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Posted 16 November 2003 - 02:41 PM
I know this is one of this "it depends" questions that involves an uber-high number of variables, but I was wondering if anyone had developed any general, approximate ways to estimate a page's PR based upon the number of backlinks pointing to it.
For example, if page example.com has 55 backlinks in google, its PR should approximately be 5, and if that number were increased to 150 its PR would be approximately 7.
Has anyone been able to make any general observations or approximations?
Posted 16 November 2003 - 02:55 PM
A large part of it depends on the PR of the pages linking to your page and the number of other links on the page as the "voting power" is divided among all the links on the page.
Posted 16 November 2003 - 04:56 PM
Thanks for the brilliant-as-usual reply. You are exactly right -- I did some testing after posting my question, and my results confirmed your statement.
Maybe I need to rephrase my question: I am the webmaster/marketer for my company's website. One of my jobs is to optimize the site and try and improve our rankings on SERP pages. Unfortunately, time and resources are very limited, so I am going to have to prioritize and limit my efforts to those that I feel will have the greatest effect.
With that in mind, I was just hoping to gauge how much I could improve my PR so that I could make an educated decision on how I should split this job between online and offline optimization. For example, if I had some evidence that indicated I could improve my PR from say 5 to 7 or 8, then I'd probably want to spend more time link-building than copywriting. On the other hand, if I had some evidence that told me I could link-build until the cows come home and it would not affect my PR, I would probably focus on copywriting
Does that make any more sense? Is there some way of making this kind of determination, or is it just a gut thing?
Posted 16 November 2003 - 06:39 PM
Posted 16 November 2003 - 08:16 PM
It might be more valuable, I think, to concentrate on the destination you seek, rather than on the road in front of you. Why do you want to increase your PR? Three bucks and a PR8 will get you a decent cup of coffee. But three bucks and a PR5 will get you exactly the same cup of coffee. Assuming your destination is higher traffic, and not PR for the sake of PR, even a dramatic increase in PR may be of limited help. Discounting the effects of anchor text, PR alone is never going to make your site more relevant for a given search term. It only helps if your page is already "as" relevant as another.
Let's say, for the sake of argument, that your page and that of a competitor are equally relevant. What will happen if you spend the bulk of your time chasing links? Ideally, assuming you're successful, your PR will increase and you'll quickly pull ahead of your competition in the SERPs. What happens six months from now? Well, you'll probably lose some of those links, if only through attrition and link rot. And, of course, there's always a good chance your competitor followed your lead and went on their own link-chasing hunt. Time to jump back in the saddle and start the chase all over again.
And what happens if, instead, you spend the bulk of your time increasing content? One would hope, of course, that you also increase relevance by adding new content, which we all know is more important than PR. Increase your relevance, and even if your competition has a higher PR, you will outrank them. But here's the really cool irony of the whole system. Adding new content automatically is going to increase your internal links, so your PR is going to rise accordingly, too (assuming a reasonably good linking strategy). And if your new content is good content, you'll very likely find other sites linking to it as a resource for their users. In my opinion, adding content can often be a MORE effective way to boost PR (albeit a slower way) than chasing links.
I'm not suggesting, of course, that it should ever be an either-or strategy. Good links from suitable directories or authorities are always worth pursuing, and are especially valuable for putting a new site on the map quickly. But, IMO, chasing links will always be a short-term, repeat-as-needed tactic. Content, on the other hand, remains king.
Posted 16 November 2003 - 09:22 PM
Joker, you are now my very favorite member.
Thanks for the brilliant-as-usual reply.
Maybe I need to rephrase my question: I am the webmaster/marketer for my company's website. One of my jobs is to optimize the site and try and improve our rankings on SERP pages.
Is your job to improve rankings... or get more results out of the website?
It would be worth your while to take a long hard look through your web stats and see
1) Where people are coming from
2) What page they enter on
3) What page they exit on
4) How many pages they are viewing
5) What search phrases are being used
and any number of other criteria- those are good places to start.
I don't know where your site ranks- it could be urgent to get it ranked at all at this point. But Ron makes great points about content being critical- I'd throw in usability testing as well. Make sure you aren't driving people away.
When you get to links, start with the directories if you haven't already (DMOZ, JoeAnt, Gimpsy, etc) and look for industry-specific directories as well. Once you've exhausted the directory resources that are out there, search for similar sites that have resources or links pages.
Posted 17 November 2003 - 07:44 AM
bucks and a PR8 will get you a decent cup of coffee. But three bucks and a PR5 will get you exactly the same cup of coffee.
I agree, although a jump of 3 might be enough to make a difference for your more competitive keyword phrases, such as single keywords.
Ironically, the main value in PR is to facilitate link exchanges with webmasters who place way too much emphasis on PR and will jump on the chance to exchange links with a PR5+ site.
Your focus should be on getting as many of your pages listed high for their designated keyword phrases, and get relevant links for those pages. PR will surely follow.
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