Despite rumors that there would be no more PageRank updates in 2013, Google snuck one in last week creating winners and losers across SEO portfolios worldwide.
What is PageRank?
If you’re new to the concept, a brief explanation of what “PageRank” is will go a long way in helping you understand the importance of the 2013 PageRank update.
Though this metric’s importance has declined over the years, PageRank is a rough estimation of how authoritative Google thinks a web page is. Every web page is ranked on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest or most trusted web pages. A trusted web page is more likely to be shown higher in Google search results than an untrusted web page, so having a high PageRank is important for SEO efforts. (You can read more about PageRank here.)
2013 PageRank Updates
One interesting characteristic of PageRank is that it is not updated in real time. A page’s PR can only change during one of Google’s PageRank updates, which have historically occurred approximately every three months. However, prior to the most recent update on December 6, there hasn’t been a PageRank update since February.
I first became aware of the update when I got an email from Dashfolio telling me the home page PR of a coffee blog I manage had increased from 1 to 2. I quickly started researching my other sites because I was interested to see how this update had affected the rest of my portfolio.
My Private Blog Network
Earlier this year I had learned about private blog networks from Hayden Miyamoto, Spencer Haws, and Glen Allsopp. Hayden specifically teaches about the value of expired domains to quickly build a high PR network of sites.
The technique is fairly complex, but the basic idea is that you can influence where your sites show up in Google search results by building links to your sites. A lot of people go about doing this through guest posting, social media, and just hoping that other webmasters link to their high quality content.
A private blog network makes this process easier because you own your own links. Instead of hoping for the benevolence of other webmasters, you can just “guest post” on a bunch of sites that you already own and build links back to your target site (or “money site” as some call it).
Now, these links aren’t going to be very valuable if they aren’t on authoritative sites (in the eyes of Google, at least). So the private blog network should consist of high quality, high PR sites. You can straight out buy high PR sites or domain names, which can be quite expensive, or you can go find expired domain names that used to be ranked highly and re-register those.
I had one PR 4 site that I purchased outright back in the summer. Sadly it dropped to PR 3 with this most recent update. I had one site that Hayden said should rank as PR 2 when it was re-registered, but despite the most recent update it still doesn’t have any PageRank at all.
The most exciting part of this update for me were two expired domains that I had found through my own efforts. One wound up reaching PR 4 and the other PR 2.
Not bad for my first shot at registering expired domains.
PageRank isn’t everything, but it is a handy metric. Having some high PR sites will help my own SEO efforts, and they might also be useful for generating some revenue through selling links to other people’s sites. Or I might try to sell them now that they have a PR. This update has really created a lot of possibilities.
Have you considered your possibilities?
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Photo credit: jasoneppink