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Why Google Page Rank Is No Longer A Good Measure Of A Website

Written by Digital Impact Solutions on October 5, 2015
Google’s page rank figure has long been the holy grail of SEO’s and site owners as a measure of how authoritative a site is from a scale of 0-10. Zero page rank was normally given to a new site (or a penalised site) and every three-four months webmasters would delight as their figures went to page rank 2-3 or the most authoritative sites could dominate any niche with a score of PR6. Not only that but when looking for sites to get a link from a couple of PR4-PR6 could see you leap frogging your competitors with ease in only a couple of months.

However, anyone who has downloaded Google’s Toolbar will have been increasingly frustrated as their sites page rank figure hasn’t changed for the last 12+ months (In fact the last date it was updated was 6th December 2013). The truth is page rank is no longer an accurate measure of a sites authority and although Google still use page rank internally, SEO’s now measure how authoritative a site through a variety of other measures.

So if you are looking for links from other websites to help you Google rankings, what should you be looking out for?

Domain Authority

A good measure of how authoritative a site is through SEO guru’s Moz’s domain authority.  This is a score out of 100 with the highest scores given to the most authoritative sites. Domain Authority is calculated using a range of methods including:-
  • Linking Root Domains
  • Number Of Links Going Back To A Website
  • Also trust factors including TrustRank/Mozrank

When looking how competitive a niche is or looking for good quality sites to approach for links
  • DA 18-25 - Will be a site with average authority but still worth considering for a link, or not competitive if you are looking for keywords to rank for
  • DA 26-35 – A site with good authority and fairly competitive as a niche
  • DA 36+ - Will be very competitive and will take something special to outrank


Some argue that they would rather have lots of low level authority sites that are relevant, then authoritative sites that aren’t. The truth is a balance is a good metric. If you are in the home improvement or trades niche then home improvement sites with a domain authority of 25+, are going to be a lot better than say a link on a multiple category directory with a domain authority of 35+. In fact I am running a test at the moment that proves that relevancy can see a site gain good ground in even competitive niches.

If Google Didn’t Exist

An ethical question to ask yourself when looking whether a site is link worthy or not is “If Google didn’t exist would this link still be of value to me?” If the answers no, then you probably shouldn’t look this as a possible backlink opportunity.

How Does The Site Look?

Another metric to look at is how does the site look? Has it been updated recently? When was the last time Google visited the site? You can check the last time Google visited the site via this tool by search engine genie. If the site hasn’t been crawled in month it may be a sign that the site is under a penalty. The physical look of site (i.e is the site too ad heavy? Does the site have broken pages? Does it appear to be hacked? Does the copyright figure in the footer still show 2011?) is also important when judging whether a site has any value.

The truth is SEO is not dead It’s just evolved. If you’re still using Page Rank and keywords in links then you should probably rethink your strategy as this is a sure way to get penalised. Instead use the metrics above as a guide to super charge your link building efforts. Let me know how you get on using the comment section below.

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