Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pagerank Experiment

Yes, "PageRank" is effectively meaningless now.  (it's offical because I say so ;))

I had been reading people talking about how what is most commonly referred to as Pagerank doesn't exist any more and that Pagerank tools were pretty well useless. However, I didn't want to take their word for it without verifying it for myself.  So a little while ago I created an experiment to test how much PageRank actually reflects where one is positioned in a google search engine results page.  When I refer to "Pagerank" I mean the value (between 0 and 10) that is associated with a site or web page and that is meant to be a reflection of how popular content is based on who is pointing to that content (google "pagerank tool" to get a list of a tools you can use online to check the pagerank of any site).

In my experiment I took a domain that had no pagerank ( and I put some content on the site (namely a Flash/Software chess clock that I made some time ago and I now offer for free on the domain).  In my experiment I targetted the search term "free chess clock", which was easy to do because I dedicated the entire domain to providing/promoting this free application and the light content was very keyword targetted (for the record, I did nothing underhanded or illegitimate here.  I offered real and valuable content and did not misrepresent it in any way). 

Now, if you use any PageRank checker on the domain name, you will see that it has a reported PageRank of Zero (even though I solicited a few very relevant links to the content).

(ranking courtesy of

However, if you search for "free chess clock" in Google, you will see that it ranks first; ahead of free chess clocks on other domains that have high Pagerank.

Clearly highly focused content has a much greater affect on Google search engine rankings than similar content on sites that are not as focused, even if those sites have high Pagerank.

I hope discussing the gumbozumbo domain in this blog isn't going to throw the result off (grin).