I spent the morning gingerly picking my way through a minefield of guk. The mess was everywhere. It was unavoidable. It was gross. Then the family and I came home from the pumpkin patch and I logged on to find the exact same type of mess waiting for me online. I'll say one thing for Google...they sure manage to keep folks talking about them.
Normally, I don't make posts like this one, but enough sites are buzzing and Search Engine Guide is being mentioned often enough I felt it warranted a post.
Yes, Search Engine Guide's PageRank dropped this morning. This is actually our second drop of the month. After having been a PR7 since I came on board more than three years ago, we dropped to a PR6 the first week of October. This morning, most data centers are showing we've dropped to a PR4.
I'm not one to pay much attention to the PageRank of a web site. I did notice our first drop because we've been working on some things behind the scenes and I'd been keeping an eye on our indexing. I probably would have missed the second one if I hadn't logged on this afternoon and been pinged immediately by several folks asking about the PR drop at Search Engine Guide.
Is Google "punishing" us?
Only Google know the answer to that. We don't sell PageRank here at Search Engine Guide. In fact, anyone who has purchased an ad from us in the hopes of gaining PageRank has probably been disappointed. Our pages have so many outgoing links on them I can't imagine how any one ad would deliver enough of a PageRank punch to be worth paying for. In fact, it amazes me Google thinks a site like ours would be stupid enough to sell PageRank and then to put a list of all the folks we've sold it to on our front page. In reality, we put our advertiers there to give them a little something those of us in the industry like to call "exposure."
We do sell ads though, and we have never felt the need to add extra code to all of our ads to make someone else happy. While our advertisers don't buy PageRank from us, they do buy exposure. Based on how many advertisers stay with us month after month (after month after month) I'd say most feel they get their money's worth too.
I mean think about it. You could pay $150 for the chance your PageRank might increase a teeny blip or you could pay $150 to run five different ads on a site that reaches 600,000 small business owners each month. Now how short sighted would an advertiser have to be to focus more on the laughably tiny potential of increased PageRank than on the number of customers an ad like that could get them?
It's ok though. We've got more than 10K RSS subscribers, more than 600,000 monthly visitors, more than 23,000 weekly newsletter subscribers and more than 20,000 registered forum members and our traffic continues to rise each month. Our rankings (on all engines) are up and our direct link referrals are up.
Am I worried about a drop in our PageRank? Nope. As I said above, I never really saw what all the fuss was about. I'll keep focusing on those numbers I mentioned two paragraphs back. They've always seemed like a better way to gauge our success than the amount of green on a little bar in my browser.
I'd suggest other webmasters do the same.
Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.
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