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Google finally decided to throw webmasters a bone and updated the toolbar pagerank. After six months without it, the masses were growing restless. But what does it all mean?
That being said, I'm glad it's here because I rely on the toolbar pagerank as one of the criteria used with SEO clients. While SERPs are more important to me (and my clients), if the clients don't see increased pagerank, they start to wonder about my abilities.
Just thought I'd share some of the success stories in my SEO journey, which only began six months ago (about the time of the previous toolbar update).
My primary web design site is now a pagerank of 5. I only started serious SEO on it in May, so that's pretty good. What's even better is that I'm ranking in the top ten for about 15 good keywords.
I have over 20 clients with sites that have a pagerank of 4. All of them rank in the top ten for their primary keywords (some less competitive than others).
Over 100 of my clients have sites with pageranks of 3. Nearly all of them rank in the top ten for their keywords (some are still works in progress).
Considering that I'm a self-taught SEO guy who only even heard about SEO about a year ago, and that I only seriously starting performing SEO for pay about 6 months ago, that's pretty good. Yeah, I'm braggin' a little.
I've even started my own SEO website for beginners. I'm sharing some of what I've learned for beginners on the site, and even though it's still in it's infancy, I would love for anyone who wants to contribute articles to the site to do so. You can contact me through the site itself.
Watching the hand-wringing over the next PR update, and the record amount of time that Google has waited to make this update makes me wonder how large the algorithm change will be in this update. Some clues:
Many websites are being dropped from the index, only to reappear several days later. This indicates that the Google engineers are testing a new piece of the algorithm to see how it affects certain websites.
Matt Cutts' indications that the Big 'G will be cracking down on paid links - it's almost certain that a large algo change will be implemented in an attempt to curtail the power of compensated links.
The simple length of time between this update and the last update, showing that they are doing some substantial testing before deploying the new updates.
Huge SERP movements up and down - I've seen this on a number of my sites that have had stable SERP rankings over the last year.
The rapidity of backlink updates in the webmaster tools. I know that this is an ongoing thing, but I've had 3 major BL updates since the beginning of August.
The "directory penalty". This isn't something that's been advertised, but I believe that Google will, if not completely penalize, at least downgrade links from directories so that they have less power. In my webmaster tools, I show very few links from directories, whereas I had thousands of them as late as June.
More of a focus on "authority site" links that are naturally positioned. Again, this is a fight against paid links. (although I have seen an increasing # of authority sites selling text links in the last few weeks)
Each of these taken one by one don't indicate anything different from Google's normal practice of incremental changes and algo updates. Taken all together, they show indications of a MAJOR algo change.
Webmasters get ready - the next few months could be a headache if you're not ready.
According to SEOCompany.com, it has been 117 days since the last pagerank update. The longest amount of time between updates has been 122 days. A lot of webmasters are crossing their fingers that the update is coming soon.
My advice? Focus on your search results - Focus on your search results - Focus on your search results! After all, a site with high pagerank is worthless if you don't have the results you need.
Among the webmaster community, the Google PR update is waited for breathlessly. I don't stress it too much - my SERPs are more important. But, it's still a benchmark I like to have, especially if I have SEO clients who expect an update by a specific date.
Google has constraints that I can't even fathom, but a set update schedule would do wonders for some of the animosity they face from the webmaster crowd (we love the traffic, we hate the Goops we have to jump through).
My name is Joe, and while some may find it ironic that I'm using Blogger, a Google owned company, to voice some of my complaints and concerns about Google, I'm hoping that a constructive blog discussing issues from a webmaster's point of view can be used by Google as a place to get real feedback.