Some things are just difficult to get over! And Google’s ‘PageRank’ metric or PR is something that webmasters refuse to get over even though the feature was removed from the Google webmasters tool two years ago!
PageRank, in the past, was one of the 200 signals that Google used to crawl, index and rank web pages. Ever since Google removed PageRank from its webmasters toolbar it has been urging webmasters to considers more relevant features like CTR’s, bounce rates, ROI and Conversion rates that give the actual performance of their pages.
Explaining that PageRank is no longer—if it ever was—the be-all and end-all of ranking, Google’s Susan Moskwa has pointed out that Google has made several changes in its algorithm recently which now makes relevance the top ingredient in their search results. PageRank might have been a distinguished feature of Google’s algorithm back in early 00′s , but with the given rate of changes that Google had introduced ever since (approximately 9 per week), it has not been updated more than a couple of times a year and so now Google is asking webmasters (yet again) to not depend on this feature solely.
In Susan Moskawa’s words:
If you look at Google’s Technology Overview, you’ll notice that it calls out relevance as one of the top ingredients in our search results. So why hasn’t as much ink been spilled over relevance as has been over PageRank? I believe it’s because PageRank comes in a number, and relevance doesn’t. Both relevance and PageRank include a lot of complex factors—context, searcher intent, popularity, reliability—but it’s easy to graph your PageRank over time and present it to your CEO in five minutes; not so with relevance. I believe the succinctness of PageRank is why it’s become such a go-to metric for webmasters over the years; but just because something is easy to track doesn’t mean it accurately represents what’s going on, your website.
This post may leave many webmasters asking “If not PageRank, then what should I be focusing on to track my websites’ success?”
The answer is you should concentrate on metrics that provide meaningful gains in terms of your web presence, web traffic and monetary returns rather than focusing on ranking signals only. Conversion rate, click though rate (CTR) and bounce rate are the top 3 metrics you should start with. All three metrics are updated on a daily or weekly basis and will let you measure your sites success with more accuracy than PageRank which is updated only a few times a year.
If you dont already use Google Analytics or other tracking services to get a real assessment of your site’s performance, then you are well behind the eight ball and now would be a good time to get started.