It’s a question a client asked me recently — ‘What happened to my PageRank?’
PageRank is no longer a public measure of the quality of a web page on your site. PageRank was a public measure of how much Google thought of pages on your website. The higher your score, the better.
If you had a PageRank (PR) of 10 for a web page, you were at the top of the pile, as far as Google was concerned. If you your site a PR of 0, well, you needed to work to improve your website to increase the score.
But, you had no direct control over your PageRank. The score was dependent upon many measures which Google did not make open to the public. Nonetheless, the higher the quality of your web pages, the more high quality backlinks to your site, and the longer your site had been around, the more likely it was that your PR was high.
But, those positive attributes about your site have not changed. To rank well on Google you still need to have good, unique information or ‘content’ on your website.
You still need to build high quality, relevant backlinks to your website. You still need to ensure you have a well optimised site. The importance of using social media to bring visitors to your website remains the same.
Why did Google remove PageRank?
Like most aspects of SEO, measurements can be abused. Digital Business had a PR of 1, and we used to receive regular requests for guest posts on the website. People wanted to use the Digital Business PR to benefit their websites.
That would have been fine if the posts they were offering had been relevant. But, most of them were irrelevant to the website. It became a form of spam. Unsurprisingly, Google decided to close down PR as a public measurement of a website’s quality.
How do you measure the quality of a website now?
An alternative measurement (aside from looking at a website and making a judgement based on common sense) is its ‘Page Authority (PA)’.
Here’s a definition of PA taken from the Moz website which sums it up:
“Page Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engines. It is based off data from the Mozscape web index and includes link counts, MozRank, MozTrust, and dozens of other factors. It uses a machine learning model to predictively find an algorithm that best correlates with rankings across the thousands of search results that we predict against.”
How do you influence Page Authority?
It is difficult to influence Page Authority. The score is made up by several measurements. As mentioned above, the best way to make a website competitive on Google is to make sure the SEO is good all over the site.
Page Authority is unlikely to prevent people asking to post on your website with a backlink to their website. You will still need to make sure that what they offer is relevant and useful to visitors. You must ensure the link they want to include leads to a relevant, high quality website too.
You can measure the PA of a pages on your website using this free tool.