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The Google Toolbar PageRank Demystified 143

Posted by Hemos
from the might-still-be-myth-and-rumor dept.
nywanna writes "SEO is an extremely unpredictable aspect of running an online business. Every month the rules change slightly, and with every rule change we receive new bad information from speculators and those who spew nothing but conjecture. David Harry looks at one of the greatest Google misconceptions and bits of misinformation that exists right now: This brings me to the greatest mythological creature to roam the Google landscape since 'the sandbox'; The Google Toolbar PageRank (TBPR) system. While the jury may still be out on the 'sandbox,' I am here to slay the beast that is the TBPR, right here, right now."
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The Google Toolbar PageRank Demystified

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  • What's SEO? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ebcdic (39948) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:50AM (#15770082)
    Evidently readers of the referenced article are expected to be familiar with this acronym, but why is Slashdot assuming that its readers are?
    • According to Google...

      http://www.google.com/finance?q=SEO [google.com]

      Or it might be search engine optimization...ya never know.

      (yes, I looked it up)
    • Re:What's SEO? (Score:5, Informative)

      by truthsearch (249536) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:53AM (#15770115) Homepage Journal
      Geeks are expected to inherently know the definition of all technology-related acronyms.

      Search Engine Optimization

      Basically it means trying to get your web pages listed as highly as possible on search engine result pages (a.k.a. SERPs)
      • If you aren't into cheating with cloaked pages and doorway pages, the best way to get targeted traffic is to add value to visitors' experience. They come to your site, find its a good site, and spread the word. The more useful and relevant your site, the more visitors will return. In a nutshell, make a good site. Simple, really. I wouldn't be surprised to find that pagerank was a decoy set up to distract search engine marketers and let google go about its business.

        • Re:What's SEO? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by chris_mahan (256577)
          Ah, but that would not work.

          You see, most sites that care about SOE do so because they are a business entity, and want to drive eyeballs, ahem, customers, to their web sites so that they will buy products and make the company founders rich beyond their wildest dreams.

          Of course, most of those sites add absolutely no value to the customer.

          So, SOE is something that the marketing firms latch on because site/business owners think (rightly so because their site is crap) they need to spend money on to attract cust
          • Re:What's SEO? (Score:3, Interesting)

            by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647)
            Well, you see, it's not quite that simple. Once you work with an honest SEO professional for a while, you realize that there are two different kinds of SEO: honest and dishonest.

            Honest SEO means recommending changes that improve the indexability and content of the page: changing URLs to make them more concise and descriptive, adding proper keywords (not "stuffed" lists), adding a decent description, removing Flash and/or providing alternate content, adding alternate text for images, adding sitemaps, and a l
          • It not that google wants to keep adjusting the results to ensure that to many dud sites don't end up at the beginning of the search results, google has to or else it will loose it's user base. The real problem is as the internet keeps growing and the first page search results can't grow with it. So to make the adjustment in search engine technology to ensure that search results will suit the user, search engines need to ......... in order to .......... so that they can establish and maintain effective marke
        • It's not that simple (Score:5, Informative)

          by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Monday July 24, 2006 @12:58PM (#15770602) Homepage Journal

          If you aren't into cheating with cloaked pages and doorway pages, the best way to get targeted traffic is to add value to visitors' experience. They come to your site, find its a good site, and spread the word. The more useful and relevant your site, the more visitors will return. In a nutshell, make a good site. Simple, really. I wouldn't be surprised to find that pagerank was a decoy set up to distract search engine marketers and let google go about its business.

          I'm in full agreement that creating useful, relevant content is the cornerstone of website success. But it's not as easy as that. Pagerank is not a decoy - it is what allowed Google to take over as top dog in the search world. The core concept behind PageRank is that if a site is linked to by other sites, this must be for good reason. It is an indirect method of determining relevance. Of course it has been gamed over the years, but PageRank still matters. If it didn't, we'd all still be using AltaVista.

          The trickiest part of getting noticed by engines is obtaining useful inbound links. If people can't see your site, they won't be able to evaluate it and (hopefully) link to it. It's the old marketing conundrum. How do I get the word out about this great thing I've created, when I'm just one fish in a giant ocean? Some people go the quick and dirty route, using search engine spamming techniques, which are akin to the scummy marketing tactics of snail mail advertisers (ever received a piece of mail seemingly related to your home mortgage, and found it was actually an ad from a competing lender?).

          Just as with traditional offline marketing and advertising, there are legitimate ways to put the word out. They're slower and more labor intensive than fast buck methods, but they can help. Inbound links from well-respected sites, proper use of markup, clearly-written listings in directories, and keyword targeting can help your site gain visibility while helping searchers at the same time. Sites that ignore SEO can succeed, but most that do succeed rely on SEO to at least some degree.

        • Re:What's SEO? (Score:4, Informative)

          by meta-monkey (321000) on Monday July 24, 2006 @02:40PM (#15771391) Journal
          This doesn't necessarily work for all sites. Some sites are a great benefit to their target audience, but may not return well in search engines because they're flash, or image-heavy, or have a lot of dynamic content that search engines can't find well. For instance, I'm a photographer. I have a lot of good samples of my work on my website, and people searching for a photographer in a particular market or of a particular style would do well to find my site. However, images are not easily categorized by google. Google doesn't necessarily know if an image is of an infant, a commercial project, a wedding, or anything else. Therefore, one must add content specifically targeted at search engines so the people who would benefit from the site can find it in the first place. If you're designing a site, you best know what helps and what hurts you in search engine rankings, so you can incorporate those features.
          • For instance, I'm a photographer. I have a lot of good samples of my work on my website, and people searching for a photographer in a particular market or of a particular style would do well to find my site.

            Have you thought about using any of the small stock agencies? There's iStockphoot [istockphoto.com], Shutterstock.com [shutterstock.com], Big Stock Phot [bigstockphoto.com] as well as others. The three above and others are royalty free and don't pay much, in an article in the current print edition of Popular Photography [popphoto.com] the highest paying pure photo onl

          • but may not return well in search engines because they're flash, or image-heavy, or have a lot of dynamic content

            The world doesn't need such filth. Remember the first commandment.

            HTML is the and only one web-publishing medium. Thou shalt not worship any other.
        • If you aren't into cheating with cloaked pages and doorway pages, the best way to get targeted traffic is to add value to visitors' experience. They come to your site, find its a good site, and spread the word. The more useful and relevant your site, the more visitors will return. In a nutshell, make a good site.

          Ah but most people find websites by searching for them to begin with, if they don't know you exist they won't come. However unless a new website is about something obscure it's difficult to get

      • Er, no: while we're being accurate in our acronyms*, SERPS is the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme [wikipedia.org].

        (* I'll leave the argument about whether SEO is an acronym or merely an abbreviation for another day...)

        • I'll leave the argument about whether SEO is an acronym or merely an abbreviation for another day

          Ah man. I was hoping for a pointless flame war that could be settled in 5 seconds if one side bothered to check a dictionary.

          (Just in case it's not too late: acronym v. abbreviation. RADAR is one, CTO is the other, DVD is neither.)

          • [fx: resists]

            [fx: resists]

            [fx: resists]

            [fx: yields]

            Yeah, well, I too was once of the simple, dogmatic view. (That if you pronounce it as a word, it's an acronym; if you spell out the letters, it's an abbreviation.) But then I checked dictionaries.

            (For example, Chambers says that an acronym is "usually pronounced as a word". COD similarly says "a word, usu. pronounced as such". Note the suggestive but far from prescriptive 'usually'.)

            And what have you against 'DVD'? Does it not stand officia [dvdforum.org]

            • And what have you against 'DVD'? Does it not stand officially for 'Digital Versatile Disc'? (And originally for 'Digital Video Disc'?)

              DVD is neither an abbreviation nor an acronym. Your source bears that out.

              Digital Versatile discs provide...

              If DVD was an abbreviation, wouldn't they write it out 'Digital Versatile Disc'? (all initial caps) From Wikipedia:

              "DVD" was originally an initialism for "Digital Video Disc." Some members of the DVD Forum believe that it should stand for "Digital Versatile Disc"

      • by kfg (145172) *
        Geeks are expected to inherently know the definition of all technology-related acronyms.

        POS.

        KFG
      • And all geeks are fully aware of acronymfinder.com
    • Secondary Executive Office. Y'know, the guy who reports to the Chief Executive Officer.
    • Re:What's SEO? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Jaffa (7714)
      Search Engine Optimisation.

      The alchemy-like "science" which believes you can magic traffic to your website, rather than providing content which people want.
      • Re:What's SEO? (Score:5, Informative)

        by truthsearch (249536) on Monday July 24, 2006 @12:33PM (#15770422) Homepage Journal
        That's not exactly true. While many SEOs claim special knowledge which they don't have, a good SEO can tell you how to modify your page containing real content to rank better. Meta tags, bolding keywords, proper titles, etc. can help a page appear higher in search engine results. It's not magic from no content. It's presentation of the same content in a way search engines would prefer.
        • Unfortunately, there aren't many of those who believe in that. Most are more interested in the short-term "gaming the system" routine using magic.

                -dZ.
        • Re:What's SEO? (Score:4, Informative)

          by gumbo (88087) on Monday July 24, 2006 @01:11PM (#15770719) Homepage
          Yeah, I think part of the problem with the whole SEO field is that there are several sides. There's the white hat stuff where you make sure you're not limiting the spiders from getting to your content, making sure your titles and markup is all good, etc. Then there's the blacker hat stuff like splogs, spamming, cloaking, etc. If you just say "SEO", some people will automatically assume the latter.
          • I can't tell you how true this is. I am regularly reamed here on slashdot for trying to defend ethical SEO from search zealots. Ethical SEO tries to work with the search engines to give them information the way they want it.
    • Readers of the referenced article might have noticed that it was about Search Engine Optimization, and used the term explicitly.
    • Search Engine Optimization. It can be anything as innocuous as using alt tags and such to make sure your site shows up for certain keywords to something insidious like registering 100 domains and purposefuly interlinking them to artificially inflate the page rank.

      Nathan
    • Evidently readers of the referenced article are expected to be familiar with this acronym, but why is Slashdot assuming that its readers are?
      Because it's assumed that Slashdot readers are either a) technichally savvy or b) have the wit to use [Google|Wikipedia].
      • by fossa (212602)

        Can the savvy author not be expected to have the wit to know that simply expanding the acronym would reduce needless reduncancy and eliminate the waste of time and bandwidth of asking thousands of slashdotters to search Google or Wikipedia? My sense of thoughtfulness (ST) suggests that a foremost unfolding of acronyms (FUA) leads to a more sage sophistry (SS). In other words, STFUASS.

    • The article in general is just rife with (mosly) unexplained acronyms:

      SEO
      SEM
      TBPR
      LGB
      LSA
      ROI
      SES
      SERP

      From this we can conclude that the people who spam search engines (err... I mean 'optimize' web sites) really like confusing people with acronyms.
  • Demystified? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neonprimetime (528653) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:51AM (#15770097)
    The Google Toolbar PageRank Demystified ?????

    There was no demystification here, just a call to kill / ignore it. I like the summary though at the end of the article : Make your own conclusions;
    • Well, I suppose if you're running IE, it's still pretty cool. But I bounce between Safari and Firefox, so I've been pretty much "over it" for a while now. C 'est la vie...
    • A call to ignore/kill it because there is nothing mystical about it. Most webmaster and SEO forums will ooh and aahhh over a toolbar pagerank update - the article is saying that there's no reason to do so.
    • Re:Demystified? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by thsths (31372) on Monday July 24, 2006 @12:23PM (#15770344)
      > I like the summary though at the end of the article : Make your own conclusions;

      My conclusion is that the author of the article is clueless. He doesn't like Google PageRank, but he can't even clearly state why.
  • Nooooo! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Umbral Blot (737704) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:52AM (#15770104) Homepage
    Pagerank is useless? Don't tell me that when I just got my pagerank up to 6!
    • Re:Nooooo! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by truthsearch (249536) on Monday July 24, 2006 @12:01PM (#15770174) Homepage Journal
      Half the internet got their PR up to 5. Half of those who were already at 5 got bumped up to 6. To me 5 is the new 4 and 6 is the new 5. 9 is reserved for Slashdot, 8 for Wikipedia, and 7 for lots of useless but popular blogs.

      But in the end it doesn't really matter except for bragging rights. Although those bragging rights can help raise sponsors...
      • I'm not sure what you mean when you say "Half of those who were already at 5 got bumped up to 6". Did you mean bumped down to six? (I'm assuming #1 is the best & #10 is the last result on the first page of results)

        Anyways, just about any Slashdot user with a siginificant number of posts (or just an oddball name) will find their /. user page in the top 1 to 5 results for that name. Heck, some of us have our User ID number in the top 1~5 google results.
        • Page rank doesn't refer to the location in search results. It's a value google places on each page and it's used to help calculate the order of search results. PR 0 is lowest, 10 is highest.
      • I was a bit confused by these numeric values of PageRanks as I generally don't care, or at most have seen a visual representation when using their toolbar. However, if you go here [prchecker.info] you can type in the URL of any web site and see its page rank, without having to install some plugin and going there. Especially nice if you're curious but e.g. using Opera.
    • Re:Nooooo! (Score:3, Insightful)

      Pagerank became useless a long time ago, after spammers began their largely successful war of attrition against the Google Pagerank engineers. Google is not the tool it was.
  • Google toolbar? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by baomike (143457) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:54AM (#15770121)
    What's this? Maybe this only concerns people who have or are infected with a "google tool bar".
  • Google PR (Score:2, Informative)

    Some people may not know what this is about

    Its the Google PR displayed if you have the google tool bar installed

    This is old news - the pr that it displays is almost worthless and I bloged about this ages back here [thuk.co.uk] Back in April. We did some tests and created a stand alone page on a brand new domain that we got a displayd PR of 5 in a couple of weeks.

  • Or did anyone else accidentally read

    "Beware of the Great Beasts of Google!"
    as

    "Beware of the Great Breasts of Google!"
    And do a double-take?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This guy said nothing in a long tedious way.
  • If they wanted to *REALLY* demystify it, they would publish detailed specs on it so 3rd party developers could write code that uses it.
    • publish a detailed spec? So that SEO slime could game the search engines even more than they already do, and get sites with pitches for for V!@gRrraAA@@ placed ahead of the sites that I'm really looking for?

      I'm generally all for open standards, but in this case, I'm content to have Google keep their algorithms proprietary, which in turn keeps the SEO spammers chasing their tails and out of my search results. If an open spec is that much better for searching, a competitor will come up with a way for it to

    • There are lots of third party apps that can get the Google pagerank. I use a Firefox extension to show pagerank, and there are endless web sites that can look up pagerank for you. The toolbar pagerank call was reverse engineered a long time ago.
  • While pagerank won't determine your position in the SERPS, it is a good indication of the quality of backlinks that point to your site. In addition to that, sites that have a good PR have the ability to sell links to other webmasters who are trying to increase their page rank. Useless for SEO, yes. Useless in general, hell no.
  • So here I go into that article thinking that PageRank and its algorithms will be talked about, and all the author does, is go on a rant about how he gets more 'targetted traffic' on a low rank site versus a high rank site...

    Was there anything useful in that article?

    I think there were more Acronyms used in that article than ive ever seen before. Looks like the Author just wanted to sound like he knew what he was talking about by throwing out every acronym known to his little clique of developers. (im
    • My summary of the article follow:

      Many people put too much emphasis on Page Rank, but they shouldn't. Page Rank is not very helpful.

      A lot of people depend too much on Page Rank, and this is not good. The results of Page Rank do not give too much information.

      Many marketers would do good to not put too much emphasis on Page Rank, as I believe it has little to do with actual results ranking.

      Oh, and by the way, did I mention that Page Rank has nothing to do with Google's actual results? At least that's what I
  • Of course not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother@HORSEop ... minus herbivore> on Monday July 24, 2006 @12:14PM (#15770278) Journal
    As penned by SE Guru Mike Grehan,

    "Can you imagine some surfer finding the digital camera of his dreams at a knock-down bargain price but refusing to buy it because the page it's on only has a PR of one? I don't think so."

    No, but I can imagine a surfer finding the camera of his dreams and buying it from some schlock electronics outfit with an artificially high page rank.

    Page Rank seems to work on the premise that the more a site is linked to, the more valuable it is. So if five million people link to a white supremacist site, that means there's valuable content there, right?

    This is where Google's power is diluted and why a lot of the searches I do seem to come up with pretty crappy results. PageRank is pointless, if only because a) actually useful sites may very well not get linked to very much, as no one wants the sites overrun by the whole Internet or b) uselss sites with drivel for content may be over-linked because a few million idiots think that the content is the word-of-the-lord.

    What is needed is a personal page-ranking system -- a central repository where people can rate websites based on factors that matter (ease of use, content, etc.), kind of like the Zagat guide to web sites. It's not enough to blindly search for any site that links to the data I want; I need it to link to site that have the data I want and have it a useful/easy-to-find format.

    • It means that on the topic of white supremecy its probably just what the user is looking for. The page rank systems doesn't judge the overall quality of a site compard to others, I believe it judges it based on the search terms used to get to it.
    • Page Rank seems to work on the premise that the more a site is linked to, the more valuable it is. So if five million people link to a white supremacist site, that means there's valuable content there, right?

      I guess the question would be, valuable to whom and for what? If five million people link to a white supremacist site, maybe the FBI would find that to be a valuable site to investigate?

      What is needed is a personal page-ranking system -- a central repository where people can rate websites based on

      • Re:Of course not (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BasilBrush (643681)
        Well one thing that Google can do is to watch the internet marketers forums for the common advice on how to optimise for search engines, and then add a check for those tricks to their algorithms and punish those sites that try them. I suspect that they have been doing that for a long time. Which is another reason to just try to produce the best possible site without trying to game Google rankings.
    • PageRank is pointless, if only because a) actually useful sites may very well not get linked to very much, as no one wants the sites overrun by the whole Internet or b) uselss sites with drivel for content may be over-linked because a few million idiots think that the content is the word-of-the-lord.

      I seem to remember reading that pagerank ranks links from pages with low pagerank, well, lower.

    • Page Rank seems to work on the premise that the more a site is linked to, the more valuable it is. So if five million people link to a white supremacist site, that means there's valuable content there, right?

      That's part of the point behind the nofollow attribute, so you can link to a site like that without passing on pagerank to them.

    • Re:Of course not (Score:3, Insightful)

      by raoul666 (870362)
      Page Rank seems to work on the premise that the more a site is linked to, the more valuable it is. So if five million people link to a white supremacist site, that means there's valuable content there, right?

      It means there's popular content there, which is often what people are looking for. The white supremacist site with a pagerank of 6 is probably better (by whatever criteria one uses to judge white supremacist sites) then the one with a pagerank of 3.

      Is it valuable content? Most people would say no
    • >What is needed is a personal page-ranking system

      That's exactly what we don't need, a system that can be easily manipulated. Your Zagat style idea exists, it's called Yahoo and it's not a scaleable way to order results. DMOZ is another example and that site is ridden with corruption. An algo has to assume people are untrustworthy and not invite manual manipulation. To that end, Google & Yahoo do manually edit bad results.

      PageRank is one of hundreds of factors. Up to about 2002, Google's algo hea
    • Re:Of course not (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nuckfuts (690967) on Monday July 24, 2006 @03:25PM (#15771694)

      Page Rank seems to work on the premise that the more a site is linked to, the more valuable it is.

      Exactly! That's why Google became the number one search engine on the planet. In the early days of search engines (when sites like Altavista [altavista.com] and HotBot [hotbot.com] were king) pages were ranked soley on their own content. The idea of analyzing the links between pages was absolutely revolutionary. Prior to that the best measure of a search engine was the number of pages it indexed - a number that was proudly displayed [archive.org] on the front page of most search engines of that time.

      Lots of pages indexed meant lots of results. You often had to wade through up to 10 pages of results to find what you were looking for. Although all the results contained the correct keywords the actual content was often wildly irrelevant. Relevance was gauged by factors like the number of times a keyword appeared on the page, encouraging the creation of pages full of crap (such as tiny white text on white background repeating popular search phrases tens or hundreds of times).

      Enter Google. The relevance of results increased dramatically. It became common to find what you were looking for on the first page of results. Hell, the results were so good they introduced the I'm Feeling Lucky button to take you immediately to the first result. That's why today most people don't search for information anymore, they google [wikipedia.org] for it.

      It's true that PageRank has it's own problems, and that content spamming [wikipedia.org] has been largely replaced by link spamming [wikipedia.org]. Still, things are much better these days than before Google came around.

    • What is needed is a personal page-ranking system -- a central repository where people can rate websites based on factors that matter (ease of use, content, etc.), kind of like the Zagat guide to web sites.

      The hash that is eBay rankings, Slashdot moderation, Digging, and Amazon reccomendations all mitigate against that being useful. In addition, the Zagat guide has come under considerable criticism for it's varied and sundry flaws. (Restaurants being ranked highly due to subjective factors, or because i

  • Sandbox? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by OverDrive33 (468610) *
    I know this is slightly offtopic - but what info does he have for or against sandboxed sites? If you're actually active in the SEO community this article will be old news to you (as opposed to having only a passing interest in SEO, resulting in over emphasis on PR -- lots of SEO clients have this problem).
    The sandbox however is a problem many of us are still grappling with. Do any slashdotter's have any insights into Google's sandbox?
    • No insights, but I'll say it's a myth. What's really happening is your results are partly based on age. If your domain has no history you'll need steady flow of many new inbound links for google to consider you of any value. If you don't have enough new inbound links over time google will wait for your domain to age to consider it a little more valuable.

      Basically I'm saying age is just another of many factors. There is not sandbox per se.
    1. the pagerank scheme is old
    2. the pagerank as seen on the toolbar is stale and misrepresentative
    3. the pagerank is useless
    4. ...
    5. profit!

    Seriously, why did I even bother to give my eyeballs to that article?

    • I totally agree with you, Speare. That article was way too wordy and devoid of any useful insight. Not to mention the author's annoying overuse of acronyms like TGB for 'the green bar'. The author seems to be so self-absorbed and over-absorbed in his own little universe, that he's convinced himself that the entire world actually cares about the green bar on the google toolbar. Perhaps his intended audience was for the niche of other marketing monsters who are equally consumed in themselves.
  • /. was a 10 out of 10 - until they posted this article.

    digg.com gets a 7 out of 10, so that ends it, /. is more important than digg!
  • by blake213 (575924) <`blake.reary' `at' `gmail.com'> on Monday July 24, 2006 @12:27PM (#15770381) Homepage
    Create a useful and unique web page/business, and you will appear at the top of the list. Anything else is just cheating, and it's exactly what Google is trying to prevent.
    • Create a useful and unique web page/business, and you will appear at the top of the list. Anything else is just cheating, and it's exactly what Google is trying to prevent.

      Work hard, play by the rules, and you will succeed in life. Those that cheat will never prosper. Cheaters never win!

      Nice things to tell small children, but adults with IQ over 90 should know that it's not always the case.

      A lot of people have useful and unique websites that have been in existence for years. Which come up on page 8 on Googl
  • It's very funny that this articles comments (on slashdot) has more seo-spam links in the signatures than pretty much any other thread I've seen so far.
  • by Darkforge (28199) on Monday July 24, 2006 @12:41PM (#15770482) Homepage
    The gist of this article seems to be:

    Hello, I'm a sleazy SEO with poor grammar and spelling. It's my job to trick Google (using link spam) into thinking that a web site is more important than it actually is.

    Now, many of my customers think that the Google Toolbar will tell them their PageRank, and that this will tell them how good a job I'm doing. I wish they would stop looking at this number, because using that they can see how useless my services are and how effectively Google is combatting my tactics.

    Here, let me quote a few irrelevant remarks out of context: "If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit."

    In short, don't pay me to raise your PageRank, [because only improving site quality can do that,] but instead pay me for "targetted traffic", which you can't measure, but is really much more important! Yuk yuk yuk!
  • by Sam3.14 (792129)
    "Can you imagine some surfer finding the digital camera of his dreams at a knock-down bargain price but refusing to buy it because the page it's on only has a PR of one? I don't think so."

    Actually, I've done exactly that. After dismissing it based on the pagerank I read up on the site and found that it was in fact crooked. The author shouldn't take things for granted just because he doesn't trust pagerank...
  • Pagerank has been dead for quite a while. Do a search for "pagerank is dead", you will find articles going back to 2004 about PR being an ineffective tool to use for SEO.

    Also, the sandbox is less of a mystery since Matt Cutts said they recognized behavior consistent with a sandbox. New sites are not given fair treatment and appear to be penalized.

    I don't expect /. to be up to date on everything but this article is old & has too much advertising to take seriously.
  • There are lots of different page ranking systems, the LGB mentioned in the article is just one of many.
    FYI: some common page ranks
    digg (7)
    google (10)
    personalized google homepage (~4)
    microsoft.com (9)
    apple.com (10)
    slashdot (11)
    ... just kiddding, slashdot is actually a 9
  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gumbo (88087) on Monday July 24, 2006 @12:53PM (#15770572) Homepage
    If you've looked at the SEO world at all, you know that there are lots of people who write half-assed articles so they can have more unique content on their web site. Or, they offer those articles up to other sites to get links back to their site. The articles never really say anything, and are just an attempt to build up traffic.

    And then once in a while Slashdot goes and links to one of those useless articles on one of those web sites. Imagine how much money that guy just made from all the Slashdot visitors, not to mention the pagerank boost from a Slashdot link. And for an article that bad that he knocked out without really putting any effort into it?

    Wow.
  • Every month the rules change slightly...

    Nope. Sometimes they change A Lot!

  • by micheas (231635) on Monday July 24, 2006 @01:13PM (#15770738) Homepage Journal
    MURL:http://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/> shows you which words are associated with your site. This gives a much clearer idea of how google views your site than pagerank alone, as your pagerank can be fixed by posting links to your site all over the place.

    This is also usefull if you are thinking of running adwords on your site, as it gives you an idea of what types of ads will appear on your site.

  • You're missing the point of the Google toolbar in the first place: it's not to help out SEO guys, it's to help out average-joe surfers. Think about it, the LGB is a graphic representation that is meant to be easily understood at a quick glance: user sees high PR, user clicks/buys product on page. Voila! High PR does work after all! PR may not mean that much in the big picture of SEO from the SEO guys' perspective, but it means a whole lot from the user perspective. And isn't that what we're all trying to do
  • The real irony is that the PageRank of that article is 0.

    Or is it a conspiracy?
  • SEO = BS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rakerman (409507) on Monday July 24, 2006 @05:18PM (#15772476) Homepage Journal
    I've said it before and I'll say it again: SEO is bullshit.
    You want good rank and good hits? Write good content.

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