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Should You Care About Your Site PageRank™?

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Link structure illustrating the passing of PageRankFirst of all, let’s clear an oft-confused difference between true PageRank (PR) and what most folks are familiar with: toolbar PageRank (tPR).

It’s impossible to know your actual PageRank. Your actual PageRank is a numerical weight assigned to the varying pages of your website. What you’re probably used to seeing (and maybe talking about) is toolbar Page Rank (tPR). That is the number you see on Google’s toolbar and until recently also in Google Webmaster Tools. tPR is expressed as any of the numbers from 0 to 10 and is “derived from a theoretical probability value on a logarithmic scale like the Richter Scale.”1

PageRank is updated constantly by Google as they make changes to their algorithms and the natural linking of the web changes. Toolbar PageRank is the whole number representation of actual PageRank, however, it is updated infrequently. As of the writing of this post, the last update of tPR was April 3, 2010. It’s now mid-August.

So, should I care?

In short, yes. Obviously PageRank is one of Google’s valuations of your web property and as such, you should care to nurture and build your PageRank with Google. Otherwise, why would you be reading SEO articles on AgentGenius?

However, as mentioned above, the only way you can guess at your PR is to know what your tPR is. And since it is updated only a few times a year at most and based on an unknown past point, my advice is, don’t dwell on your tPR number. It will fluctuate with Google’s algorithms and you have no way of knowing what your current, true PR is at any given moment.

A web page or site does not have to have tPR to rank in Google. « Understand this! Why you ask? PR is only one of the many many factors Google uses in their ranking algorithm(s).

Does Google have anything to say about tPR?

Why yes, yes they do-

We’ve been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it’s the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true.
Susan Moskwa, Google

And that my friends, is the final word.


1 Wikipedia: PageRank

Marty Martin is an accomplished SEM/SEO anti-consultant with a broad range of experience working for a wide variety of clientele including colleges and universities, regional and state tourism, government and business. An advocate for business, Marty works hard to share accurate information in a world suddenly overrun with "social media consultants."

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Fred Romano

    August 16, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I just wish Google would update that PR in the toolbar more often, like maybe once a month! That way they wouldn’t keep everyone guessing 🙂 — I love Google though

    • Outsourcing Philippines

      August 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm

      Thumbs up to you, Fred! 🙂

  2. Property Marbella

    August 18, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Hi Marty,
    Don’t take to hard on the PR, but every website needs in-links. If you want blogs or forums comments links to your site, so gives PR you a good hint of the quality of the site. Of course is Do-follow or No-follow more important when you choose blogs and forums.

  3. Joe Ginsberg, CCIM

    August 18, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    In bound links, page rank, key words and FRESH CONTENT… all very important for the growth of your traffic.

  4. Dave Chomitz

    August 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    I’m certainly no expert, but I question why the average Realtor would be concerned at all about PR. I question the wisdom and ROI (it’ll be considerable “I”) trying to out rank the big players and established sites to get organic traffic that converts about 3% of the time.

    From here it looks like there should be better ways and places to focus for better results.

    Just sayin ……. Cheers

    Dave

    • Marty Martin

      August 19, 2010 at 8:34 am

      Thanks for the comment Dave. I would think most agents reading AG aren’t your “average” REALTOR. 😉 At least not yet. Most, if not all, of the agents I’ve encountered on AG are pretty forward thinking.

      But to address your question, the average agent shouldn’t be concerned about their PR, nor the above average agent. If you follow the SEO advice and best practices dolled out here, your site will be just fine without ever considering your PR (or tPR). 😉

      Cheerio!

  5. Phil Boren

    August 18, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Marty: I didn’t even know about (tPR), so I guess I was unaware what I should be caring about! What’s interesting to me is that I’ll have pages at BoulderHomeResource.com that rank pretty well, then I’ll post something on my integrated blog or update content (which Google values, I thought), and the PR will drop. Thanks for the info.

    • Marty Martin

      August 19, 2010 at 8:35 am

      Hi Phil,

      As the big G updates their algorithms, etc. PR (and tPR) ebbs and flows. Another reason not to worry about it. As long as the search engines are sending you traffic you are optimizing for, you’re probably doing fine. I have pages with no PR at all that send me traffic. 🙂

  6. James Chai

    August 18, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    The statement from the Google Rep (above) says it all. There are lots of varying metrics one should look for but there is NOT an end all say to SEO. It constantly evolves and the tools we use to measure ourselves by will continually change as well.

  7. Tauranga Real Estate

    August 20, 2010 at 3:13 am

    Every agent should have a website and be concerned about page rank, especially in these tough times. The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand said on Friday that total house sales in New Zealand declined last month, while house prices also fell.

    A total of 4,411 homes were sold in the country in July – down from the 4,575 sold in June but still higher than the record low of only 3,666 sales last January. This marks the lowest residential sales turnover for a July month in ten years.

  8. SmartVestors Realty

    August 22, 2010 at 6:05 am

    I really dont care on page rank, but what matters how you serve your customers with their actual requirements, thats all about the recurrent visitation.

    Thanks,
    SmartVestors Realty

  9. Roberto Mazzoni

    October 29, 2010 at 2:40 am

    I have been keeping a blog for a couple of years now and recently I had slowed down my updates and noted that my page rank had plummeted. Now I have resumed publishing and I didn’t see an immediate change. This article has gotten me to understand that there a time delay on the process and that consistency of updates is key, as always 🙂

  10. Max Boyko - Team Hybrid

    December 18, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Everything you can do to convert more clients these days should be used for any agent (especially the forward thinking ones). Someone mentioned why bother when you only get a 3% conversion rate… ummmm hello? You don’t want to make an extra $100k+ per year?

    30 visitors a day = 900 visitors/month
    3% conversion = 27 leads/month
    10% closing rate = 2.7 clients/month = 32 deals/year

    Depending of course where you are located will make a difference, but I think it’s safe to say $3,000 commission per deal is pretty conservative. Definitely makes it something to explore to say the least. Good luck 🙂

  11. Ryan

    November 27, 2015 at 4:55 am

    I never really cared too much about my own page rank, its the quality of links. Actual editorial links and mentions from websites that have a good PR are best. and Quality not quantity

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Opinion Editorials

AT&T hit with age discrimination lawsuit over using the word “tenured”

(EDITORIAL) 78% of workers are victims of age discrimination. As awareness arises, lawsuits show what may constitute discrimination, including verbiage.

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Older man at cafe representing age discrimination

According to the AARP, 78% of older workers have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace. As awareness of ageism increases, lawsuits that allege age bias can help employers understand what constitutes discrimination. A recent case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Smith v. AT&T Mobility Services, L.L.C., No. 21-20366 (5th Cir. May 17, 2022), should give employers pause about using other words that could potentially be a euphemism for “older worker.”

What the lawsuit was about

Smith, a customer service representative at AT&T, alleged that he was denied a promotion because of his age. His manager told him that she was not going to hire any tenured employees. The manager wanted innovative employees in the management positions. Smith took this to mean that he was being denied the promotion because of his age. He sued under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and Texas law.

The district court found that Smith failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as to one claim and failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination as to the other two claims. Smith appealed. The Appellate court affirmed the district court’s decision, but they did say it was “close.” AT&T did not discriminate against Smith by using the word tenured, because there were other employees of the same age as Smith who were promoted to customer service management positions.

Be aware of the verbiage used to speak to employees

This case is another example of how careful employers need to be about age discrimination, not only in job postings. It’s imperative to train managers about the vagaries of ageism in the workplace to avoid a costly lawsuit. Even though AT&T prevailed, the company still had a pretty hefty legal tab. Don’t try to get around the ADEA by using terminology that could screen out older workers, such as “digital native,” or “recent college grad.” Remind employees and managers about ageism. Document everything. Pay attention to other cases about age discrimination, such as the iTutor case or this case about retirement-driven talk. You may not be able to prevent an employee from feeling discriminated against, but you can certainly protect your business by doing what you can to avoid ageism.

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Opinion Editorials

Writing with pen and paper may mean your smarter than your digital peers

(EDITORIAL) Can writing old fashioned make you smarter? Once considered and art form, handwriting is becoming a thing of the past, but should it be?

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Writing on paper job titles.

When I was in college, in 2002, laptops weren’t really commonplace yet. Most students took notes by writing with pen and paper. Today, most students take notes with laptops, tablets, cell phones, or other electronic devices. The days of pen and paper seem to be fading. Some students even wait until the end of class and use their cell phones to take a picture of the whiteboard, so in effect, they are not absorbing any of the information because they “can just take a picture of it and look at it later.”

Is it easier to take notes on an electronic device? I think that largely depends on preference. I type faster than I write, but I still prefer to take notes on paper.

According to researchers at Princeton University and the University of California, Los Angeles, students who take handwritten notes generally outperform students who typed them.

Writing notes help students learn better, retain information longer, and more readily grasp new ideas, according to experiments by other researchers who also compared note-taking techniques.

While most students can type faster than they write, this advantage is short-term. As the WSJ points out, “after just 24 hours, the computer note takers typically forgot material they’ve transcribed, several studies said. Nor were their copious notes much help in refreshing their memory because they were so superficial.” So while it may take a bit longer to capture the notes by hand, more likely than not, you will retain the information longer if you put pen to paper.

As I teach English Composition at the University of Oklahoma, I would also like to say that while I find this to be true for myself, every student has a different learning style. Typed notes are much better than no notes at all. Some students detest writing by hand and I understand that. Everything in our world has gone digital from phones to cable television so it makes sense, even if I don’t like it, that students gravitate more towards electronic note taking than pen and paper.

While I would like to see more students take notes by hand, I certainly won’t require it. Some students are navigating learning disabilities, anxieties, and other impediments that make taking notes digitally more advantageous.

I imagine the same is true for other areas as well: instead of typing meeting notes, what would happen if you wrote them by hand? Would you retain the information longer? Perhaps, and perhaps not; again, I think this depends on your individual learning style.

I would like to suggest that if you are one of the more “electronically-minded” writers, use a flashcard app, or other studying tool to help you review your classroom notes or meeting notes to make them “stick” a bit better. While I find this type of research intriguing, if you enjoy taking your notes electronically, I wouldn’t change my method based on this.

If it’s working for you, keep doing it. Don’t mind me, I’ll be over here, writing everything down with pen and paper.

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Opinion Editorials

5 reasons using a VPN is more important now than ever

(EDITORIAL) Virtual private networks (VPN), have always been valuable, but now, more than ever, entrepreneurs and businesses really should have them.

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VPN

Virtual private networks (VPN), have always been valuable, but some recent developments in technology, laws, and politics are making them even more important for entrepreneurs and businesses.

A VPN serves as an intermediary layer of anonymity and security between your computer and your internet connection. Your Wi-Fi signal is a radio wave that can ordinarily be intercepted, so any data you transmit back and forth could be taken and abused by interested parties. VPNs act as a kind of middleman, encrypting the data you transmit and protecting you from those prying eyes.

Top10BestVPN.com offers a selection of some of the best-reviewed VPN services on the market; there you can see the different approaches to security and anonymity that different brands take, and get a feel for the price points that are available. But why is it that VPNs are becoming even more important for business owners and entrepreneurs?

These are just five of the emerging influencers in the increasing importance of VPNs:

1. The rise of IoT. The Internet of Things (IoT) is already taking off, with a predicted 8.4 billion devices will be connected to the internet by the end of the year. All those extra connections mean extra points of vulnerability; hackers are skilled at finding tiny entry points, so every new channel you open up on your Wi-Fi connection is another opportunity they could potentially exploit. Using a VPN won’t make your network completely hack-proof—user errors, like giving your password away in a phishing scam, are still a potential threat—but VPNs will make your network more secure than it was before.

2. The popularity of ransomware. Ransomware is growing in popularity, seizing control of devices, sometimes for weeks or months before activating, then holding the device “hostage,” and demanding payment in exchange for releasing the files that are stored on it. These attacks are fast and efficient, making them ideal for hackers to use against small businesses. Again, using a VPN won’t make you immune from these types of attacks, but they will make you harder to target—and hackers tend to opt for the path of least resistance.

3. The escalation of attacks on small businesses. Speaking of small businesses, they happen to be some of the most frequent targets of cybercriminals. About 43 percent of all cyberattacks target small businesses, in part because they have fewer technological defenses but still have valuable assets. Protecting yourself from cyberattacks is a must if you want your business to survive.

4. Political attacks on net neutrality. Politicians have recently attempted to attack and eliminate net neutrality, which is the long-standing guarantee that internet providers can’t violate user privacy by collecting and/or reporting on certain types of data, and can’t create “slow lanes” that throttle certain types of traffic. If net neutrality is abolished, you could face slower internet traffic and decreased privacy on the web. A VPN could, in theory, protect you from these effects. First, your web traffic would be anonymized, so internet providers couldn’t gather as much data on you as other customers. Second, you’ll be routed through a private VPN server, which could help you get around some of the speed throttling you might otherwise see. It’s uncertain whether net neutrality will ultimately fall, but if it does, you’ll want a VPN in place to protect you.

5. The affordability and diversity of VPNs available. Finally, it’s worth considering that VPNs are more affordable and more available than ever before. There are specific VPNs for all manner of businesses and individuals, and they’re all reasonably affordable. Inexpensive options can be yours for as little as a few dollars per month, and more robust, secure options are still affordable, even for frugal businesses. If you try a VPN provider you don’t like, you can always cancel and switch to another provider. This availability makes it easier to find exactly what you need.

If you’ve never used a VPN before and you’re confused, try not to be intimidated. VPNs sound complex, but connecting to one is a simple login process you can use on practically any device. The hardest part is choosing a reliable provider that suits your business’s need. With the influx of coming changes, it’s a good idea to get your VPN in place sooner rather than later.

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