Google search engine result pageSo many people think and say that Google PageRank is your measurement for success in having a website. Some say that having a high PageRank is halfway to greatness.

Money making and business side, PageRank is considered as ‘land value’ – the higher the PageRank the more expensive the ‘land value’.

But, is PageRank really that important?

Consider this – you can optimise and build your back links (other websites that link to your website) vigorously to increase your PageRank – you can even pay for someone to optimise your webpages and provide you with tons of back links – nothing personal, it’s just business. Sooner or later, doing this, your PageRank will increase.

But, will your website make more money by increasing the PageRank?

Not necesarily. Or…?

Well, this is where the controversy lies – I followed webmaster forums for two reasons: to promote my web properties and to learn SEO (search engine optimisation). In the forums, PageRank is hot topic – including the debate regarding its importance.

Generally there are two views on PageRank:

  1. Useful – High PageRank means better position in search engine result pages – better position mean more exposure to potential visitors.
  2. Useless – PageRank is just a number – the real money lies on the number of targeted incoming traffic.

The majority of people will say that PageRank is useful. The smaller number of people say PageRank only feeds your ego, nothing more.

My view on PageRank

I’ve written about ignoring PageRank – Why You Should Stop Worrying About Google PageRank and Start Producing Great Content.

I really mean it.

I agree to those that say PageRank is a residual result – it is important, but not that important.

I agree that PageRank’s importance varies depending on your websites purpose. If your websites relies on content (blogs, news sites, etc.), targeted traffic is far, far more important than PageRank). However, if your websites are webmasters and advertisers-friendly (web directories, link building sites), then PageRank is very important.

Content websites

What is a content’s purpose? To attract people that care enough to read it. That’s why a certain content attract a certain visitors that don’t even consider a site’s PageRank – all they care is a good read. That’s why targeted traffic, lots and lots of them, are more important than PageRank.

Your measurement of success in content websites like blogs and news sites is readership. And a happy reader will return to your site often – If you monetise your site, this is where the money lies. The money is good if the targeted traffic is good.

I’ve seen probloggers (authority bloggers on the Net) have thousands of visitor every day and tens of thousands subscribers worldwide. They read good, if not great, content only. That’s why PageRank is not even considered when people visit content sites.

Webmasters and advertisers-friendly websites

In this type of website, your site serves for two purposes – to ‘strengthen’ and to expose sites participating in your services. If you own a web directory, it is your job to get a high PageRank – targeted traffic is still important, but the PageRank number is more important.

Why would people list their websites in your web directory? Because you have a good PageRank and the listing fee is acceptable, even free. But people understand that quality comes at a price. There are websites that charge a sum of money for your website’s link to be displayed in the websites at a certain period of time.

I’ve seen that people are willing to pay top dollar, often hundreds of dollar, per year for their links to be listed in the webmasters and advertisers-friendly websites. So, yes. PageRank is important :)

I conclude

So, I conclude that PageRank is not a one-size-fits-all measurement of a website’s success. There are many success factors, and PageRank is only one of them, depending on your sites’ type.

There’s also other measurement of a website’s importance – Page Strength (by SEOmoz.com). So, PageRank is not that, unique, one-and-only measurement system (it’s Google’s – so there is a reason for PageRank to be famous and important :D).

PageRank, and Page Strength, is an excellent indicator of the strength of a website, but not necessarily the quality.

It’s all up to you to determine whether PageRank is important to your site or not. After all, for monetised sites, it’s the income that counts.

Ivan Widjaya
In a love-hate relationship with PageRank