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PageRank and “Web Success”


Mine’s 2 on this site (PageRank that is)……. Or it is today, it could all be taken away tomorrow on the whim of Google (or any other strange random factor!?).

Styletime “Tweeted” me an interesting question on Friday evening:

Why do people still care about pagerank?

I immediately batted back a reply:

Honest truth, I think it’s the only non-woolly measuring stick they’ve got

I’ve thought about this some more since then, and I still think I cracked it in that quick reply….

People want to be able to measure success, they need a yardstick – in life it’s their usually job, their car, their house etc. On the web what have they got?

Secret Nuclear Bunker ruler

As Styletime pointed out to me, he’s got a site that has a PageRank of 6, but it has an Alexa rank of 29 million (incidentally whilst I don’t have a PageRank of 6, I do have a n Alexa Rank in the 800 thousands) .

He’s quite right, Google think his site is great (well a PR of 6 is quite reasonable!), but if you’ve not got people reading it (or buying from it), what’s the point? It’s like living in your huge mansion with 16 beautiful cars in the garage – but not seeing anybody because you’ve locked yourself behind a high security fence!

Becoming Number 1

SEO firms may guarantee you number 1 position on Google, that’s great – but what for?

If it’s for the name of your product that’s great (providing people know what your product is and are searching for it!!!), if it’s for something really random that really isn’t so great for the £2,000 you’ve just spent on getting there!

Let me give you an example:

  • I rank number 2 for the term Skillett today – that’s good – that’s really good and I’m quite pleased about it.
  • I rank Number 1 for “remedy advertisement” what’s the point in that? I confess I did go and check which post it was, it was an important Health Questionnaire.
  • I rank 15 for the term “rachel gets fruity” that’s quite an interesting one too!

This is all good, as I’m not trying to get ranked for anything really! But if I was promised number 1 position on Google I’d want to be there for “Keiron Skillett”, not “remedy advertisement”.

How can we measure “Web Success”?

I did a little “Googling” of my own on this topic, and didn’t find a real answer that satisfied me, many people say it’s all in the statistics (most commonly provided by Google Analytics these days), they measure success on:

  • Unique Visitors and Page Views
  • ROI

True, these both indicate some degree of success, but you’d struggle to find out your competitors stats wouldn’t you? So what are we left with?

Two yardsticks:

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King move

Where do you measure up? Do you trust these yardsticks – or do you have your own measure for determining your success on the web?

Creative Commons License photo credit: LoopZilla

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 13th, 2008 at 3:57 am and is filed under Websites. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Comments (5)


  1. styletime says:

    Hi Keiron great follow post from a quick twitter conversation 😉

    Like you say what good is pr w/o traffic nothing unless you want to sell your site to the pr munger’s on digitalpoint who will just use it to sell pr link’s.

    styletime is a very new site and the only way to see alexa is through whois but that has gone from 1 mill to 640k 2 weeks ago and that was before it hit the headlines with a few posts so i hope at least by the next review it will be down to 200k.

    Is alexa a good yardstick some would say its ok some say totally not!?

    whats is styletimes PR right now? A big fat zero 😉 but i dont care im getting more unique visitors everyday and thats what counts for me 😉

    styletimes last blog post..Design, Design and Re-Design – This post took over 1000 hours of work!!

  2. Keiron says:

    No problem – I found it quite thought provoking!

    PageRank does seem to be the be all and end all for some people and the advertising sites rank everything by it, I don’t think it’s a particularly good yardstick myself (nor Alexa Rank) – but I do think it’s the only thing that some people have got.

    I’ve got analytics on this site, it’s steady traffic, but I’m really not bothered – I just enjoy it when I get the interaction from others (not the spammers mind!) – that’s my measurement!

  3. […] · Reply · View Keiron: New blog post: PageRank and "Web Success" http://www.skillett.com/index.php/602/pagerank-and-web-success 2008-09-13 13:31:02 · Reply · View Infopirat: Pagerank Submitter: Dies ist ein […]

  4. Antony says:

    Interesting Article, I believe that it depends on the websites function to ulimately decide on how to measure its success. If it is an E commerce site, for example then the true measure would be the money it makes. News sites should be visitors and so on…
    Pagerank is over-rated and too difficult to directly control or even quantify (how much better is PR 5 over 4?).

  5. Keiron says:

    I agree Antony, different yardsticks for different folks – but the one “universal” system appears recently to have been PageRank (and Alexa still to some degree).

    For ecommerce sites, how many sites are going to tell their competitors how much they’ve made recently? Probably none, but they’d all love to know how much each of their competitors had made!!!

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