1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Google PR / Pagerank - Probably overated.

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by mdvaden, May 2, 2007.

  1. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    If anybody has visited a forum exclusive to SEO / website talk, you've probably noticed the statements again and again, that Google's PR / PageRank, is merely one aspect. And most good SEOs tend to focus on talking about good website content, which includes relatively clean code - content that can get found. Also, Google is not the only search engine.

    For a while, I used to tweak my website to rank higher on Google's PR meter. Eventually, I found that the page views and visitors to my site via content and a wide variety of words, increased, while the PR meter fluctuated or decreased. I've never ruled out the PR meter as irrelevant, but now give it the weight of a single tool in a toolbox. Check this out - I've been following this designer's site for a few years, because its one of the older ones in Oregon - about 10 years, I hear... http://gardenaesthetics.com

    Personally, I don't think it's much of a design at all. Its almost like a notepad. Anyhow, her page has ranked "1" higher than my site, or almost any landscapers or designers site in Oregon for 3 years. If Garden Aesthetics had a PR rank of 5, many of our sites were a 4. If we dropped to 3, her's was still at a PR 4 - always 1 higher. There isn't even a landscape site in all of Oregon or Washington that's over a 5. This one - quite established - WAS a PR 5 ... http://nwgardening.com

    It was a 5, and apparently, in the past month, dropped to a PR 4. They always update that site, and have a ton of inbound links - possible 100's of inbound links. Yet their site has the same PR as Garden Aesthetics. Now, Garden Aesthetics only has about 6 inbound links - but it ranks in the upper PR range for landscape / tree sites. There's no merit for that, practically speaking. My only guess, is that it's 10 year age, or possibly paying blood money to Yahoo for a listing, may be what's keeping it floating on the surface. It is text rich, and text relevant, but from watching about 20 other well known websites in Oregon and Washington, there's no clear reason that the PR should be that high. Now this other site, ArborPro ... http://www.arborpronw.com

    I just saw them at PR 3, and a month ago, and last winter, they were at PR 4. And these guys have been busting their a$$ to get reciprocal links and upgrade their site. Yeah, there are not masterpieces, but they are some of the MOST RELEVANT and best known professionals in Oregon and Washington. Yet, Google has lowered the PR Rank of each of these websites over the past few months. So we see that there is not a problem with these websites. Yes, at least one, I think is ugly, but its still relevant and what the site owner apparently wants to represent themselves.

    As far as display for keywords, those sites and mine, are all still fairly much in the same upper slots for our "professional" keywords like - check

    "Portland Tree Services" (don't count the GoogleAds)
    "Portland Certified Aborists"
    "Portland Landscape Designers"

    Go ahead and check those keywords. Same sites bunched together. Next, I'll post on my other advice pages getting found, and many don't even have a PR of 0 or 1 on Google.

    By the way, I resumed a Google Ad account last week, to test ads for "Portland Tree Service". I entered bids of $5 PER CLICK and still didn't display higher than Arbor Pro. That told me that they are bidding $5 per click, or higher, to keep the top Google Ads on the page.

    ArborPro, did edge ahead of my site on 30% or keywords last winter in a major campaign on the internet. But I simply kept my pages near identical, and Arbor Pro dropped down below on many keywords, with my site staying up where it was. So the high pay per click is an act - maybe not quite desperation - to get up on top of the results.

    I'd commend Arbor Pro, though. They have risen more than most sites in our region.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yes, pee-arrhh is over rated, in and of itself it means little if nothing, for one it can be faked, but for another PR in and of itself is absolutely no indication as to the traffic that site actually has, or receives. I do agree, it is but one aspect, and it is the combination of parts as a whole that turn out results.

    What we need is a new engine, man back before Google got all into the money I used to get soooo much traffic from them, same with Yahoo. Between those two, I used to get close to 20 thousand visitors / month to my entertainment site, but the money has sucked things dry, as has the race for every last crumb of a click, I'm just lying in wait for the next one, hopefully it comes around soon.

    Come to think of it, I wonder if search engines have like a half life or something, a point at which the public's interest starts to balance out against webmaster interest in that engine's rankings... It almost seems that way, somewhere long before the WHOLE fraggin' world knows of it, that's when it seems the traffic is best, I suppose it's organic at this point, and this lasts a good while... Then as more and more folks hear of it, one would think traffic would increase, but instead it kinda peaks and steadies out, then over the next few years it slowly declines, that is, from a site owner's point of view, whether the engine's popularity has decreased would be hard to say for sure, but the competition is just so fierce at that point, as far as I'm concerned the big boom is over :laugh:
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    On that note, one of these days I'll hunt down and find my own search engine software, tired of everyone else's irrelevant results :laugh:

    That will be some time yet thou, not in the mood to search the software troves right now, much less in the mood for perl coding.
  4. Jake Wolf

    Jake Wolf LawnSite Member
    from NYC, NY
    Messages: 37

    Google doesn't rank adwords based on the price you bid. Rank is based on how much money they are making from your ad. Work on your copy so that more people click on the ads. This will help move it up.

  5. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    I already mastered Google Ads for years, until my website rose to the top of the organic results. Been there, done that.

    Google always opened the ads up to bids. Its a bid system, just like Overture, or Yahoo's version of Overture which they got. That's why they offer a "test" feature to show where your bid will place you.

    I only ran this as a quick experiment to get an idea of how high companies are bidding. On Overture, another, they used to display who had 1st, 2nd, and 3rd highest bids. Google doesn't quite seem to show exactly. It shows you generally what position your bid will get, but it doesn't disclose why or exactly what the tiers are of 2nd and 3rd. Basically leaving people a bit blind to who is doing what.

    But yes, if webmasters put in $10 per click bids, Google and Yahoo wouldn't last two months in that program if they placed the $5 ad above the $10 one.

    The only reason the lesser one would display higher, is if the highest bidding website reached their daily spending limit which Google is not allowed to exceed.

    Actually, if Google charged for "bids" and didn't list the higher bid in the top slot, I think they would have scores of lawsuits for everything from false advertising to internet law violations.

    It's like when someone at an auction pays the highest price for an item, the item goes to the highest bidder.

    You needd to realize that Google Ads is "not a membership" - it's an actual bidding process.

    Bids are not to earn membership. It's a payment made for a position. Many they call it AdWords or AdSense now, but its also known as Google Ads.

    Google CANNOT know how much money I ever made from my GoogleAds, because when somebody clicked on my ad, and called me for say, "tree pruning" which they searched for, Google was in the dark. Google has no way to know IF they called me, or WHAT the estimate was, or HOW MUCH they paid me. In fact, its virtually an impossibility.

    Google doesn't even know how much money a company makes for an Adsense ad displayed on my site. So Google is in the dark for both the GoogleAds I was referring to, as well as the Google Adsense ads.
  6. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Geez I hate the 10 minute edit limit :)

    Anyway, the Google Ads is referred to as Adwords.

    That's what I tested again.
  7. H2O

    H2O LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 34

    I try to focus on:
    "good website content, which includes relatively clean code - content that can get found".... "Google is not the only search engine."

    My independent tests, so far have resulted in 1st page rank without ever having spent a penny for Google adwords or any paid web advertising.

    My clients web service requests, and jobs sold through his web site support my tests.

    Create a good web site design with proper seo, keep it updated...
    the results and sales will follow... no matter what "google says".
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    The problem with an engine, any engine, is that as it rises to the top and webmasters become aware of its popularity, sooner or later we all figure out a few tricks that work, and the more folks who figure out said tricks, the harder it gets for all of us.

    There is such a thing as enveloping the actual algorhythm in a shroud of secrecy, and this helps for some time, but lets face it, we all know it doesn't stay a perfect secret but for so long... Especially once an engine goes corporate as a company, at that point the owners sold out, there exist now dozens of employees and the old saying goes: If only one person knows a secret, it is a true secret... Once two people know the secret, it is not a secret anymore.

    And before google, it was Altavista, that was a farce in history as well, but at one time Altavista was as big a god as google, if not bigger... What happened is the same thing that's happening with the G! now, webmasters the world over tweaked and tweaked until the results became so irrelevant that the engine's visitors started looking elsewhere. Not that Altavista's running a popup on their main screen for the last year or so helped matters any, but they eventually had so little traffic left, Yahoo ended up buying what was left of it.

    Oddly enough, even a destroyed giant such as Altavista, even after it has gone from star to nothing still gets more traffic in one day than most of us get in a month or a year... The problem, of course, is that in order to satisfy webmasters as an engine, when you have a database of a billion links or so, you also need more than several million daily visitors to satisfy the clicks / link ratio.

    I've wondered for some time if all big engines suffer that fate, they first rise to the top, then webmasters the world over fight it out and fight and fight until the engine's results get so polluted that all but its most hardcore users flat lose interest, then the engine declines in popularity and fails to rise a second time, and just becomes another has been. That google is quite to that point yet, no, but where exactly is the half life, and is there such a thing, do all engines suffer from that rise and fall, or is it just that in 12+ years no one has managed to figure out the key to staying at the top?

    Because what have we here, hotbox, webcrawler, lycos, there must be a good dozen or better engines that hardly get anything in terms of what they send out, and while some never really made it, some surely did.

    Only time will tell, but I do wait in anticipated interest to what happens next.
  9. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    The same thing has been in my mind the past few days - the polluted results.

    SEOs can race for PR and try tricks, but a search engine still has an obligation - to get relevant information.

    Lately, a lot of guys have been chasing PageRank, although we can hand it to some of them that they do keep content. But some people are trying to go on backlinks alone.

    If Google doesn't produce relevancy, its going to get unpopular quickly.

Share This Page