QUOTE(Cosita @ Oct 12 2005, 11:01 PM)
...from where I'm sitting PR does matter when a site owner wants to conduct a reciprical linking campaign. The reason? The belief by most site owners is that linking to a site that has a PR of 2 or less isn't worth linking to. Whether that is true or not really doesn't matter. All that I am suggesting is that if a site owner with a low PR wants reciprical links he or she may have difficulty getting links.
I agree that if the site owner with the low PR places value in the Toolbar PR, he or she may indeed have difficulty getting links. But that is a self-imposed limitation. The imposition is strongly influenced by the numerous articles and forum discussions where people casually speak about seeking out links with specific PR requirements, or where people specifically talk about how to do it.
Nonetheless, anyone with a Web site is free to say, "I won't take that path. I'll try something else."
Quite frankly, experimentation is what led people to conclude that PR might matter. Experimentation may be what leads a lot of people away from it after chasing PR.
THe end result is the same: most sites fall somewhere between the two extremes of the bell curve. The impact of acquiring links from low-PR sites is about the same as acquiring them from high-PR sites, since the chief benefit of getting links is that you get crawled more frequently (and your chances of falling out of the index decrease).
Manipulating anchor text is one of those "finer points of SEO" that has become hotly debated among the manipulators themselves. Some of them feel they have been burned by their own manipulation. If you just focus on exchanging links with other sites, setting some standard for yourself on the basis of Toolbar PR, you at least have a bar you can easily raise and lower yourself.
No one is being forced to seek out PR 4 or better links. Many people just believe that is the thing to do. There is, technically, no harm in doing so. There is just no real reason to do it, except that most people seem to feel more comfortable doing it than not.
Whatever floats your boat.
However, I read many forum discussions that begin with:
"My site has a PR of (something better than 3), I've been getting lots of quality backlinks, and it's just not showing up in the search results. WHY?"
There must be days when Jill gets tired of asking, "How old is the site?"
That should tell you, more than all the arguments and document citations in the world, just how much PR matters.