Google Page Rank Update And You

by Ed Tsunoda on October 27, 2007

Over the last day or two, Google has exported an updated PageRank to Google toolbars, causing an outcry in part because industry wide there has been a notable “market correction” with tons of big PageRank sites getting knocked down considerably, e.g. YouTube is a PR3 this morning they were previously PR8.

And the question on many web site owners minds as the smoke clears is, “What does this mean to me?”

It’s never fun to lose ground in a metric you use to validate your ad value to sponsors. If you spend 6 months selling potential sponsors on your PR4 being more valuable than a competitors PR3, and you get corrected down, that’s frustrating. Especially if you’re creating great content and building an audience, and selling ad space for a living. But, a market wide correction is good for everybody.

Every one of the metrics we use to try and validate our claims is a relative number. Alexa rank, Page Rank, unique users, hits, page views, clicks, visits…not a single one of them is independently a validator. It’s the combination of all those things and the relative position of similar ad spaces. So a market wide correction with high profile sites being knocked down, is GREAT for your relative position, even if you drop a tick.

In the above scenario, it’s easy to jedi-mindtrick yourself into seeing that while both you and your competition are PR3, that YouTube is too, and that gives much greater value to being a PR3.

Ultimately, the PageRank update is cosmetic. It communicates your relative position to a degree, but the proof is in the Google search. The real Page Rank of value is what happens when your sponsors target market types organic search phrases into search bars.

Your “Toolbar PageRank” helps you validate that value, but having fewer PR6s and 7s out in the world, only increases the value of having a PR3 or PR4 site to sell. This “market correction” doesn’t hurt the little guys, it levels the playing field and creates public perception that lower PRs can be assigned to what are still valuable ad spaces, and that’s great news for everyone.

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