In the art of SEO, we all have to deal with PR (PageRank). The Google-patented tool is a mixed blessing in this business.
Why? Because it performs a surely intelligent analysis of the popularity of your link. At the same time, the outcome does not properly indicate where you should focus your efforts to make more profit.
Let’s quickly break it down.
The algorithm that underpins PR is so fascinating, it’s even inspiring studies to fight cancer. It is also a pretty solid algorithm that plays around with probability and defines the coolness of your website in its interconnection with other websites. The drawback is that once you know how cool your website is, in terms of that interconnection with other valuable sites, you can’t say much.
If your PR is 5, does it mean you are doing a better job than all the other website owners in the same niche with a paltry PR 3? Does it mean that you should work harder to maintain this position or even improve it? Well, don’t bother asking these types of questions even if the answer is blatant.
For us WebFlipCowboys, the real value of PR is in its change.
The information “PR=5″ has too many underlying probabilistic variables to give you a useful status indicator. On the other hand, the information “PR changed from 4 to 6″ indicates the subtle dynamic of your SEO outcome. You want to delve into the latter. Something is moving, changing, maybe for better, and it doesn’t necessarily depend on you. The PR change flags that a trend may unravel.
Three main points to validate this idea:
1. PR change inspires you to correlate your actions
The change in ranking can be matched against all the activity you have done to promote your website: backlinking, content generation, keywords, general in-page optimization. You know what you have done in the last eight weeks, and now you see an increased PR. There must be a correlation, and you know it. It may be too early to spot it, but now you know that there is a side effect from that specific work you have done.
2. PR change can be at least partially explained by other external factors
In the opposite scenario where you have a new PR right off the bat, you know you must find out why. Here your analysis must be tailored for your industry. New competitors, new search criteria, new buzz, mere update of the rank itself and so forth. Whatever the reason you should be on top of whatever has changed your website’s exposure even slightly, because there could be long term implications.
3. PR change opens your eyes to relevance and importance
Let’s not forget an important aspect of PR, which is that your ranking will be higher the more links there are directed to you, especially if the links to you are of very high value. The dynamic of your PR gives you insight on whether you have to work on the relevance (more links) or on the importance (more valuable links). Looking at the PR dynamic and how you are monetizing your website, you can easily see where most of your efforts should go.
In conclusion, the PR changes over time if you are doing something right. A deeper analysis of all the other aspects of your SEO strategy will grant you a tighter control and a valuable indication of what strategy to design for solid success