Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

The “Google Guy” Talks About PageRank

Matt Cutts is referred to as the “Google Guy” when he answers questions on Internet forums. He works at the Googleplex and in one of his latest blog posts, Matt Cutts wrote about Google’s PageRank.

Here’s the most important stuff he had to say:

PageRank is not a number between 1 and 10.

“It’s more accurate to think of it as a floating-point number. Certainly our internal PageRank computations have many more degrees of resolution than the 0-10 values shown in the toolbar.”

The PageRank number that is displayed in the toolbar does not influence the search results.

“At any given time, a URL in Google’s system has up-to-date PageRank as a result of running the computation with the inputs to the algorithm. From time-to-time, that internal PageRank value is exported so that it’s visible to Google Toolbar users. […]

By the time you see newer PageRanks in the toolbar, those values have already been incorporated in how we score/rank our search results. So while you may be happy to see that the Google Toolbar shows a little more PageRank for a given page, it’s not as if that causes a change in search results at that point.”

You don’t have to care about the PageRank number.

“I think that’s a perfectly healthy attitude. If you don’t care about PageRank and your site is doing well, that’s fine by me. ”

The PageRank number displayed in Google’s toolbar is already outdated on the day it is published. It’s not important that Google’s toolbar displays a green line for your web site URL. It is important that you get visitors and that these visitors purchase something on your site. […]

I highly recommend keyword analysis, looking at server logs to figure out new content to add, thinking of new hooks to make your site attract more word-of-mouth buzz, pondering how to improve conversion once visitors land on your site, etc.”

The last statement is an important point. You have to work on all web page elements to get good results. It doesn’t help very much if you focus on a single element.

Link building is very important, and we work hard on it, but it’s not the only important factor for search engine optimization.

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