We all know PageRank as the little green indicator that sits in our Google toolbar. PageRank is Google’s system of counting link votes and determining which pages are most important based on them. These scores are then used along with many other factors to determine how well a page ranks in search results.
But did you know it was possible to fake this ranking? Webmasters using sneaky 301 redirects can inflate their PageRank to any value they like, giving an incorrect ranking of their site. A WebmasterWorld member explains:
“This seller builds up the backlinks and PR of his own site www.scam-domain-buyers-easily.org and then 301 redirects to the domain for sale: www.keywordwidget.com. At the next Google update(s) that domain is then showing as having all the backlinks and PR7 of his own site.”
This issue has become a major problem on auction sites like eBay, where sellers try to sell domain names with an inflated PageRank. This tricks buyers into paying a ‘premium’ price for the domain because of its apparent great ranking.
If you want to check for fake page rank there a number of tools available online:
Fake PageRank Detection Tool: Seologs fake PR detection tool.
PageRank Verification: Another PR verification tool.
Live PageRank: Checks the PR of a website over multiple Google datacenters.
For buyers, it’s important not to focus on PageRank when buying domains, and always ensure to check all listings thoroughly.