69. Dave (Original)

    Alan, you don’t want to exchange links with anyone that mentions PR. These types are the more likely to become “bad neighborhoods” IMO.

    Now, if Google stopped feeding the PR frenzy (toolbar PR) the WWW would be a much better place IMO.

  70. Really its very helpfull information about page rank for all SEO’s.

    Thanks Matt

  71. Hi Matt,
    Great Post ! I had been of the opinion some time ago that PR really really mattered… And of course its great for SERPS and Ive seen that too but Quality Content and lots of it seems to be the way to go and to concentrate on that..

    Sat like a lunatic waiting for the last PR and when it happened was surprised for both negative and positive reasons but it boiled down to sites that I had , with little content got PR1 and sites that Id actually done some work on getting PR4 ( which seems to be fairly easy to attain..)

    Im setting up a local Web Design/DEV/ SEO in Ireland and wouldnt call myself a Guru but reading posts like yours certainly helps.

    Thanks again

    Galway Web Services

  72. DavidW: this is what I mean with additional information through the colours as:

    politics – black
    buisiness – red
    art – yellow
    dictionary – green

    ….. all between and in truecolor :-)

  73. Hey Matt, long time reader, first time poster :-D (lol, radio station ;-) )

    Anyways, I’ve been working with my employer, Sound Choice, on getting their e-commerce website to perform better. We’re running a shopping cart solution that has very busy urls, so I’ve optimized the urls so that each page appears static, and has the product title in the page url. We also moved the website from /shop to the site root ( / ).

    The store has always had a pagerank of 4, but has *never* listed for the term “karaoke”. Yet now, I’m seeing the google toolbar show a PR of 0, yet we’re now listing on page 4 of search results for the term “karaoke” (heh, if you sort by 100, so we’re position 430 or so). That’s definitely better than we’ve positioned in the past, and additionally we are ranking well for a number of product keywords now (some pages are going Supplemental though, I’ll have to figure that one out).

    Anyways, I was wondering why would there be a change in the Pagerank value? Is it due to the move from /shop to the root? Or is something worse happening regarding our site’s index with google?

    Thanks for any help/suggestions you can provide, I’m feeling a bit worried since this is a major focus of my job :-X


    -Jon Langevin
    Sound Choice Karaoke

  74. Gilby

    Oy, enough PageRank questions! My advice is not to obsess about PageRank too much; it is one of more than 100 different factors in how we score documents.

    I also think PR is not so important … but to focus differently our atention…
    Matt: ¿Could you please tell us almost 5 o 10 of those factors you often consider to score documents?

    Thanks a lot

  75. Matt,

    from what I have read here, you are basically saying that toolbar PR is wrong most of the time and not a real indication of actual PR.

    If that is the case then why bother with PR at all? why have a toobar pr if its not dated correctly? and why create an emphasis on releasing toolbars with PR?

    Frankly it seems like Google are abandoning or not paying enough attention to a tool or resource that they pushed onto seo’s and website owners. Now that they have had their use, they are not even bothering with it anymore.

    seems hardly fair to me. Am I not the only who feels that toolbar PR makes you feel good and adds valuable inches to your e-penis?

  76. I’m calling you out, Brotha. I think this is all slight of hand…

    and it is Friday ;)

  77. [quote]Matt,

    from what I have read here, you are basically saying that toolbar PR is wrong most of the time and not a real indication of actual PR.

    If that is the case then why bother with PR at all? why have a toobar pr if its not dated correctly? and why create an emphasis on releasing toolbars with PR?

    Frankly it seems like Google are abandoning or not paying enough attention to a tool or resource that they pushed onto seo’s and website owners. Now that they have had their use, they are not even bothering with it anymore.[/quote]

    DITTO 100%

  78. Harith

    Dr. Anna Berger

    “from what I have read here, you are basically saying that toolbar PR is wrong most of the time and not a real indication of actual PR.”

    The Toolbar isn’t wrong most of the time ;)

    But its correct to say that the Toolbar doesn’t always displays the current value of PageRank which is continuosly calculated at Googleplex.

    And as you know Google is still using PageRank to rank sites, though “it is one of more than 100 different factors in how we score documents” as MC mentioned.

    GoogleGuy wrote in 2004 few words which might interest you:

    [quote]I’d strongly disagree with the statement that the toolbar PageRank is for “entertainment purposes only”–millions of toolbar users use the PageRank display to judge the quality of pages. I think it’s also a little irresponsible to quote JohnGalt claiming to talk to some random person at Google, and then for you to quote it as a reponse from Google, which makes it sound more official. I’m happy to refute that this is any sort of official stance.[/quote]

  79. In my opinion, we should treat the PR just as a funny thing. If you have nothing important to do, you can do your way to improve PR of your site.

  80. Perhaps I’m talking to myself at this point, but there’s another element associated with PageRank that is even more neglected. I’m talking about that search for backlinks that can be done with a search for This type of search should be eliminated. It purports to tell you something and if it’s meant to show you what Google counts as backlinks to the website, then it’s just plain wrong. I have a website that has finally been rated for PageRank, moving from 0 to 4 in this recent update. The type search still shows no backlinks. This is for a site where Yahoo! is showing 49,000 inlinks (backlinks).

    Since the feature never gave useful results, I suggest it be cancelled rather than leaving it as a sign of poor quality.

  81. PR is so important nowadays until people is “selling” website with high PR. I don’t think it is a healthy trend, although in the capitalism world anythings can be sold.

    And i agreed with Matt’s answer for the beginning of the post , “If you don’t care about PageRank and your site is doing well, that’s fine by me”.

    If the website owner create “attractive and important ” content and do some regular posts in the forum, then many people will visit and link to it, and as a result, higher PR will reward you.

    So, just consider PR as a result, not the mean. IF you have a correct mean, you will get the result.

  82. Thanks Matt. I know a lot of debate over PR gets around. It’s good to hear from an “insider” rather than a one-sider on whether PR is dead vs the ultimate after content.

  83. Hello everyone,

    I have used in the past prediction tools such as those mentioned by Jim on his website

    They have predicted very realistic results and presented probably somewhere 80-90% accuracy. None the less, I use them as guidance but not as orientation purpose deciding how much I will focus on Marketing next month. Overall good post by Matt, thank you.

  84. Thanks for this post, I should show this article to my boss, he’s always curious why our PR dont change everyday, like hes thinking… lol

  85. If the website owner create “attractive and important ” content and do some regular posts in the forum, then many people will visit and link to it, and as a result, higher PR will reward you.

  86. Hello Matt,

    I came across this tool which I found quiet useful especially since many tools I have used in the past no longer do the job they are supposed to do or its developers have been slacking of, The Website Metrics Reporting Tool evaluates how a website is ranked for PR, Backlinks, Index, Latest Cache and you also have the ability to use 2 optional keywords to see where you’re at.

    The website also has a good number of Google data-centers featured as well performance data from Yahoo and MSN.


  87. Thanks Matt, nice post.
    I think you should begin always begin your post about Pagerank, with your words, that we should think of Pagerank as a symptom, not as a cause.

    But I still just wonder and really would like to ask – may site with a good backlinks from good sites, good content (simply good SEO) can be be #1 at SERP with Pagerank 0 and the second one with PR 5 ?

  88. Great tool Netfreez…..that has saved me tons of work. Thanks.

  89. Dear Matt

    What is the real purpose of back links in the modern web, the only thing i can see is that itmakes many people spend all there time trying to link with other sites, as its manufactured results those with most free time or money to spend on it get the results. time waisted when it should be spent on improving sites

    Retail sites should be segmentised and then content should be the leading search criteria,

    Search results with other search engines should be removed from the main results index and placed in a seperate sidebar on possibly on the left hand side

  90. Matt one more thing I would also want to ask is that does the links coming from high PR have much better effect on our rankings than the links coming from low PR sites.


  91. Matt,

    This is really useful stuff.

    Out of interest, do you have to sit down with your seniors at Google and discuss the nature and content of your blogs. I can imagine that you may have quite a lot of knowledge which, if shared with the world, may do some ‘damage’ to google. As a result, do u have to gain clearance from your superiors before posting on ‘sensitive’ issues, or you just go with the flow?

    Just curious,


  92. EdwardH

    Matt –

    Thanks for the detailed responses!

    New question for you… I’ve noticed that some sites have a consistent page rank for each page throughout the site, yet others have a good page rank on their home page, but no ranking for interior pages. Clearly not all pages within a site receive the same amount of traffic, same quantity of inbound links and same level of interest from visitors. Do all pages earn rank in their own right, or is rank sometimes assigned to all the pages within a domain?

  93. Roger Balmer


    Sorry, I know this is an old entry. Question, can it be, that still not all data centers have the same data for the google toolbar pagerank???

    Checking your site, I get different PageRanks for it from different datacenters. This type of thing is happening with mostly all changed sites in switzerland, day or night. Once a PR7, once a PR0….




  94. Matt,

    If I have had a site indexed in Google since last May, when will the toolbar show any page rank for the site? I can see it coming up in the SERPs, but still no PR.

  95. I thought that pagerank was the only thing that mattered when getting high ranks in google, now Im not that sure!

  96. Hi Matt,

    I am wondering if the google is about to start giving manual page ranking…just like what it called TrustRank.

    But if it is true..then how often they will reach to a regional site. or a normal site which is linked to fews sites hosted on just one IP.

    dont you think it will take so so so long time to rank a site or a specific page.

  97. Hi matt, Thanks for giving the informative answers.
    I have come with a question; If my site has a PageRank zero can it go to the first place in google for some keywords or it must have some PR.
    like if I search for offshore software development, I see my site in first 15 pages and the PR=1, Can it go on first place with a highly competitive keyword with this.

  98. I don’t understand PageRank anyway. Can you explain why the PageRank of my site ( ) is 4 in the morning and is 5 in the afternoon (from a Netherlands point of view)? This is going on for 3 weeks now. I made a datacenter analyzer on (you can use it if you like) to find a reason.
    My best guess is that Google controles the DNS-servers to to redirect the traffic to the different datacenters. The PR on this datacenters is not the same…. Or is there another explanation?

    Greatings, Wim

  99. Tom

    Hugely interesting FAQ section. So are all the rumors correct that the next PR update is mid Jan 2007? Cheeky question I know.

  100. Hi matt, i have a question, is a webpage has a zeo PR due to being blacklisted, will the whole website being backlisted too ? for example : is blacklisted, will the be blacklisted too ?


  101. Matt, are you able to confirm whether or not the next PR export is underway now?

  102. I wish there was a more real-time predictive way to analyze the effectiveness of SEO related changes I make to my sites’ content and internal linking structure than having to wait for the search engines to recrawl, update pagerankings, etc. Any ideas?

  103. Hi Matt,
    In recent updates i find most of the high PR Ranked SITES are slipped to ZERO on Google PR tool bar and i believe all were very reputed sites.
    So,my question to you is why this is happening ?
    Is Google is shifing their DC to new INFRASTRUCTURE ?
    OR Google is changing their parameters to Rate SITES ?


  104. Hi Matt,

    It always puzzled me to see a site with subpages that have higher PR than the index page. I always thought the index page would always have the highest PR amongst all pages. I’d appreciate it if you could shed some light on this.


  105. Hi Matt.

    Seen the growing number of Toolbar-PR adepts, blindly following PR just as if the green toolbar pixels would have a direct effect on their website positionning in search results, I thought it would be a nice idea to provide the french speaking SEO community with a translation of your explanation about what is a PR export, and how it is not to be considered as an “update”, and won’t affect the rankings… That’s on my tiny little SEO-fan blog ;)

    In the mean time, I have a question for you, if you find a few minutes for me:

    PageRank (I mean the one that’s shown in green pixels), looked very easy to get for someone who knew how to get it… a few links from high “PageRanked” websites seemed enough to grab a PR5 or a PR6 on their own website. This seemed to be true until summer 2006, but seems to have changed now and to have become much more complicated.

    Here comes the question then: did the main factors affecting Page Ranking by Google change…? It looks like everything was about backlinks, a few months ago… and a website with only a few of them (real ones, not only the ones shown through the link: command) could be high ranked quite fast. It looks way more complicated now to be granted a “decent” PageRank (let’s say above PR3). Can you tell us if factors such as “general thematic”, “duplicate content analysis”, or even “bad neighbourhood” and “SandBox effects” now affect the Page Ranking, more than before? Can you tell us also whether or not this “TrustRank” thing has a significant weight in the SERPs ranking algorithm?

    Thanks a lot in advance.

    Kind Regards.

  106. Matt,
    You talk about content a lot and in this post you warn against link obsession but we compete with a site for the keyword phrase area rug and they rank with no site. It has been gone for months but they still rank. I would think having no site at the URL would be the entire lack of content. How is this possible? If it isn’t links that keep it around what is it? Obviously we are not losing business to them but it has been making me crazy. Any insight would be great.

    Thanks Matt,


  107. The PR is being update in January. how long will it take to finish update ? i saw some websites’ PR goes up and down, is it because of different data centre ?

  108. The irony is that
    [quote]If you’re splitting hairs about the exact date that backlinks were taken from, you’re probably suffering from “B.O.” (backlink obsession)[/quote]

    It (PR) can be a daily struggle to understand WHY PR goes up and spreads through domains.

    I’ve got 2 major domains. with a PR=2 while my first active domain recieves a PR=1… Wierd as they’re both only 3 months old

  109. David Michaels

    Um, the designing for humans is great as long as humans can find you. I can show you some great sites in my industry that aren’t making two cents. The sites weren’t built by me, I have nothing to do with them other than they are my competitors. Well not really competitors since they used to rank in the 20s to 50s in the results and now they are practically gone from the main index.

    In business the rule that holds true is that location is the first consideration for a successful business. This holds true on the web as well. If a consumer is looking for table tennis supplies and the most human friendly great content site is way down in the rankings then chances are the consumer is going to purchase the supplies from the one of the first sites they come across that satisfies their needs.

    So it’s a fantasy to think that one can blithely build a great website without regard to the search engine’s needs and think that customers will come. Unless some form of marketing accompanies that website, PPC, Banners, Bumper Stickers, Guy on The Roadside with Sandwich Board then they won’t come because they won’t know where to go and no one will be pointing them there.

    Yes of course some site go viral and get all kinds of social mention and attention and get the resulting rank that goes with it. But these are rarely commerce sites. A commerce site has to get attention the old-fashioned way, they have to buy it.

  110. David Michaels

    You know Matt, Google’s mission statement of Do No Evil is totally compromised with the release of Page Rank info.

    Why? Because it has absolutely zero value to your users and tons of value to people who want to manipulate the rankings. And is a big worry spot for people that just care about rankings for their pages.

    What would the world be like if we could hve back the millions of hours spent obsessing over PR since Google made it public. The millions of hours tweaking for PR, creating link schemes and link farms for PR, the millions of hours creating spam pages for PR.

    Give me one valid reason how showing PR improves the user experience when searching the web?

    I am on your blog right now because my boss is freaking out about us slipping in the rankings, about our PR not being high enough. I could care less about PR or about SEO except that apparently, we lose hundreds of thousands of dollars a month if we don’t rank in the top 3. So it’s big business to rank. What is the motivation for disclosing page rank?

    Why couldn’t you have found a way to make money without PPC and not compromised your values and your results? You want to talk about SPAM – I would like for once to go somewhere without being bombarded by advertisements. Your adsense program is the biggest cause of spam on the internet right now.

  111. Goole has added a links tool in webmaster sitemaps section. The back links shown over there are not exactly the same as shown with link command. But greater in #. Any one have some further details about it.

  112. Matt,

    thank you for your answers.
    I stopped to care too much about page rank once I found out I have no ‘direct’ control over it. Now I spend more time thinking about my website content.

    Please, can you give a comment about this tool?

    I like it and I would like to know your opinion.

  113. I observed that Privacy policy page is considered to have a higher page rank than other pages. I thought that it is something particular to one of my sites, but then I have observed the same thing on the second. Is Google calculating page rank based on some kind of “Theme importance” criteria also?

  114. “PageRank paranoia” is an issue that every webmaster may fall victim to sonner or later.. As a rule of thumb, watch the green bar with interest but don’t take it too seriously or spend too much time trying to force it to increase. There are even rumours that Google will be changing the PageRank system because they are not happy with how it is being manipulated and interpreted.
    Keep it real!

  115. Hi Matt,

    It always puzzled me to see a site with subpages that have higher PR than the index page. I always thought the index page would always have the highest PR amongst all pages. I’d appreciate it if you could shed some light on this.


  116. Page Rank is so important to a website. But I would like to know from PR1 to PR10 what would be the estimated traffic?


  117. Thanks for article. I always been curious about how google works on the insides. But i do notice that some site with high page rank not necesary have good results. I bet there are other factors that determine how your results show up

  118. First of all I would like to say a nice aritcle, very helpful.

    PR in itself is a huge topic. There are probably a hundred different factors google uses to decide a PR for a page. Having inbound links is just the start. Sorting out your own insite navigation, choosing the right keywords, choosing the right amount of keywords, choosing the right amount of links on a page etc etc are just some of the factors, there are many more.

    It needs researching and reading into and remember some of the advice offered doesn’t apply to as a blanket for all websites. Some websites will do better following some tips that others.

    I personnnally have been working on our website and the more I read the more I realise I have many more things to consider. Currently we have a PR3 on homepage but hopefully in the next PR update this will increase after doing some extensive directory submission on working on our internal links.

  119. My page rank just dropped from 4 to 5. Did I do something wrong? The only change I have recently made was to add a www in front of my domain name. In other words I usually just use for my Url and then I read something about the important of adding the www. So now I have been adding the www to my domain whenever I add it to some new place. It now is Is this really important or did this mess me up?
    Any ideas?

  120. Susan I read somewhere there is a difference on how PR will be evaluated if u add www. and without the www. Just stick to one format only

  121. Hello Matt,

    How can we see the difference between changes in rankings as a result of those data pushes that happening like every 1-2 and the traditional Everflux. Can we assume that from now on rankings of sites wouldn’t be as stable as before?


  122. Unfortunately the role of 301 is not mentioned in so many PR-articles. Another thing, similar to 301: by mistaken, I had two DNS mapped to the same web application; one DNS was automatically banned by Google.

    Google (and many others, such as Nutch, Yahoo, etc.) uses specific MD5-like calculation of raw bytes from each URL. And, this hash code is real PRIMARY KEY in their databases. URL is not a primary key. So, when we have few URLs pointing to another real URL via 301, we have one record only in a Google database. There is possibility of bug: “old” URL with new content from another URL. New URL will never be in a database (implicit ban), until you remove 301 and resubmit new DNS.

    BTW, this gives another trick to “similar content” providers: simply ensure that MD5 is not the same for “similar” content! Add hidden field, meta tag, or show Date/Time on your page.

    Also note: so many BLOG owners fall in love with rel=’external nofollow’. However, probably only Google and Nutch use it (and Google tries to add it to HTML specs). Do not mix rel=’external nofollow’ with SPAM protection in your site design… I use it at my site just to limit ‘follow’ links to 100…

    New Google algorithm should (if implemented correctly) automatically define NotRelatedLinks and exclude it from PR calculation. For instance, if I have a shopping site, and link ‘follow!!!’ on this BLOG, – it should be remowed from PR calculations.

    Unfortunately everything is clear in theory, and not in practice:

    Google can’t follow PageRank(c) theory, it takes years to calculate real “probability that average user will reach your site by random roving the Web”.

    Check, it is interesting to see and feel that Google (really) has PR10, and that Yahoo is “number one”.

  123. 2+4=6
    What is a point around PageRank(c)…
    I have a site, single HTML page + link to Resume, which has constant value PR3 during last 4 years (at least). Is the “probability that user will reach your page” related to 3/10 indeed?
    Copyrighted PageRank(c) has nothing to do with ordering of a search results returned. Especially now, with Google Toolbar statistics.

    Another website is on 3rd place in a search results somehow, a suspect because it uses very specific keywords such as appareil auditif piles… and it has PR(Zero)!!!

  124. you can stick to one format (with, or without www.) using permanent redirects, code 301… just ask uncle google for a manual, depending on your werbserver or set a nameserver-entry from to type CNAME

  125. Hi

    I am interested to hear more about what is said regarding SERPS and page rank zero sites.

    I believe that until a site has a page rank it will never rank well in the SERPS.

    I have a site: which started in Jan this year. It has a zero page rank yet it has strong back links and related industry links plus plenty of content and on page SEO. It ranks highly in all search engines for the Simpsons Movie but it doesn’t in Google. Reason why? It hasnt been ranked yet by Google.

    Is the jist of what I’m saying true? Thanks

  126. Hi there!

    I would like to know why some pr tools show different pr and some show different? Isn;t it suppose to be just one Pr..

  127. Hi,
    Thank you for explaining about Google PR.
    I have some questions, that i can’t find answers to, no matter where i search. First, Today i notices a very strange behavior when checking a certain site’s PR on a number of google data centers. 70% showed a page rank of Zero, and the rest page rank 4. the site is 6 years old, ranking 4/5 most of the time, never zero.
    I was sure that soon all the data centers would show zero (since i understand eventually they show the same rank), but to my surprise, after 5 hours or so when checking again, i see that all data centers show 4. Why, How and what is thois supposed to mean?
    Also, could you please advise whether a site with a page rank of zero can keep getting the same SE ranking as it did previously when ranked higher..? I ask this because in read in some forums that the PR, although lowered to zero did not change the traffic and rankings and i thought it to be strange.
    I would be happy if you could help me out in this puzzle,
    thank you so much!

  128. Hi Matt, glad you explained PR and PR Obsession. But the one thing that seems obvious when you look at the datacenters in a short time is that they are not all even similar in the SERP they return for some searches. So there has to be huge difference not just in PR, SITE: but in the actual indexes.

  129. Hey Matt!

    Great, in-depth post man. Don’t really know anything about you, but I followed you from a comment you left on my friend’s site, I’ve been puzzled by all of the pagerank business but this definitely helps!

    Unfortunately, my entry into Text-Link-Ads is heavily dependent on the next PR update. Or at least that’s what seems to be the case. I’ve built up my website quite heavily since then, and have made a lot of progress since the last update, and I’m kind of expecting a 2 or 3 point boost. Huge move from my low 3.

    Therefore, I’m wondering how long you may be able to estimate until the new Pagerank is publicized? In other words, on my toolbar. I’d hate to think that in the slower traffic months of the Summer, I wouldn’t have a redundant financial source like TLA, since I don’t really have a lot of income or capital as is.

    I would love to hear back from you! Comment on my site or give me an e-mail.


    -Sam from

  130. When I stopped caring about my PR, my sites started doing better
    because I then spent my time on important things like improving
    content, improving conversions etc. and the results followed.

  131. Ehhh… PR is “rat race” ,realy google mast resign PR…

  132. It is really usefull infromation. The problem for me was to find out what is PR Toolbar. I spent some time to find out an information about this toolbar on the Internet. I think there should be glossary link on this kind of articles.
    Thank you for the information.

  133. Thanks for the information but I don’t care much about PR. I just focus on creating quality content for my visitors. If visitors keep coming back to my site every day, I’ll be fine.

  134. David

    OK. Now that we have all been info’ed to stop putting so much emphasi in PageRank…

    In all polite humility, I would like to ask: why not just make PageRank to big deal again?

    For a given search, I can see who shows up on top (and every other position). Using tools that leverage the API’s ( like ) I can see the top 100 of several engines at once.

    What I can’t see, that I would really like: a PR that correctly indicate a base strength, and a relevance score. I’d love to be able to follow all of the guidelines, and recommendations, and best practices. I’d love to make human-friendly pages that are easy for Google to spider, with clear sitemaps ad accurate modified dates and really help Google help me.

    At the end of doing everything in the most professional and honest way, I’d really like a score that means something.

    I am not asking for a system that is easy to “game” but would like a more playable game with the rules better known.

    Why not just make the (Larry) PageRank a huge deal again?

    When I do the right, recommended and honest thing, I’d love to show my boss and my clients a number from Google that means something.

    It reminds me of colleges saying that SAT scores are not that big of a deal, and then mumbling about extracurricular activities.

    Tell me that high SAT’s plus good grades equals I get to go to your college.

    I’d be perfectly happy with a PR + relevance = top results. When spamdexers get slimy and find tricks tocheat, then they get reported and the algorythm get changed to be a bit more human.

    If it is Google’s intention to get honest, human-useful pages, why not score them in a more complete fashion and make the score known?

    We have a situation here where Google is driving site design. I totally appreciate the fact the Google is saying “just make good, relevant, content and we’ll reward you.” It would just be great to get quick feedback on how well we have done this, and maybe what we could do to improve. A really relevant PR score would be a step towards this.

  135. Is PR still important nowadays after google introduce the Universal search ? how to judge a webapge is more important than a video ? or an image ?

  136. I recently came across a site with PR6… and using, I discovered that it had a lot of backlinks from Digg, netscape and Squidoo. At least 40 of these backlinks were PR5-8!!

    But beyond this… no other backlinks. Zilch. Nada.

    So this leads me to wonder, can you get extremely high page rank just by being linked from three authority sites and being unknown to the rest of the web community?

  137. A very interesting article. PR for many it seems is a medal for their creativity in producing a site in which people want to return to. We should not get too hung up on it!…..for those making money from sites it’s a must for others it has little value.

  138. What importance does Google PR have on overall ranking of a website or web page?

  139. Web

    Thank you for the very clear and understandable explanations. I watched a video of yours today and have been reading quite a bit. I really like how you can make fairly complex topics understandable to people who may not be as techy.

  140. Google PR is not so importat in overall page ranking, its better to concentrate to a good content.

  141. Why Google don’t update Page Rank for Google Directory since 19 Mar 2006 ?!

  142. Is there any search engine, which allows to search (or sort search results) depending on their pagerank?

  143. Bill

    Has Google abandoned Pagerank? I have not seen an update in over four months. Why the lagginess? Without regular updates, pagerank seems like a waste of the toolbar space.

  144. Ryan

    I’m trying to get to the bottom of something with our Page Rank. We had 3 domain names pointing to the same content for the first couple of months we were in business. Two of them had a 6 as thier page rankings. The third which we implemented last never had a page rank. For SEO efforts, we turned the other two (with 6 page ranks) to 301 permanent redirects to the third domain name, and left the last one available.

    It’s been 3-4 months now, and we still have not been able to garner a page rank. Google has our site indexed all over the place, but out page rank has never improved. Is it possible we are on a page rank banned list, does this exist, or do you think I need to wait longer for the next page rank to happen?


  145. I dont see what the big deal over PR is, build a quality site with content and google will find it as well as people.

  146. What importance does Google PR have on overall ranking of a website or web page?

    If i am not mistaken there are over 200 things that compose the PR of a website and therefore its ranking. I am ositive that today only producing quality content is not enough, you have to market it really well.

  147. The question “is page rank important?” has been asked numerous times, the answer has been provided in many different ways. The experts say not to worry too much about “page rank”. But I do and here is why.

    Like exam results, your sites page rank gives you an independent evaluation of what someone else (in the case of page rank, something else, Google) thinks of your efforts. As everyone is ranked around same time and using the same criteria with Page Rank you have something to use to compare your sites standing with that of yours peers or competition. Even if the comparison tool itself, is imperfect and not bang up to date, it is still some indication of your sites progress over time.

    It is one measure in an otherwise difficult to quantify SEO world. It also provides some indication of other issues that are always spoken about in abstract terms.

    For example, you are told that you need links and lots of them. But no one ever says how many links is enough. If you have, what, in your opinion, is lots of links and your Page Rank is not improving, maybe you have to adjust your expectations based on your expected number of links that you can reasonably expect to get in your given sector. Whereas a half decent blog can organically, attract countless links, outside the blogisphere, getting links can be a grind and the effort has to be weighted against the benefits.

    So having some measure of the value Google places on you little piece of cyberspace is important and something better comes along, regardless of its well publicized limitations, Page Rank is the only show in town, hence it is important, if it provides a fair reflection of your sites worth or not.

    So does, anyone know, when the next update is coming?

  148. Thanx a ton matt ! That was very helpful .

  149. We have seen the last of Page Rank, Google have scrapped it.

  150. Hi Matt,

    Quick question on the toolbar page rank…. What does it mean when your toolbar shows a PR value for the main page but is grayed out for all other pages?

    I used to have a PR in every page but just recently the above has happened and I am wondering what that means



  151. I never care of new PR. Anyway thanks for good explanation Matt

  152. In Google’s Webmaster’s tools….

    After years of having a page rank of 4/5 some months back my website dropped to “0″. While I still place on the second page with Google (used to be in top three) when using the search phrase, “Vancouver Washington real estate” I can’t figure out the page rank drop. Using Google’s webmaster information I found the following:

    Under Statistics, in Google’s Index Stats for for number of pages that link to my sites home page it shows only 7.

    Under Links, in Pages Linking to Yours for for the number of pages that are linking to my sites home page it shows 437.

    Can you provide any hints as to what I need to do?

  153. I actually like the most the last answer that goes “By the time you see newer PageRanks in the toolbar, those values have already been incorporated in how we score/rank our search results”. That’s what I want also to point out guys, you shouldn’t be worried about the bar scale but more on the SERP and pay attention to the SERP and then the bar scale will come up at some point of the time.

  154. Mark, do you have any ideea why web directories are removed from google and why the PR is not refreshing anymore?

  155. Don’t you think it’s time to tell everybody that Page Rank is meaningless when so many Spam and Scraper sites that have been in existience for years with the same content always rank high, while new sites with new content have to wait almost a year to even register as PR 1?

  156. Thanks for clearing up the issue on PR and the transfer to the green bar.
    My site is quite new, I had a PR of 2, without any good SERPs. It somehow dropped to PR1.
    Since then I’ve learnt quite a bit about SEO and am achieve great SERPs; but without any visible increase in PR. This left me a bit confused.
    But now I think I have a better understanding of how this works…

  157. Interesting comments. Would like to hear from Matt on the latest (i.e., Oct 2007) regarding a pagerank update.


  158. SEO

    I hear there is a pagerank update on the go to larger older sites. Many of which have dropped a rank. Why the big fuss? Google PageRank in the toolbar means nothing anyway. Too many people think this is the be all for getting a site ranking in the SERP’s. Think more about getting your own house in order. New fresh content, stylesheet based sites. Good inbound links (not paid) and you will never need to fuss about the little green bar anymore.

  159. Raj

    Waiting for first update. I can see some changes in google webmaster tools.

  160. If PR is no longer important then what are we all waiting for? It would be much better to let google spider all the pages on a website to be as up-to-date as possible. Now take a closer look at cached info about your website and you will see what I am talking about. Cached info older than 2 months cannot be ragarded up to date, right?

  161. Matt, you mentioned above in one of your comments that PageRank is one of more than 100 ranking factors, and I would just like to ask, how much weight does the PageRank have when it comes to rankings. Lets say in percent?

  162. PR update after long period… but it not look so bad like I was thinking, my web goted little bigger pr and that is very good! Because many websites pr downgraded, but maybe this for the best.

  163. Pagerank is the number of the beast!! =]

  164. I think all the PageRank fuss is a bit overblown.

  165. It is very confusing and what about backlinks to your older post within your newer posts – or your archives in the sidebar – do they count against you?

  166. How can a site know if something is grayed out because it’s too new, or because there’s something Google isn’t happy about? We added a new blog to our site about 2 months ago, and all the entries are still grayed out. Some of them don’t show up when you look for an archive of the page, either.

  167. Dave

    Apparently Google is still making money from advertising via adwords/adsense after penalizing thousands (or millions?) of web sites for selling text links via sites such as Can we take Google seriously anymore? Is Google a greedy bully that penalizes the little guy while making lots of money from the big guy that pays the little guy to ignore Google’s policies?

  168. Matt,

    Thanks for the explanations. I now have a better ranking with Google even though my pagerank dropped with the last update.

  169. ken

    So by saying.

    “I believe that I’ve said before that PageRank is computed continuously; there are machines that take inputs to the PageRank algorithm at Google and compute the resulting PageRanks. So at any given time, a url in Google’s system has up-to-date PageRank as a result of running the computation with the inputs to the algorithm”

    are you saying that everytime you spider a page, each new link added or dropped will cause the page rank for the site linked to to be immediately updated. And in turn, straight away, all the sites that are linked to by that site have their PR adjusted to take into effect the linkers new page rank. And in turn, all the sites that they link to are adjusted immediately and so on until all the possibly effects on PR from the addition or removal of pages or links on a site are completed.

    There is no delay, each time a page is spidered you do ALL that work?

    You dont do any work at intervals, its everytime a url changes you change the pr of all related urls, all the way down the line?

  170. I have just perceived some change in the pagerank preceeded by a complete annuling of values.

  171. Umm .. i dnt know if this is a appropriate place to ask but let me ask …
    “I’m seeing from past couple of days on DP many webmasters complaining that they lost thr PR…. is it true that Google is Updating PR ?? I was expecting that to happen somewhere around the end of march !! Please let me know if it’s a PR update to some kind of Google Slap for webmasters involved in Link Spam ?”

  172. I didn’t experience any fall in PageRank around the time of the October PR update by Google, but in late February 2008 I have seen many sites, including my own SEO company site experienced a drop in PageRank. I understand paid links can cause a site’s PR to fall but I can confirm that no inbound links have been purchased and no outbound links have been sold.
    In all the years I’ve been engaged in SEO work this is the first time I’ve ever taken a hit in PageRank.
    What other explanations are there for a drop in PR?

  173. I too have seen a drop in Google PageRank during this last update. I have a feeling it could be as a result of some of the link directories that point to my site having their own PageRank stripped of PageRank. Any thoughts?

  174. Hi,

    I hope someone can help me. I have several questions.

    My page rank ( dropped to zero. I was told this happened because I didn’t have any back links in google, so I checked and sure enough it showed nothing. BUT My website has lots of back links. Yahoo shows 379 of them so why don’t they show up in Google???

    Also I was told I had over 40 out bound links. Should I use the nofollow on them? Many are affiliate links.
    How does a person find their outbound links stats?


  175. This sucks, ive gone from 3 to 0, what a load of crap. I spend ages building links on similar sites and google in its infinate wisdom made it 0! Time to switch to yahoo now.

  176. I’m in the process of trying to build my page rank up. A friend of mine only has around page rank 3 but he gets over 15,000 hits a day not sure if they’re all unique mind you. Personally he said to worry more about getting links out there, rather than getting a high page rank.

  177. Hello Matt,
    First of all it took me at least 4 rolls of the wrist to get to the bottom of this page. Then I noticed you only answered 2 questions, Pfftttt! ;) Rather than ask a question that won’t be answered, I will simply say thanks for taking the time to start this Gawd awful discussion again, just when I let go and stopped having night sweats over my measly PageRank 2 you stir the pot and make me walk down the “PageRank hall of shame”! Lol

  178. We have a website where we are selling subscriptions so the page rank is an important factor. We are working to improve SEO and I am seeing us come up on searches now after about 4 months. Can you help me with 1) how often Google updates page rank. Is it soon from now? 2) Why doesn’t page rank consideration happen more often since it is a critical element for online businesses, and 3) What are the things to best do and not do to gain good page rank.

    Since there are rules by which you make decisions on page rank, perhaps you could share what the more specific issues are which might help us to move up in the ranks.

    I know that naturally occurring page rank is best but realistically, I don’t think that not paying attention to it is going to work if I want to have any revenue flow. The question that people ask me is about page rank and traffic. My answer for now is that I am page rank 0 but I am ranking on pages.

    I would appreciate your help.

  179. Thank you for the information Matt. I had always wondered how this worked, and it seems that I was being given very different information. I had always thought that the PR was determined every 3 months and every 3 weeks. Now it seems that you say it is calculated in real time.

    While it may not explain why there are different shifts in movement at different times of day, it does validate that the information I was receiving was only related to the visible page rank, and not real SEO values that are actually calculated behind the scenes.

  180. @Halfdeck, Jeez talk about linkbait. LOL! nice one guy.

    @Matt, thanks for clarifying this a little further. Some of my clients are jumping up and down in a frenzy and coming down really hard on the seo guys in the office. I have explained it as far as I can, but it’s always good to have word from the horses mouth (no insult intended.)

    Next question you should answer is the secret sauce recipe? Yeah Right!

    Thanks agian.

  181. This single post has answered all the questions that I had concerning Google PageRank.Thanks to all the guys that put forward their questions for Matt’s attention.

    On lighter note, it was great to learn a new abbreviation from Matt.i.e. Suffering from Backlink Obsession (B.O). BTW, Barack Obama is also B.O.

  182. Daniele

    If the pagerank showed in the toolbar is not the real value of pagerank, is useful this value? I thought not, because you have the real value of PR of my site. But now I think yes, because the PR value in the toolbar is an export of the real value PR. Is a sort of translation?

  183. Great post, Matt. You have put together very important aspect of PR facts and turned it into a great information source. Is there any web tool available at this time that allows you to check the decimal point of your site’s page rank instantly? I understand there are too many variables, which makes is next to impossible to develop anything like that, but I decided to ask anyway. Thanks

  184. Hello mat,

    Some one said me that the Google PR is algorithmic and as every SEO knows, an easy table from PR3 to PR4 is like this:

    1 link on PR2 page = 10 links on PR1 page
    1 link on PR3 page = 10 links on PR2 page
    1 link on PR4 page = 10 links on PR3 page
    1 link on PR5 page = 10 links on PR4 page

    is that right ? kindly let me know and give me some information about it


  185. Matt,

    Sorry to ask this, I know you get a ton, but I am confused. The last Page Rank that came out about a week ago I was at a PR3 on my main site and a PR2 on my blog. I was happy with this. All of a sudden, today they are both at 0.

    Is Google updating the toolbar more frequently? That would be cool, just wondering if my PR is gone for good, or I have to wait for it. Or if it was just a mistake somehow.


    ~ jim

  186. Well, don’t worry I guess it was a fluke because my PR is back.

  187. I just wanted to update you, I am using the BETA Google Toolbar version 5 and that seems to be the issue. Putting the old version on fixes the PR problem.

  188. Hi Matt,

    a lot people said pagerank is dead. too many webmasters are doing linkexchanges, tried to manipulate pagerank, rather than improve the quality of content on the site. It appeas that google has made some algoritham changes that had less weight on pagerank, rather focus more on the freshness, uniqueness, and relevancy of content. Matt, can you shed some lights on google’s new direction of search algoritham and how web masters shall be reacting to it? Thanks.

  189. Hi Matt,

    Great blog. Thanks for all the advice over the years!

    We have recently helped a client to migrate from one URL to another, implementing 301 redirects on all pages to the location of the new content – both to tell Google, and to handle any external links to make sure users clicking on them land on a good page. It was our hope that as the old pages were removed from Google’s index and the new ones appeared, their PageRank would decline and the PageRank of the new URLs would increase. Firstly, are we right in our assumption that this will happen and secondly, now that we have a 301 redirect in place on the old domain is there any way that we can track PageRank of the old domain to see if it has declined yet?

    The reason I ask is that the old URL was PageRank 5 and the new one has only acquired PageRank 3, despite the sites being 99% identical with only a handful of minor graphical changes to the homepage. Also, the URL we have switched to was the original brand for the website and was registered about 5 years earlier than the URL we are moving away from, if this makes any odds. In recent years it has just been a mirror of the website.

    Many thanks if you can help.


  190. Have you tried using a toolbar such as SEO for FireFox from Aaron Wall? You could input your old url and see if it still comes us with a PageRank calculation. There are tools that will check for a site’s PageRank by data centre as well…

  191. Thanks for taking the time to answer the PR questions.. have to say though as a newbie to SEO I have even more questions about PR than I had before after reading the reams of comments above!

    I think one of the earlier comments is most telling – I feel a bit lost trying to optimise my site for SEO when others have clearly acquired the skillset to manipulate the rankings through buying backlinks etc. I’ve spent quite a chunk on marketing to get my site to a few hundred regular daily visitors and not sure how long it’s supposed to take but my PR on the site is still sitting at 0 after 3 months of serious slog!

  192. For the year 2008 google updated page rank database almost 3 times in a year, let’s see in year 2009 how many times google update its page rank Toolbar.

  193. yes sir!

    google page rank info at its best, direct form the source. I think the bottom line here was “do with it as you will” and “we are going to show you information, just enough to make you happy, and just enough to show you that there is a lot more where it came from.

  194. Thanks for the post Matt, also enjoyed the twitter release! Perhaps a new trend for before-the-post info tweets to watch out for this year?

  195. Jerry O'Connor

    Hi Matt,
    For 30 years I have been doing advertising work fo small manufacturers (many, contract manufacturers, who supply components to OEMs—original equipment manufacturers. Now that I am creating websites, I try to produce an accurate description of their product and services, but I am concerned about ranking and backlinks. What other site would want to link to a “metal stamper’s” site or a “machining” site or a “metal frabication” site. There are many reasons for potential customers to bookmark these sites for future reference, but not to link to these sites. It seems that other then paid directory listing, ther is no other way to get links, unless I develop “linkbait” pages (like “What is TIG welding) that some may like to as a reference. What should I do? Is page rank only meaningful for large sites?

  196. I’m working at web since 1993, and I still do not understand how to make my web site more juice for Google… I did everything that is said not back hat, but, I still get no good results… I’m still working and as I can see, this PR are a very ancient thing… and also has lot’s of comments…

  197. Ruben – the bigger question is are you getting the results you want from search results? I have a site that is only pagerank 2, but it is #1 on Google for over 50 targeted searches… maybe more then a hundred… so, there is something to be said about quality (of the site and link backs) versus quantity… most of the sites ranking below mine are page rank 6 or better, but I still have better content and anchor text for my targeted phrases… just find the niche and exploit it if you can…

    Or… you can hire a SEO Consultant…

  198. I think a lot of people lose sight of the last paragraph. While some say watch your traffic versus your pagerank in reality you’ll already have noticed a change before any change occurs in the toolbar as the data is only exported periodically. As others have said build good content and the rest will fall into place.

  199. Google has assigned new page ranks on 2nd April, 2009. Check what you’ve got on your sites.
    I am anxiously looking further for Backlink’s to be taken by Google.

  200. Google has assigned new page ranks to websites on 2nd April, 2009. Check what you have got.

  201. Hi Matt,

    Quick question: If PR is evenly distributed to the outbound links from a page, does that mean that the originating page is in fact “loosing” the PR or does it just mean that the PR it does have is also being passed along?



  202. The comments alone are a huge resource. I came looking for information about page rank associated with blog sites but found much more.

    What does not make sense is this page has no rank which is odd for a valuable discussion

  203. Tao Yang

    Interesting article. :) pagerank and backlinks are important to rank your site high in Google and backlink is the only thing matters in building pagerank. is the website I use to check pagerank and backlinks.

  204. is really good website to check backlinks.

    backlinks perform a good part to increase your website’s PR and its always good to have website relevant backlinks.

  205. Hmmmmm, well im sticking my 2 pence in — im pondering, why Goo… has given us this here information, its n ot like we’ve taken it from them, ok corral, dance punk, hacked them. its infected the www like a darn-golly virus, every time we request a TBPR i wonder if Goo.. are mapping that? Google aint no dumb ass, at least i hope not, its an algorithm a living snake in the grass, waiting to (m)eat the spider…

    Every time i wonder about the PR of a page and send my TBPR request, does a little red flag ping me, and that page? I mean why the hell do i wonder about the TBPR? Is it perhaps because im trying to price that page for something… the human out there surfing is so completely oblivious to this Ragerank Rubbish and its only us self-proclaimed SEOers that are aware and more importantly care.

    OK yes it has a certain importance, i think its some kind of string index/algo that say, PRx like my site Idietcola is coloured green… Other siteZ with PRz is couloured blue, green and blue are shades of strength, just as green and blue also have a certain brightness.

    It comes after this here Vince update that it seems pagerank is a buzz around the seo flys at work… I think Goo… have cut the wheat from the chaff in the Pageranked web lately… lolzzzzz thanks for that, back to the grind stone ja ja


  206. For increase page rank you must have or must to do :
    1- backlinks
    2- comment to another sites
    3- make linkexchange with another blogger

  207. Assuming a page is already fully optimized, does anyone know how many more backlinks (with PR 3 , 4 , 5 , 6) are required to move the page to next level of PR.

    Tom Low

  208. Text to Speech Mobile App -

    Every time i wonder about the PR of a page and send my TBPR request, does a little red flag ping me, and that page? I mean why the hell do i wonder about the TBPR? Is it perhaps because im trying to price that page for something… the human out there surfing is so completely oblivious to this Ragerank Rubbish and its only us self-proclaimed SEOers that are aware and more importantly care.

  209. Is Backlink from no page ranking site decrease the possibility to get page rank?

  210. I find it very interesting that google removed pagerank from the WebMaster tools. Yet when I check my own site stats it seems like google still use it in the background.

    I retrieved all my google indexed pages and compared the number of referrals from google to the page rank. Depending obviously on the number of compition on the keywords, Ii still find that a lot of my traffic is going to higher pagerank pages.

    So even though google is telling us not to use pagerank as an indication of the importance of a page, the google search engine is still using it. I used this:PageRank Checker. to quickyly find my first 100 pages indexed in google. Ran it on my site. Please let me know if anyone out there is getting the same results as I am.

  211. Hello Matt Cutts, I just want to know whether Google Pagerank is going to disappear ?
    If so, what will replace it. Thank in advance.

  212. I think a lot of people lose sight of the last paragraph. While some say watch your traffic versus your pagerank in reality you’ll already have noticed a change before any change occurs in the toolbar as the data is only exported periodically. As others have said build good content and the rest will fall into place.

  213. Very useful article. However what ever replace pagerank you can be sure its going to be something way more complex

  214. My site is new so the PR shows 0 at the moment, I am sure this can’t actually be the case as it is doing well in organic searches and attracting an ok amount of visitors. And I have a decent amount of choice backlinks from PR4+ relevant sites…

    Is there any accurate way to predict the current ‘LIVE’ pagerank of a site?

  215. I found some informative post

    but i want to know is there any specific time in the year when google changes page ranks.

  216. Thank you for this article. I think i’m one of them : “B.O.” (backlink obsession)” :-) so i go out for a moment :-)

  217. Franck

    Hi Matt,

    I’ve found this curious page, of a belgian webdesign agency :

    How does this page have a pagerank of TEN ?

    It isn’t even using the redirect trick…

  218. Alan


    That site has (3) PR 10 backlinks and (9) PR 9 backlinks. Its pagerank is accurate…

  219. I try to not even think about PR. Surprisingly my blog with the lowest PR gets the most converting traffic.

  220. @ Franck wow that is insane! a PR 10! Whats going on here Matt?

  221. As you mentioned, PR is an ongoing process and the global display takes time. Is there a way to know the ongoing PR or to know the current site PR. I’ve noticed no fluctuation in visitors to my site; post the recent PR update. Was just wondering…If PR directly related to more site display and more visitors

  222. If has a page rank of 10 just because it has 3 backlins from pr9 and pr10 sites then the page rank system is flawed in my opinion.

  223. Yeah Franck, no kidding ! Where did 3 PR10 backlinks come from? I thought there were only like 10 of those in the world? How many are there?

  224. Giovanni Carlo P Bagayas

    Dear sir Matt,

    What are the new updates on SEO techniques for 2011, does my old technique on leaving comments on blogs, forums, creating profile on social network still works?


  225. Well i think that the recent Google PR tool bar update is the most appropriate and upto mark thing google have ever done. Accurate i Meant. ( i feed bad for those who got banned and sandboxed and no PR increase) I got maximum PR’s in all my sites :)

  226. Once I changed my strategy from writing just one post at a time and not linking to any other posts to using the strategy above I started to see an increase in traffic. I also got a page rank 2 at the beginning of July this year which was a great news for me and I was very happy to see my efforts getting paid.

  227. Hi, I didn’t know where to ask this question but I hope that I might get an answer here.

    Has Topic Sensitive PageRank been integrated with PageRank yet? In that case: Does link relevany affect PageRank?

    Thank you!

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