Creating Inbound Links Is About More Than Just PageRank
Copyright (c) 2006 Bill Platt
Links And Traffic
Is Google PageRank (PR) the be-all, end-all of the internet
I have wanted to discuss this topic for quite a long time. But,
there is risk in discussing this topic. It is a lot like religion
and politics. We are advised not to discuss religion or politics
in mixed company, because people are willing to argue and
sometimes kill, based solely on your disagreement with their
religious or political beliefs.
In a lot of ways, Google PR is a matter of religion to some
internet marketers. And for me to discuss this topic openly is
tantamount to telling someone that his or her religion is false
Many of my competitor's who read this article will run to their
soapbox as soon as I am done, and they will pronounce to the
heavens that I am an idiot.
I will let you be your own judge.
How I Draw My Conclusions
I own one website that has so far served more than 100,000 unique
visitors in the first nine months of 2006. The same site has
served well over one million page views, since the beginning of
2006. I often use the statistics from this website to measure
trends in the marketplace, since the unique visitors and page
views are of a substantial level.
The Importance of Google In The Internet Marketplace
Just because I am questioning the value of Google's PR in the
grand scheme of things, it does not mean I am questioning the
domination of Google in the marketplace.
The statistics on the previously mentioned website prove the
dominance of Google against their competitors. Here is how my
search engine referrals break down:
* 37 Search Engines have sent me traffic.
* 78.1% of visitors were sent from Google.
* 18.4% came from Yahoo, Ask Jeeves/Ask, MSN
* 1.5% arrived from AOL, Dogpile, Netscape, Earthlink,
* 98.0% of all search engine referral traffic arrived from the
Top Ten Referring Search Engines.
So hands down, Google is the MOST important element for my search
The Concept of Google PR
Google has often said that their PR system is an integral part of
their search algorithms.
According to Google's own documentation, this is the definition
of PR is as follows:
"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.' "
Since PR utilizes a count of the number of links pointing to a
website as a measure of PR value, professional internet marketers
are very interested in acquiring large numbers of inbound links
for their websites.
PageRank values also allow you to decide whom you might want to
do a link exchange (if you do such things).
The Pros and Cons of Buying PR
Professional internet marketers are also interested in getting
links on pages with an already large PR.
With Google's definition of PR, this makes sense.
* When you buy links on pages that already have a significant
PR, then you can gain that value with much less work involved.
* You can bulk up your own PR in very short order.
* Most sites that sell links on their high PR pages only do so
on a monthly or quarterly basis, so this expense will be an
ongoing for as long as you want to hold onto that value.
* Depending on the PR of the page where the link is being sold,
the cost can be very high. Many webmasters decide how much they
will charge for advertising on their website, according to the PR
assigned to their website.
* The powers-that-be at Google warns us away from buying text
links to increase our own PR. They warn us by example, pointing
to the SearchKing devaluation in Google, as the result of
SearchKing's paid linking scheme:
* The Google power broker Matt Cutts stated matter-of-factly
that we should not "participate in link schemes designed to
increase (our) site's ranking or PR," as stated in the Google
quality guidelines. He went on to say that Google "does consider
buying text links for PR purposes to be outside our Google's
quality guidelines." Read the full story in context here:
If you continue reading the comments on Matt's blog about the
text links and PR, take a moment to search out the comment on the
subject from Dan Thies (www.seoresearchlabs.com/). Dan
asked Matt at the end of his post to define the "algorithm for
determining intent" of the person placing the link. Bravo Dan.
Google Toolbar Role In PR Monitoring
Just like any discussion of paid links and PR, people tend to get
Just the other day, I read a different thread on Google PR. In
that thread at forums.Site-Reference.com, someone said
that the importance of the Google Toolbar was the visible PR that
shows up in the toolbar.
( PR value is only exported to the Toolbar at regular intervals.
According to the "Page Rank Update and Export List History" page,
the PR information was last exported to the Google Toolbar on
September 28, 2006:
The poster I mentioned above had stated that the importance of
the Google Toolbar was the visible PR that buyers use to observe
the trust factor attached to a website. He said that when people
view the PR, then they would be assured that the company from
whom they are about to purchase from is a reputable company.
I had to disagree.
The only people who have the Google Toolbar installed in their
machine are online marketers. Perhaps that is a wide paintbrush,
but it is not very far from the truth.
Because most people who use the Toolbar are online marketers,
then they will be the only people for whom the little green PR
bar has any meaning.
The Real Importance of Google's PR
How many times have you heard that the value your website holds
with the Google PR system will make or break your website's
ability to gain traffic from Google?
How many of you actually believe that?
Here is where I am going to get people excited.
I launched a site with zero PR in the first week of September.
Within four days, I had page one placement in Google. Let me
repeat that for you. Within four days of a website's launch, I
had a website with PR 0, no official backlinks according to
Google, and page one search results in Google!
Okay, I admit... It was a memorial website:
I have several search keyword phrases in Google that produce page
one, two and three results. Right now, the search phrase "irwin
nature conservation" brings up my memorial site as the #3
You might tell yourself that I was able to do this because it
arrived at a time when Steve Irwin was the only new story. But, I
have created results like this with several websites. The Steve
Irwin site was not a fluke. The Steve Irwin site was simply the
fifth site that I was able to reach page one of Google search
results within two weeks of site launch, with zero backlinks
according to Google, and zero PR.
So, let me ask you again how important the Google PR system is
for guaranteeing the placement of your website on page one of
Google's search results?
You be the judge.
Traffic Links Vs. PR Links
Previously I mentioned my website that I use to measure trends in
search engine marketing. Here is another interesting bit of data
that I pulled from my website statistics for that domain:
* 53% inbound traffic comes from search engines
* 47% inbound traffic comes from links on third-party websites
(not from search engines)
* Both values exclude people who visited my site as a result of
bookmarks for my site or clicks directly from an email
If you break down the numbers even further, you will find the
Google powerhouse is responsible for 41.4% of my gross inbound
traffic from another website. And my website receives 47% of its
traffic from websites that are not search engines.
Wow! My website is getting considerably more traffic from links
on websites that are not search engines, than what it is getting
from Google! Interesting.
Perhaps now you understand why I have always focused on getting
permanent links on third-party websites that will send me traffic
for years to come.
How Many Links Are Traffic Links?
This traffic arrived at my site from a total of 12,876 external
webpages. If you ask the search engines how many links I have to
my website on external pages, they will NOT show you a number of
links anywhere near this number. In fact, MSN shows the largest
number of inbound links to my website. And MSN only shows that I
have 2,164 links pointing to my website. That is a number that is
six times lower than the number of external webpages that
actually send me human visitors!
You would be surprised how many PR 0, 1 and 2 pages are actually
sending me real traffic. Real traffic converts into real sales.
And I am getting more traffic from these nowhere links, than what
I am getting from the Holy Grail of Google.
Let me repeat the question that I opened this article with, "Is
Google PageRank the be-all, end-all of internet marketing?"
I offer a resounding, "No!"
Is Google PageRank the Holy Grail of internet marketing?
Do you need to put your links on pages that have high PR?
I feel good that Google says that my PR is a Five. It makes me
feel that I am gaining ground in the Google algorithms. And it
boosts my human ego. But, for every keyword phrase that really
matters to my business, I am already on page one of the search
results, with a measly PR of 5, and no real backlinks to speak of
according to the brilliance of the Google algorithms.
Bill Platt and his team provide inbound link building services.
They don't rent links on high PageRank webpages. Instead, they
develop content-driven pages, with keyworded links to their
client's site, that speak to their client's target market.
Bill has been utilizing the same methodology with all of his
own websites since 1999. If these techniques work this well with
Bill's sites, imagine how the techniques can improve Links and
Traffic for your site. To learn more, call Bill at: 405-780-7327
M-F 9am-6pm CST or visit www.LinksAndTraffic.com