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Does Pagerank Truly Help?

I got a bit interested in pagerank stuff after someone posted on the Warrior forum that she is making more money after the PR (short for "Page Rank") of her site went down. That reminded me what happened with some of my sites (which I will tell you about a little later). But first I ran some common tests to determine how much pagerank matters in search engine positioning:

1. Keyword: baby health

a) Domain www.babycenter.in => PR 5 => Ranks#1 for this keyword phrase

b) Domain www.indiaparenting.com => PR 5 => Ranks#2 for this keyword phrase

c) Domain www.indiamart.com => PR 6 => Ranks#3 for this keyword phrase

2. Keyword: funny video clips

a) Domain www.video-clips.co.uk => PR 4 => Ranks#1 for this keyword phrase

b) Domain www.metacafe.com => PR 7 => Ranks#2 for this keyword phrase

c) Domain www.funatico.com => PR 2 => Even with just PR 2, it ranks 3rd in the search results! AMAZING!

3. Keyword: write testimonials

a) Domain www.flexiblewriter.com => PR 1 => Ranks#1 for this keyword phrase

b) Domain www.consult-igma.co.uk => PR 2 => Ranks#2 for this keyword phrase

c) Domain www.bardscrier.com  => PR 4 => Ranks#3 for this keyword phrase

I am sure that if you spend more time doing searches on Google, you will find many more such weird examples. I am not saying pagerank doesn't matter at all, but there are other things that determine your search engine position and traffic more than pagerank does.

Here are some other interesting things to note:

1. My Nuttiezine.com domain has a pagerank of 2. You would think that I am getting more traffic and optins because of that? No way! It is almost the same as it used to be when it had no PR at all!

2. When I was new to niche marketing, I purchased a generic domain and used several sub domains to build niche sites on it. Gradually the site gained a PR of 2, then 1, and currently, its PR is 0. All this while there hasn't been any significant difference in my income from this site!

3. I have a site in the registry cleaner niche. It used to have a PR of 2 and now it has a PR of 1. Again, no significant difference; if anything, my income has really increased a bit after the pagerank lowered. For certain keyword phrases, my site outranks PR4 sites!

4. Out of the blue, my FatLossPLR.com optin page http://fatlossplr.com/freearticles.php has got a PR of 2, even though -

a) I have done no "link building" stuff for this site

b) The rest of the site has a PR of 0

Has it really increased my optins in any way? Last time I checked, it hasn't!

If you ever try to sell your site at sitepoint.com marketplace, you will see that apart from its pagerank, people would also ask you about the average income and traffic your site generates!

Smart buyers know how to separate wheat from chaff; they know that pagerank can be faked, that there is 'low quality' and 'high quality' pagerank, and that pagerank doesn't always determine the revenue a site can generate!

Time was when I used to get thrilled whenever my sites got any PR boost! Not any more! I have realized that if today your site has a PR of 3, tomorrow it can go down to 2 or even 1! It is really the Google God who would determine how much PR juice your site should get!

So that is why your site's PR would keep going up and down! Should you lose sleep over it? Nope! Losing sleep over such trivia is of no use; if anything, it will make you all the more stressed! ;)

Sure, I am still thrilled if my sites get any PR boost, but not because I hope to get more traffic, but because I "think" that my sites have got some "prestige" from Google. For me, PR is all about "prestige"! 

When it comes to traffic, there are some things that matter more than pagerank:

1. The source of your pagerank: Pagerank is often determined by the number of backlinks a particular site has; however, your site's SE (search engine) position would be determined by the quality of those backlinks!

If you get your backlinks from high PR, authority sites, your site will have a high position in Google; on the other hand, you can get 100s of backlinks from low PR sites but still have your site at the bottom level of search engine result.

This is the reason why I recommend submitting your articles to a few high quality sites rather than mass submitting them. This is also the reason why link directories and classifieds sites are not as effective as they used to be; sure, some of these sites have a HIGH PR, but that PR is worthless, because these sites have way too many outgoing links!

2.  The anchor texts you use when link building: The anchor texts you use to link back to your site would determine your site's SE position in a big way! When it comes to article marketing, this is one reason why I recommend you use two types of links in your article resource box: an "anchor text" link and a hard link, like http://www.yourwebsite.com  

The more you use certain keywords as "anchor texts" when building links, the better your site would rank for those keywords. In the example above, certain sites with HIGH PR fail to show up on top for a given keyword, and one reason for this is that they have fewer "anchor text" backlinks than the ones which outrank them!

It is also important to "rank" your keywords in a way that can help you decide how much each keyword is worth to you! You would want to use the 'worthy' keywords more often in your "anchor text" than the 'worthless' ones!

3. Your site's "on-page" SEO (search engine optimization) settings: This is something which is ignored by some of the authority sites, and it is not surprising because these sites are built by experts, who are not necessarily SEO experts. "On-page" SEO can go a long way in boosting your organic traffic level!

Let's say that your site appears at the top of search results for the keyword "baby care". Now there are surely hundreds of other sites for that keyword! Why would a person visit YOUR website instead of others? How will a person know if your site has more value to offer than others?

This is where your site's title and meta description comes in. By using proper keywords in your site's title, and describing your site precisely in the meta description, you will be answering this exact question to the searcher. In a way, the title and meta description act as a "bio" of your site!

Needless to say, a good title and description will boost your traffic level in a big way!

Sidenote: The "meta keywords" are worthless; at least, Google doesn’t place any value on it. You should use your keywords in the body text of your webpage, rather than stuff the "meta keyword" section with lots of keywords. I have noticed that Google crawls and ranks my site according to the keywords containing in my webpage, NOT the meta keywords.

4. Pagerank is about a particular page, NOT a site as a whole: Keep in mind that pagerank is how a particular page of a site would be ranked, rather than the whole site. So, different pages of your site may have different pagerank levels! Your site's position in SE, as a whole, will be determined by its back link structure!

Conclusion: don't give pagerank a damn and focus on building quality backlinks instead! Try to get "do follow" links from high quality sites using your keywords as "anchor texts".  With a solid backlink base, you will keep making money no matter what pagerank your site has!