Monday, 20 September 2010

Google PageRank is the most annoying SEO myth ever!

All SEO professionals have been there at one point: the dreaded Google PageRank. It's simple: clients love the Google PageRank. It is the holy grail on which the Internet is founded, and it exists just to annoy the hell out of any SEO professional who would just like to not hear about PageRank again and just focus on what actually matters. However, clients will stick to PageRank because they do not know better.

And who can blame them? It is not their job to go and research about PageRank (although they could try and listen to the SEO professionals who just spent one hour stressing why PageRank is irrelevant). The only ones to blame here are Google (*gasp*). When PageRank did matter (back when people still believed the lie that Google was not evil), it was obviously an important metric and one that showed SEO professionals if their online marketing strategies were working. Fast forward a few years, and Google decide that PageRank is not a good indicator of a website's position in search engine rankings, which, to be honest, is an excellent idea.

Yet Google still goes ahead and displays PageRank, and the myth is perpetrated by a bunch of so-called SEO professionals who have not gone past 2004. They must be oblivious to the fact that websites with lower PageRank (as in a PageRank that is at most 3) are getting ranked better than websites with a PageRank of 6 for several keywords. Or they must also have missed the memo and countless blog posts and forum comments discussing how PageRank is not a metric you should rely upon to gauge the impact of your SEO strategies. Yes, it is not the clients' job to go and search about the evolution of Google PageRank, but I daresay that these SEO professionals should have stumbled across these at one point.

Of course, some PageRank afficionados will mention that, while Google's ground-breaking metric may no longer be an important part of the ranking algorithm, it can nevertheless be used to check whether a website has been properly crawled by the big daddy of search engines. This would be a great debate if it were not the fact that I have seen websites with no PR get ranked better than their competitors. I can also always use the site (site:mydomain.com) operator to check how many pages are present in the Google index.

I dream of a time when Google will just stop using PageRank altogether and that the only thing that will matter (to SEO professionals and client alike) will be their website's rankings for the targeted keywords.