Archive for December 30th, 2008

PR In Webmaster Tools

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Google’s webmaster tools has some great statistics that can help you analyse, troubleshoot and even market your website. One interesting feature is the PageRank feature in the crawl stats section. This gives an up to date assessment of your pages’ PageRank. The fact that it is up-to-date, is a huge benefit over the standard PageRank toolbar, which is only updated around four times a year.

One major drawback to the feature in webmaster tools is that it does not give a numeric value, but instead rates pages as either high, medium, low or unassigned. A further problem is that there is a lot of conflicting views about where the crossover point for these values lies in real PR terms.

Webmaster Tools PR

One problem that people have relating these values to PR values is that the Page rank that they see is often out of date by several months. Some people tell me that their site has a PR4 with only pages listed as low, whereas others have PR3 sites with some pages listed as medium. It could be that the PR3 site, is has in fact climbed to a PageRank of 5, but this will not be reflected until the next PR update. The time where this discrepancy should be at its smallest would be just after a PageRank update when both values are relatively up to date.

It is unlikely that this tool can give a clear indication of what your PageRank will be at the next update.  However, highs are clearly better than mediums, which are better than lows. Sure, I am stating the obvious, but the point I am trying to make is that while it may not accurately predict your PageRank, it can let you know when you are moving in the right direction.