Are you still wasting your time staring at the silly little PageRank number on your site pages? If you are Google is saying nicely to stop. Many moons ago PageRank was somewhat accurate when trying to figure out the overall strength of individual pages on your website — but those days are over. Back in 2009 Google even went as far as removing any traces of PageRank from their webmaster tools but people still don’t get it. Google recently wrote a very important blog post regarding the alternatives to PageRank that should shed some valuable light on the situation.
This is an important post that everyone should take the time to read because PageRank is something that does not equate to business success online. PageRank can be high on the most horrible of web pages and it doesn’t mean that specific page will be successful or produce any revenues for a company what so ever.
“The fact that people are still writing about this almost two years later—usually in the context of “Startling news from Susan Moskwa: …”—really drives home how much PageRank has become a go-to statistic for some webmasters. Even the most inexperienced site owners I talk with have often heard about, and want to know more about, PageRank (“PR”) and what it means for their site. However, as I said in my fateful forum post, the Webmaster Central team has been telling webmasters for years that they shouldn’t focus so much on PageRank as a metric for representing the success of one’s website. Today I’d like to explain this position in more detail and give you some relevant, actionable options to fill your time once you stop tracking your PR!”
Google has been stressing for quite a long time that it is crucial for webmasters and website owners to look for alternatives to measure success of certain web pages. Primarily the three most important alternatives to look at are conversion rate, bounce rate and click through rate. You can have a high PageRank on a web page and still have a horrible bounce rate that really leaves you with nothing.
“If I don’t track my PageRank, what should I be tracking?
Take a look at metrics that correspond directly to meaningful gains for your website or business, rather than just focusing on ranking signals. Also consider metrics that are updated daily or weekly, rather than numbers (like PageRank) that only change a few times a year; the latter is far too slow for you to reliably understand which of your changes resulted in the number going up or down (assuming you update your site more than a few times a year). Here are three suggestions to get you started, all of which you can track using services like Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools:
- Conversion rate
- Bounce rate
- Clickthrough rate (CTR)”