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PageRank, Myth Busted

     A While ago, I mentioned Google PageRank is over rated. How does Google itself feel about it?

Search Marketing Expo

     At Search Marketing Expo 2010 West in California, Mr. Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google stated,

"One thing that I think is still over-hyped is PageRank. People think we just do this computation on the web graph and order all the pages and that's it. That computation is important, but it's just one thing that we do. People always said, 'We're stuck if we don't have [high PageRank].' But we never felt that way. We never felt that it was such a big factor."

As you see, it does have some effect on search result rankings, but Google has clarified that PageRank is over rated.

Origin of Hype

     This over-hyped myth most likely came from a patent, created by Google's 2 founders. When Google was becoming popular, the mass media dug up the patent. Because the contents of patent document was the only information that the media could find out about Google's ranking algorithms, the media were only able to report about PageRank. So, they did -- repeatedly. This over-reporting created the myth, "PageRank = Search Rankings".

A Myth is a Myth

     I'll say it again, PageRank is just one piece of the puzzle. You can get good rankings without a high PageRank if your web pages have high relevancy. The search engines' goal is to provide search results users will be happy with. So, they are updating their algorithms to push up the rank of pages people like. If you create pages people love, search engines will give your pages better ranks. You don't need to be obsessed with PageRank. And be cautious about PageRank obsessed SEO firms.

© August, 2010