When we were all just getting started on the web, there was one almost universally accepted metric that measured your siteâ€™s search engine optimisation success – the Google PageRank. If you have absolutely no idea what PageRank is, it is a numerical grade assigned by Google to every website on the internet to measure the sitesâ€™ relative importance. The rule of thumb is that the higher the PageRank, the higher its search engine rankings.
That was a few years ago, though. When youâ€™re on the web, a few years can be a long time, and what was true then might not be applicable today. Weâ€™re seeing the beginnings of the real-time web, where we can see instantaneous tweets, blog and posts come out as they happen. Does PageRank still matter?
A few search engine optimisation practitioners would go as far as to say that PageRank doesnâ€™t matter anymore. Itâ€™s because no matter how many hours you work on a siteâ€™s PageRank; in the end, your websiteâ€™s PageRank is subject to the whims of Google. Such a subjective system, for them, is not going to work. On the other hand, other SEO specialists are saying that PageRankâ€™s importance has indeed diminished over the years, but you canâ€™t just ignore it – itâ€™s still a vital metric to measure your SEO success.
So how should we approach PageRank nowadays? Personally, I go with the second school of thought regarding PageRank – itâ€™s not as important as before, but it still matters nonetheless. Even Googleâ€™s employees are telling people to stop focusing on PageRank so much, because itâ€™s no longer the most important metric for them to track.
Personally, I focus on keyword optimization first and search engines second. I donâ€™t even spend energy trying to raise my PageRank, because thereâ€™s no guarantee Iâ€™ll get PR4 on my sites anyway. I just focus on content and building quality backlinks.