Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

PageRank Updated

In late April, Google implemented a long overdue update of the toolbar PageRank for many sites. If you’re using the free Google Toolbar, you can check your PageRank to see if you were affected. Google’s backlinks feature (the number of incoming links to your site Google shows under Site Information on the Google Toolbar) was also updated. Those backlinks still appear to be heavily filtered, though; Google shows only a small fraction of the links it has indexed.

While many sites saw a PageRank increase, some heavily over-optimized sites actually saw their PageRank drop significantly, in some cases all the way to zero. We believe this is because Google is being much more aggressive in detecting of what it considers to be artificial links structures.

Try not get too caught up in obsessing over your site’s PageRank. In general, sites with a higher PageRank will rank better, but not always. Google itself has said that toolbar PageRank differs from the actual PageRank Google uses to rank a site.

However, should one of your pages that previously enjoyed high PageRank suddenly drop to a PageRank of zero, then that’s worthy of concern. It probably means that the page has been assessed a serious penalty for violating one of Google’s guidelines.

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