A few months ago I found out that this site had a Google Page Rank (PR) of 3. Last week, it was 4. Is this good or bad? Not really understanding what a Google Page Rank was, I let my fingers do the walking and here is a simplified definition of Page Rank from Wikipedia:
A Page Rank results from a “ballot” among all the other pages on the World Wide Web about how important a page is. Google assigns a numeric weighting from 0-10 for each webpage on the Internet; this Page Rank denotes a site’s importance in the eyes of Google. PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important”.
So I guess a higher page rank signifies a more linked to and trafficked (and perhaps better?) website. I checked out what some other of the bigger personal finance bloggers page ranks were (you can use this free tool or the Google toolbar to do that) and found that a PR4 is not too shabby. Page Rank isn’t a linear scale either and moving from up the page rank scale is no easy feat as this cool graphic from Smashing Magazine shows. Leading news sites like cnn.com, bloomberg.com newyorktimes.com and even google.com only register 8 or 9 on the PR scale (I couldn’t find one with a 10).
But the real question is does a higher Page Rank help me as a blogger? I don’t know for sure. I have noticed an increase in search engine traffic over the last few months but that could just be the organic growth of my blog and the fact that the longer your blog is out there the more it gets indexed by search engines. One thing I have noticed though is that the number of requests for text link ads has increased dramatically. In fact I just closed an ad deal where an advertiser paid me more in one deal than I made in the first 4 months of blogging on this site. That was nice. I hope that they chose to advertise on my site because of the content and readership, but I know they did it in part to get linked from my PR4 ranked site and so build their own page rank. Google frowns on paid links and this could bring down my overall page rank in the longer term, but it is quite a profitable revenue source and as long as you are careful with the ads you pick the overall “negative” Page Rank effect can be balanced.
From searching the web I know PR is also a big deal from a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) perspective as well, and you can find tons of articles/forums on this topic, but most are far beyond my limited technical skills. So if I lose or fall to a lower PR, it won’t worry me too much (or should it?). Red Stapler had an interesting perspective on gaining and losing google page rank and I agree with a number of points he has made. My goals of this blog are to write quality and interesting content while growing visitors, subscribers and my alternative revenue stream. So while a higher PR is good to have and benefit from, it is not a metric that I really target because I have little control over it. What are your thoughts?
Appearances this week
I participated in 3 blogging carnivals this week – Carnvial of Personal Finance (@ Girls Just Wanna Have Gunds), Festival of Frugality (@ Dollar Frugal) and the Festival of Stocks (@ Fat Pitch Financials). Thanks to all the hosts for including my articles and check out all the other great posts there.