Should PageRank matter to domainers?
There was a time when webmasters & domainers were going crazy about PageRank. Everyone was trying to get a high PR ranking for their sites n pages by doing all sorts of ‘SEO and promotion. Only a few months later and PageRank isn’t as sought-after as it once was. Some people believe its useless - but they shouldn’t knock it.
A bit about PageRank
PageRank (PR) is a Google tool that measures the important of a web page. It uses a number of criteria such as quality of page content, ‘keywords, ‘backlinks, value of incoming links - so on and so forth… In the past having a higher PR meant getting better search engine rankings, thus more traffic. However, this isn’t entirely the case any more.
How people angered the big “G”
You see, people started to abuse the PR system (plus I don’t think it was that accurate anyway), there were ways in which to “trick” Google into getting a higher PR. Well, it didn’t take the big G (thats Google by the way) long to catch on and change its tactics.
Google fights back
Quite recently a lot of people noticed big changes in their PageRank’s for websites. Some went up, others went down. This was because Google made the changes.
Google has changed the way it measures the importance of a page and also how PR is shown to the public.
Domainers overlook PageRank!
Since all this has happened a lot of domainers have started to overlook the PageRank value when it comes to buying / selling domain names. In the past a buyer would pay a lot more if a domain name had PR value, even a PR1 to PR3 value was advertised as one of the main selling points.
I’ve noticed this is no longer the case. Don’t me wrong many people still pay more for a higher PR domain name but its not a major buying/selling point, especially if the domain in question has no keyword value.
A high PR domain in the past meant it most likely had good traffic. This was the first thing that increased the value of a domain name. You could buy a high PR domain, have instant traffic and get good search placement despite having a complete new site/content.
So what has changed?
It doesn’t take google long to work out if a domain has changed hands… plus if the content changes or in most cases of domain trading - there is NO content (eg. a picked up expired domain)… then the usefulness of PR is no longer of much value.
Most PR domains are picked up from expired domains lists - but the problem is, while that domain was in the expiring/delete cycle (for about 40 days plus!) it lost a lot of value in Googles eyes. During the delete cycle the domain no longer points to any sites/content- when Google sends its spiders to look at the site - it finds nothing and so it reduces in PR value. Over 40 days it loses a lot of value. All this casuses the PageRank to go down by the time the next update for PR comes around (PR updates happen around every 3 months apparently).
The traffic will slowly die down once Google starts to de-index the pages. And eventually it will loose all the back-links… unless the new owner developers a similar site with decent content again.
I thought you said “PR still matters”
Yes, I did… don’t worry I’m coming to that.
PageRank still matters, especially when the domain is being sold (or targetted) to end-users. It matters more for endusers than it does for resellers. So as a seller, having a good PR domain will still help you get a better sale.
Tell me how!!!
Buyers (endusers) know that if a domain name had PR then it means it was indexed by Google. This saves them time in comparison to trying to get a brand new no PR domain indexed. Provided the buyer already has plans for the domain, he would fill it with content and Google will give the site good traffic again.
Another point is to do with text-links. If the buyer was to sell text links on the site then he/she could deman a slightly higher price for those links based on the PR. And thats becuase for many non-domains/developers - PR still matters. The average person who buys advertising (such as text links) still sees value in PR.
So… there you have it!
Don’t quote me on any of this… I could be a bit off in terms of the technical workings of PR etc. But this is just to give a basic idea and thoughts based what I observed in the domianing industry.