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Clearing up some things about PR and SERP ranking.

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by GreyWolf, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    It's been said over and over and over again that the PR of your own site doesn't affect it's position in the SERPs, and yet I still come across people talking about how important PR is for your site. :rolleyes:

    Since this topic still seems to be so misunderstood, let me give a short explanation of why the PR of your page doesn't matter for ranking in the SERP.

    The only reason PR matters for your own site is if you're going to sell advertising space on your site or you plan to sell your site. Those are the only reasons you need to be concerned with the PR of your own pages.


    For ranking in the SERPs, the PR of your own page doesn't matter, but the PR of pages you get backlinks from does.
    Here's why:
    PR is based on the total backlinks a page is getting, but the SERP position is based on how well your site ranks for a particular keyword.

    So lets say your website "somedomain.com" has the following backlinks to it:
    10,000 for "keyword 1"
    10,000 for "keyword 2"
    10,000 for "keyword 3"
    10,000 for "keyword 4"
    10,000 for "keyword 5"

    Now the PR will be based on the total 50,000 backlinks, but it's position in the serp for any particular keyword will still be only 10,000 backlinks.

    If you create another 50,000 backlinks for "keyword 6" then there will be a postive effect on the PR of the site, which now has a total 100,000 backlinks. But it won't affect it's position in the SERP for keywords 1 thru 5, (although "keyword 6" will now be ranking based on the new 50,000 links). ​
    So that's why the PR of your own site doesn't matter as far as ranking in the SERPs.


    But what about the PR of sites you get backlinks from?

    Well, higher PR sites carry a little more weight than low PR sites. Lets say that for "keyword 1" you focused on high PR sites to get those backlinks. Now (depending on how many and how high the PR) those 10,000 backlinks on high PR sites will count the same as if you had gotten 30,000 backlinks on low PR sites. So by getting a lot of high PR sites backlinking for "keyword 1", your sites position in the SERP will be improved for that keyword.​
    To sum it up in short:
    • A page's PR is based on the total amount and quality of all it's backlinks.
    • A page's SERP position is based only on the backlinks targeting a keyword.

    :pirate:
    (Of course there are other factors affecting your sites position as well, but this explanation is only regarding PR and backlinks.)
     
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  2. goldengrahams

    goldengrahams BANNED BANNED

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    Dude this makes no sense you talk about PR not making the ounce of difference yet its a gauge of the total baklinks to your website and each backlink to a keyword which does make a difference. Jeez im on a merry go round here. This might be confusing for some but what the OP is trying to say is don't worry about overall PR to rank in SERPS for certain keywords, instead concentrate on building backlinks to these keywords to define SERP movement.
     
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  3. aReJay

    aReJay Power Member

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    I think you make some good points and the overall purpose of your post is solid, however not completely accurate.

    Those additional 50,000 links are going to cause a fluctuation in trust rank (either up or down) which will have a direct effect on domain authority.

    Consequently, you may see a small rise in SERP placement for keywords 1-5 due to backlinks built using keyword 6 as anchor text, but not due to the PR value.

    -aReJay
     
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  4. bryanon

    bryanon Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Tilting at windmills, aren't we GreyWolf? :p

    All in all a very good explanation - hopefully at least a few people (out of the few million who still believe that PR is everything) will be brought back down to earth as a result of this ;)
     
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  5. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Actually it makes a lot of sense, you just have to think about how it works. PR is a very important factor, just not for you're own site. It's important for the sites you're getting backlinks from.

    No, it actually is completely accurate (within the scope of what it's explaining). :rolleyes:
    I guess you didn't read the part where I said, "Of course there are other factors affecting your sites position as well, but this explanation is only regarding PR and backlinks."

    You're bringing up TrustRank which is one of those other factors. PR is not the same thing as TrustRank. While PageRank may be a factor in Trustrank, there are also many other factors as well. My post is only about how PR affects the SERP, not about how PR affects TR, nor about how TR affects the SERPs.

    The point in this thread is to explain specifically the relationship between how PR and backlinks affect ranking in the SERPs. Things are so interrelated in SEO that it's easy for people to get confused about how things work. Sometimes you have to stick to a specific thing so people can understand the basics. Once they get that part, then how the other parts (like TrustRank) are related can be explained later and start making more sense as well.




    Yeah maybe a little bit. Now where is that Sancho got off to? lol

    I just started noticing a few posts on bhw talking about PR again lately. I thought it might be worth trying to explain it again. Maybe this explanation will be good enough for people to understand how it works. :rolleyes:
     
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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  6. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Very good post, never quite thought about it like that before.
    I totally get what your saying - basically PR effects SERPS in direct relation to anchor text right?

    I'm not trying to argue, but you are assuming that pagerank doesn't have any effect on the sites overall rank right? Is that part a proven fact?

    I.E if a site has say 500,000 other sites linking in for a variety of keywords, and it targets a new keyword, say keyword 55, but no one links with keyword 55 as the anchor text, compared to site B that has only 10,000 backlinks with keyword 55 as anchor, who would rank better if every other factor was the same?

    I guess if you look at it logically the actual point in question is if you are extremely authoritative on one subject, would that automatically give you some amount of authority (in googles eyes) on another subject?
     
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  7. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Yes, that pretty much what aReJay was bringing up as well. But the point of this thread is to discuss specifically the PR issue at hand.

    As I said... in the "big picture" there are other factors as well and they all interrelate and affect each other, but to really understand the "big picture" you really need to understand the individual parts as well.
     
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  8. goldengrahams

    goldengrahams BANNED BANNED

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    Right so if we take what you expressed as:

    A page's PR is based on the total amount and quality of all it's backlinks.

    My understanding of your above statement is completly the opposite of what you concluded, on one hand you say PR is not important in your rankings and on the other you say that on page PR is based on the above which includes the amount and quality (PR) of backlinks linking back to your site. So how can you say your page PR does not have any influence on your SERPS?

    If lets say you have very high PR backlinks to your website split by keywords then you would expect to see a high PR for your own site so they are indirectly connected. :)

    If there is something i am missing then let me know.
     
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  9. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I'm still not sure, what about this scenario - you make a new article on topic C, you link to it from homepage, articles page etc - all the juice your higher pages have is filtered to that article, therefor a high PR site that creates an article automatically gets more juice than a low PR site. Based on that fact alone you could assume that PR does account for some measure of ranking.

    What if two sites have 100,000 pages each, one is pr8 homepage, one is pr1 homepage, they both write article on topic c and put a link to it in their "blogroll", who ranks?


    Edit:Got to laugh at this thread really - I know what your saying makes sense but you know full well if you start a thread on pagerank your gonna have a serious debate on your hands - people have been "arguing" about pagerank ever since I started in SEO:)
     
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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  10. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    @goldengrahams - You're just confusing the causal relationship.

    If you get a lot of keyword anchored backlinks to your site then it will affect your position in the SERP for that keyword. Since you just created a lot of backlinks it will also factor into the PR of your site. But there is no connection between the two things. The SERP position isn't affecting your sites PR, and your sites PR isn't causing the SERP position. It just happens that they are both affected by the same factor, (which is the amount and quality of the backlinks).

    Say you went and got 1 backlink per keyword for 1 million keywords. Depending on the quality of those backlinks you could potentially end up with a high PR site. But since you only have 1 backlink for any keyword, your high PR site won't rank for any keywords at all. You could have a very high PR site that never shows up in the SERP for any keywords at all.

    On the other hand you could get only 100 backlinks that are only anchored for a single keyword. Depending on the keyword you could end up with the #1 SERP position for that keyword, but your site would still be a PR0. The other sites on that SERP page could even be PR6, PR7, or even PR9 and maybe untouchable for other keywords, but your site could be better targeted for that particular keyword.

    So anyway... The answer to your question is that the two factors, (PR of your site and SERP position), are not connected, except in the sense that both are caused by the same factor (which is the amount and quality of the backlinks).
     
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  11. goldengrahams

    goldengrahams BANNED BANNED

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    atGreyWolf

    Makes a lot more sense when explained in the context of numerous keywords. And i can see what you mean about the lack of relationship between on page PR and serps now. Its makes alot of sense logically but then i wonder how many people are going to fit into the scenerio you just described, lots of keywords with a few links per keyword. Especially us folk who concentrate our efforts building our sites so they rank.

    The bias and confusion currently surrounding the interelation or casual relationship as you described between the two on page PR and SERPS are probably more of a observational conclusion as opposed to pure logic. This is why i think you will still get many people that disagree with your point. Can i ask what tools you used to get to this conclusion? Data mining? Or just thoretical research? Or culmination of both?
     
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  12. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I think its fairer to say: PR has no effect on the page itself, but only on other pages - be those pages on another site or the same site. Therefore to say PR does not help your sites SERPS is not true but to say it does not help the pages SERPS is more correct. - technically speaking your homepage is just another hub in the wheel of links so surely you could link to all your sub pages from your homepage using the correct anchor text, then build backlinks to your homepage and the juice would filter down. While internal anchor isn't as strong as external, it does have an influence right?
     
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  13. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Well I don't think it's necessarily "fairer" to say that. I think more correctly it's "exactly what I'm saying". lol

    The PR of a particular site does not affect it's ranking in the SERP, but it will affect the ranking in the SERP for pages it links to. PR is only important (as far as the SERP is concerned) for the page that has the link, and it's importance is to the site it's linking to.

    If you want to rank a particular page for a keyword in the SERP then that particular page's PR is unimportant, but the PR of all the pages it gets backlinks from are very important. So yes, PR is important for ranking in the SERPs. It's just not the PR of your own page that's important.

    Of course, if your selling links then your page is the one linking to other pages and it's PR is important, not important for itself but rather for the page it's linking to. (So if your planning to sell links on your site, then the PR is an important thing to work on.)
     
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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  14. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Ok, sorry, arguing the point helps me to understand! It is actually one of the best explanations I've read re PR:)
     
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  15. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Actually it's both logical and observational. If you understand what PR is actually measuring then you can see why it's a logical conclusion for it to work as I'm explaining. I'm hoping to help people understand what PR actually is, but you don't even need to understand it to observe it.

    Just go to the search engine and start typing in keywords. If the PR of a site actually had an affect on it's own SERP postion then you would see a big trend in the SERP position ranking primarily in order of PR. The reality is though that more often than not the PR for sites in the top of the SERP have random PR. There may be some tendency to find some high PR sites there, but that can be explained by the fact that the same factors that account for a high position in the SERP (namely backlinks) also have an affect on a sites PR. So for sites that are actively trying to rank for a competitive keyword will likely also be achieving a higher PR. But you'll find about as often as not that there will be PR0 sites in the #1 position for specific keywords as there are higher PR sites in that position for other keywords.
     
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  16. johandr

    johandr Regular Member

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  17. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Greywolf is right. When you think about it, it's the fundamental structure of page-rank - its basically a humongous loop of pages passing PR to each other, it makes sense that a page effects everything around it but not itself.

    In a way though it sort of proves PR is of use - you might have thousands of sub pages that you target keywords for, and you might not have any targeted use for your homepage, but its still wise to build links to it because it's like the second tier of all those sub pages.
     
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  18. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Yes, PR definitely has it's use. It's just that a lot of people don't really understand it, and so also misunderstand it's real usefulness. :cool2:

    The point of this thread isn't to say that PR doesn't mean anything. Of course PR means something, it's Sergey Brin and Larry Page's original algorithm that they used to establish their search engine. In every update of Google's algorithms, it's still built on a foundation started from the original PR algorithm. (It probably would have led to less confusion over the years had they named it Brin Rank instead of Page Rank though. lol)

    Anyway, this thread isn't intended to discount the value of PR even in the current Google algorithms, but rather to clear up some misunderstandings about where it's value actually comes into play.
     
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  19. JesusBack

    JesusBack Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Also to note than PR is important if you own a larger site with constantly updating content so you don't have to build links to each new page/keyword. That's how amazon ranks well for products even if the product page has no offsite backlinks. You summed it up pretty well, I'm guessing you just forgot that part :).
     
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  20. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Well that's still kind of part of the same thing. It's just that those kind of sites are so big that the backlinking can all be done on pages within the same site. (That's what PR sculpting is really about, but most of us don't have sites big enough to do it like that.)

    I've tried to explain this at a basic enough level to help people understand what's going on without confusing them too much. But you still made a very good point.

    The conclusion (even in that situation) is still the same though, the importance of the PR is in the pages containing the links. For most of us that means links on other websites, but for a large enough behemoth of a website (like Amazon, Wikipedia, Facebook, Youtube, etc.) it can often be done from pages within the same site as well.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011