Google’s Ghost PageRank

    April 23, 2004

A thread at the HighRanking forum discusses a Tripod site’s rapid rise to a PageRank of 5. Jill Whalen, who owns the forum, suggested it could be a result of ghost PageRank.

If you’d like to discuss the concept visit the Ghost PageRank thread.

PageRank is still haunting the web...
PageRank is still haunting the web…

Barry Schwartz, whose post in SEORoundTable brought this thread to my attention, describes ghost PageRank as “an estimated PageRank value based on a domain’s current PageRank summation.”

Ammon Johns described the phenomenon in the Cre8asite forum this way: “Google gives every page a PageRank eventually, even if it has to guess one – what we refer to as ‘ghost PageRank.'”

It seems a bit difficult to verify that it was ghost PageRank affected this site’s rise, as it has two links from relatively high PR sites linking to it.

Still, the concept is interesting and could perhaps inform this discussion regarding how new sites receive what appears to be a temporary PageRank.

Some pundits claim PageRank has lost its relevance to ranking. Daniel Brandt, in the new sites dropping discussion, says, “by now I don’t see hardly any correlation between ranking and PageRank, and frequently the toolbar PageRank makes no sense at all.

“It only takes a few links from a PR 7 site, for example, and you already have a PR 6. Normally you would need several times the number of links to graduate one digit on the toolbar PageRank scale. This is clearly not the case anymore.”

Garrett French is the editor of iEntry’s eBusiness channel. You can talk to him directly at WebProWorld, the eBusiness Community Forum.