Does PageRank Matter?

A few days ago there was a PageRank update. This happens around four times a year and whenever it does, there are a flurry of questions about the importance of the update.

One main point to note is that the visual PageRank is nothing more than a visual representation of the actual value assigned to a page. While this value is only updated every few months, the real value is is always current. This means that a PR increase that happens at an update will not result in a sudden increase in your position for a given search term.

Secondly, the information about your website is held on a number of different data centers. To some degree, these can be compared to different mobile phone masts. Generally, your results will come from the same data center, but if one is overloaded, or you check results from different parts of the country, you may pull results from a different center. When there is a PR update, you may see PR fluctuate while the information filters through to the different data centers.

PageRank is a visual representation of the quality of the sum of the links to a given page. However, there are many more aspects to back-links that affect their quality but do not affect PR. These include the relevancy of the page that links to you and the anchor text that is used in the link. An increase in PR is always a good sign that your site’s status is improving but remember, it is not the be all and end all.

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