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Thursday, 31 May 2007

Local Council's PageRanks: quick find

Google Directory have a new-ish feature whereby sites are automatically displayed by PageRank.

Unfortunately, it isn't one long list, but you can easily see the huge disparity in PageRanks across councils (more about that).

Look at the bar on the left.

This means that for many councils, their content is hard to find for most instances.

Danny Sullivan :

As I wrote back in 2002:

The issue of links and search engines, in particular the perception of Google's use of links, has gotten out of hand. For many, the original reason of linking has been lost out of the desire to simply do whatever they believe Google might like.

All major crawler-based search engines leverage links from across of the web, but none of them report a static "importance" score in the way Google does via its Google Toolbar. That score, while a great resource for surfers, has also provided one of the few windows into how Google ranks web pages. Some webmasters, desperate to get inside Google, keep flying into that window like confused birds, smacking their heads and losing their orientation....

Site owners are using the toolbar to find "good" sites that they should get links from, regardless of the fact that link context is also important, not to mention many, many other factors that are used by Google to rank a web page. Other site owners, getting a gray PR0 toolbar for their site, immediate assume the worst, that they've been blacklisted.

Enough, please, enough. Forget the Google Toolbar meter. Forget about worrying over "good" links and "bad" links according to Google. Just forget Google, when it comes to link building.

PageRank is only a score that represents the importance of a page, as Google estimates it (By the way, that estimate of importance is considered to be Google's opinion and protected in the US by the First Amendment. When Google was once sued over altering PageRank scores for some sites, a US court ruled: "PageRanks are opinions--opinions of the significance of particular Web sites as they correspond to a search query....the court concludes Google's PageRanks are entitled to full constitutional protection.)

Get a link to your pages from an high PR page and yes, some of that PageRank importance is transmitted to your page. But that's doesn't take into account the context of the link -- the words in the link -- the anchor text. If you don't understand anchor text, Google Now Reporting Anchor Text Phrases from me last month will take you by the hand and explain it more.


I'm going to try to blog a bit more about pagerank as I understand it, but the bottom line is always get more + get better links.


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