In the search engine world, the Page Rank (PR) measure is closely watched by all those chasing the elusive top positions in Google’s search results. PR is one of the critical factors that Google uses to determine its ranking results.
The theory behind PR is quite simple. The more relevant back links a website has, the higher its PR, and accordingly the more importance Google places on its content meaning higher rankings.
Remember, PR and back links alone don’t determine the rankings. There is a myriad of other factors that the search engine algorithms use to decide where your website will appear in the SERPs, but they have been recognized as having a significant impact.
So explanations aside, it would appear that Google, the search titan, is updating its dreaded Page Rank and has also exported the latest Back Link counts. Google tends to do these updates/exports periodically . Whether this is a quality control measure (ie avoids their measures being influenced by websites buying bulk links from non relevant sources) or not, it often means that Google’s measures remain unchanged for months, even though your site back links might be increasing (or decreasing) within their datacenters.
We like many website owners watch these variables on-going. So when a movement occurs, it encourages us to evaluate our optimization strategy progress.
On discovering the PR update, we did a quick check on our Google Back Link count and discovered that both had been updated simultaneously (not always the case). While we retained our Page Rank and even saw some nice improvements on individual pages, we did notice a drop in our exported back link count.
Does a drop in back link count mean that alarm bells should be ringing? Not necessarily. It does suggest that you should continue to work on your linking strategy as a continued drop in quality backlinks could eventually mean a decline in Page Rank. But remember that you should always look at not only the quantity, but also the quality of your backlinks.
The drop we experienced may be caused by many factors such as websites that link to us having closed, or webmasters changing their sites and links (all variables beyond our control). It has got us motivated to start supplementing the losses with new relevant links to ensure we maintain and improve our Page Rank. At the end of the day, unless your PR is 10, you have scope for improvement.
Now we have blogged extensively on effective link building techniques, so if you would like to kick start your campaign, visit this previous post.
How to Get Good Incoming Links
I would be interested to know how Google’s update is impacting your website’s Page Rank and published Back Link count. Let us know by leaving a comment!