For most of you, the very word “PageRank” might leave you with a puzzled expression on your face. Well, you wouldn’t be alone in that confession. PageRank has become less and less popular in recent years especially since modern browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome, where 37 out of 100 users are browsing from, don’t use PageRank. It is easy to see why you may have never heard of it. The Google definition of PageRank software goes like this: “When Google was founded, one key innovation was PageRank, a technology that determined the “importance” of a webpage by looking at what other pages link to it, as well as other data.” The phrase “when Google was founded…” should make you wonder how relevant PageRank really is, which was in 1998 by the way. Think about how much technology has changed in the past three years, let alone the past fifteen. Despite the fact that Google PageRank may be outdated, some companies are still trying to utilize it. So for that reason, let’s breakdown what a company’s PageRank actually means in the modern day of web browsing.
Not Adapted for Changing Times
PageRank uses a formula based on keywords in search terms. If you were trying to determine the PageRank of a ceramic cookware site, some of your key words might be: ceramics, cooking, cookware, etc. Back in the day when a few keywords were a vital part of an Internet search, PageRank was considered a very valuable asset. In the world of Google Instant search however, when a user’s search is finished automatically for them, it is not quite as valuable.
Its Own Worst Enemy
Back in the height of its popularity, Google would update PageRank every 90 days, to make sure the data was up-to-date and extremely accurate. As of the beginning of 2013, it hasn’t been updated for at least the last six months. If Google wants PageRank to survive in the world of ever-changing technology then it must at the very least, be current and accurate.
Archaic Rating System
The very premise of Google PageRank’s rating system seems to be out of date, on a scale of 1-10. The rank goes from 0-10. If your score is a zero, then you are not even listed on Google. Not being listed on Google? What does that even mean? You are probably going to have a more difficult time trying to avoid being listed on Google. Back in 2004, there were only four companies listed with a rating of 10: Google, Microsoft, Apple and Adobe.
Doesn’t take into Account Social Media
PageRank was in its prime before the launch of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or really any form of social media. (Maybe MySpace could give it a run for its money). So, many of us who find our businesses through social media sites today like to skip the ‘middle man’ of search engine altogether. PageRank’s software is limited in that it doesn’t count for the rankings of social media. While some businesses will continue attempting to use PageRank’s ‘high’ ratings to their advantage, the truth is, it’s an outdated form of technology. While it may have been revolutionary for its time, PageRank does little for today’s generation of Internet users.
Today, there are so many other ways to find out the unique visitors and hits on a website that PageRank is not as relevant as it used to be. With the changing technology in place, more accurate ranks have been created. If your business is concerned about the ranking of its page, try to switch the momentum to increase monthly visitors instead. It’s a much more driven effort and one you can measure easily in today’s world.
Photo credit: Robert Scoble