Webmasters Ponder PageRank Discrepancy

Is the Google Directory score the real score?

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An update to the Google Directory has webmasters puzzling over an apparent discrepancy in PageRank scores.

Webmasters Ponder PageRank Discrepancy

For months, the speculation surrounded an apparent decrease in PageRank scores on Google’s Toolbar. It seemed the decrease in rank was connected to penalties associated with buying and selling links that passed on PageRank, a practice Google not-so-quietly condemned last autumn.

But what was more confusing was that though the toolbar scores were dropping, the actual search rankings looked to be unaffected. Google appears to have updated its Directory on January 8 along with PageRank scores that are significantly higher than listed on the toolbar.

Observers say the Google Directory update seems to be pulled directly from DMOZ, the open directory project. As a result, Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable joins others in discrepancy reports:

"…it seems like the Toolbar PageRank of this site is a PageRank of 4. But if you look at the most recent Google Directory update, this site appears to be a PageRank of 7."

There are few theories posted about why this is occurring, Andy Beard explains how this could be problematic for advertisers looking to assess the true value of a website:

"It seems Google used their real dataset for PageRank for the Google Directory export, forgetting that they are telling their millions of users lies on their toolbar with manual penalties, which until now had no visible proof.

"Google have the right to do whatever they like with their search engine, but this is another major demonstration of how Google are manipulating public and advertiser opinion." 

Webmasters Ponder PageRank Discrepancy
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  • http://theworldinprogress.blogspot.com Peter Hutchins

    This site had a page ranking of one but it has a question mark.

  • http://www.makemesomemoney.co.uk Alan

    Phew.. it’s not just me then. i wondered what was happening and didn’t understand why my Pagerank went down despite getting more backlinks, more visitors etc.

  • http://seosos.wordpress.com SEOSOS

    “Google have the right to do whatever they like with their search engine, but this is another major demonstration of how Google are manipulating public and advertiser opinion.”

    This is so true!!!
    I’m a big fan of google and yet,
    lately I’m starting to yearn for some other “king”…

    • http://www.pestprojoe.com Joe

      A new king would be great!… but how?”

      I have been contemplating that myself… And in the end, every king will have its favorites. Further, I think MSN will have the most clean cut search, but I just can’t stand all the political bias they have on their home page… so I still use google.

      Maybe some day.

  • http://www.lifeiscolourful.com/ Life is Colourful

    Yes, I agree with whatever is happening with websites pushing webmasters in lot of confusion. Since 13th Jan, many webmasters are seeing changes in their toolbar pagerank. My blog also got the Pagerank back after 1-2 months of being punished for hosting TLA ads. In this time period, there was no difference in the Google search engine traffic and I wondered how page rank affects the search engine results then. Was it just a trailer of what Google can do to webmasters or anything else?

    If there was no significant changes in search engine traffic, then why this PR dance on websites?

  • http://www.first-web.de First Web

    The same what Alan happens was with my homepage…More backlinks, and the Pagerank went down.
    But this was happen to 80% of my clients after googles last PR Update.
    only 2 of 1000 get a higher PR.

  • http://www.stransky-webdeigns.com Michael S

    Not saying this is completely true or not, but the past several months I stopped looking at the PR meter as a score. Taking all my sites and other outside site trends, Google’s PR looks more and more like a traffic meter then a score meter.
    Regardless of code, number of pages, or links to a site counted or not. The traffic coming to a site mimic the outcome if the PR went up or down.
    Also they say PR is like how popular a site is, err how much traffic visits it means how popular it might be. If you site falls from the results do to poor code, black hat, or bad/broken links.
    You might have a great looking site with great content, but if traffic is not finding or getting to your pages, that will mean less traffic on it and thus a lower PR.
    PR is more like how useful AND used a site is to others. JUST keep on working to keep you traffic and have them return to see whats new, the traffic to your sight will be seen for the next re-value if you did not do anything underhanded or poor coding.

    • http://www.yourmessageconsultant.com Michele

      Two of my sites dropped from 4 to 3 last update (last fall). Both continue to have about the same amount of traffic as they did prior to the update. One has very little traffic but converts well, the other has hundreds of visitors a day and also “converts”.

      Both sites would appear useful and both contain a great deal of content – but as far as traffic impacting PR, my sites do not support that theory.

  • http://www.domaingraduate.com/domaining Derek

    It was my understanding that by the time the toolbar is updated, it’s already out of date according to it’s real PR

  • http://7seo.com Guest

    One of our blog which has been up for a month got PR6 yesterday… It was too quick.. I doubt that the PR6 is right.. I already checked on different browsers to verify it..Yes it has PR6..


  • http://www.artandadvertising.com Jerry Reynolds

    Our site offers advertising services, commercial & specialty printing, to the trade.
    We are an Advertising Agency for over 30 years and we do know how to do that.
    A word of advice. Don’t depend solely on the capriciousness of search engines.
    Maintain a healthy 3-tier marketing strategy to drive targeted traffic to your site.
    Which means an advertisement & editorial mention in media your prospects are
    exposed to, a sales piece in your prospects hands and a follow up once a quarter
    for 6 quarters asking for their business. This works

    • http://www.conference-coordinator.com Clive

      Just to second those points. Never rely on the search engines alone for your business. Its just not viable for something that can feasibly change in an instant.

    • http://www.tempestwebdesign.co.uk no1northernbloke

      Great post, couldn’t agree more. Simply getting your companies name regulary in front of the decision maker can make the difference between getting the sale and coming second. Search engines are all well and good, but traditional methods still work too. However, it does make seo easier to sell to clients if you have a high page rank!

  • http://www.enrgy21.com James

    3/10 to 0/10 for new sites where advertisers on the site won’t be happy with the change. Not happy with the change without advance notice giving webmasters the opportunity to revise and update the domains/sites under their control.

  • http://www.spiralteck.com yinka

    I have a site that recently went from pr5 to pr0 and its linked to just two sites that are not ban because they still have page rank. it is difficult to explain to a client when a site you design and maintain suddenly drop like that

  • http://www.enrgy21.com Jim

    3/10 to 0/10 for new sites where advertisers on the site won’t be happy with the change. Not happy with the change without advance notice giving webmasters the opportunity to revise and update the domains/sites under their control.

  • http://crucial-systems.com felix

    This was stated a while ago by matt cutts : they felt that people were obsessing and even monetizing PR values, so they warned that the toolbar PR would drift from their internal PR. Also the search results are not based strictly on PR at all. Many factors. Google said they felt that content should be the prime concern of webmasters and traffic should be the prime gauge of success. Not these retarded paid links markets based on PR and alexa rankings. I’m still trying to get my clients to stop obsessing over their fake alexa numbers.

  • http://www.pestprojoe.com Pest Pro Joe

    I personally can not figure out google’s page ranking system. It seems that my best sites are running at rank of 2 while most of my sites are a 1.

    This hasn’t concerned me too much in the past since I still generate traffic and get sells.

    However, it is disturbing that a fake pay-per-link page, www.bulwarkexterminating.com is ranked at a 3. While the official company site http://www.bulwarkpest.com is ranked at a 2.

    How is it possible that a cyber squatting site is ranked higher then the official bulwark site? Further, if you search for bulwark exterminating the squatter’s site doesn’t even show up in the results yet the low ranking official site shows up first.

    The final problem I have with DMOZ is that the few webmaster’s that have managed to get into editorial positions are going to have all the advantage.

  • http://www.businessservicesus.com/blog/ Jeff

    Google updated the PageRank scores in their directory and they are now higher than listed on the toolbar. A site of mine listed there is showing the same PageRank score (PR4) since they last updated their directory, while the toolbar is showing PR6. Was previously PR5 on the toolbar.

  • http://www.cutegurlzz.co.uk Mr Cute

    Google is the most evil force on this planet. I believe they are entirley responsible for manual editing that is leaving millions of web sites in the dark whilst government santified sites are allows great rankings. The days of freedom on the internet are gone and Google is our enemy.

  • http://seobook.org.uk Guest

    If google thinks your selling links they will give you a PR0 on the next update

    Worse If google thinks your selling links or buying links Google may give you the go to the end of the serp,s penalty and you will find your site on the last serp’s page

    Google is going to be history soon it is now easy to knock down your competitors. Google will go to sh*t as the best site are remove by the worst. Reverse seo will soon be king just knock out the top sites to rank #1 give them the go to the end of the serps penalty

    Should us webmaster do a Google boycott day or week where we all remove adsense and use a different search engine and maybe promote a alternative search engine goole will lose millions a day if it goes far enough and will have to fix this problem

  • http://www.justcamming.com Developer_chris

    The secret to how to treat google is simple. When you want something, use it to search with. for EVERYTHING ELSE simply forget they exist.

    For years they have said exactly this, they don’t want you to worry about them, let them worry about you. Provided you do the right thing they will index you. If your ranking and serps go up and down try not to sweat it. Its the nature of the game if the serps were static then nobody new would ever make the results page. so by their very nature the serps will change, your position will fluctuate.

    As far as the toolbar goes I dumped that a couple of years ago. I simply do not need that level of stress in my life!

    If not Google is not doing its job.

  • http://www.digitalnasties.com jonathon

    6 of my sites lost PR in the last update, i can’t see what i did as all them used googles ads.

  • http://www.dvd-ripper-mac.com qiu


  • http://www.sample13.com sample13.com

    I never really noticed the change because I just started to worry about pagerank recently. Im not worried. http://www.sample13.com

  • http://www.gatesixhospitality.com IM Specialist

    Yes, Google is Gooooogling. People are confused about their page rank, now page rank is just like share market points, some times it ups & some times it downs.

    Just like when share market ups, there is big smile on Investors & when it down Investors are crying, same here with Page Rank, when it increases webmasters are enjoying, when it downs webmaster also sit behind their computer to find, “how can PR of our site is down” & pulling their hairs.

    I noticed in this PR & Backlink update, that Google counts one way links coming from one way directory submissions, forum posting & articles. Backlinks of our most of the sites are increased & most backlinks are comes from directories.

    I am Happy with U, my Sweet Google.


  • http://www.mtuba4u.co.za Mtuba4u

    Page rank uses a very different algorythm and is thus very different in each area. hence DMOZ and google have different PR values for same site.

    PR has nothing to do with the search results, which use a very different algorythm. PR is taken into account but the acual value of the PR is used in strange ways where calculus is applied to the numbers to obtain a limit.

    There are more than 1200 variables in googles algrythm, and these are applied using extreme mathematics that take all 1200 PLUS variables into account. most variables are interdependant which causes more confusion for web masters and SEO technitians.

    a)value of key words on page are used in page rank calculation
    b) page rank figures are used to calculate value of key words for site.
    c) value of key words for site are used to calculate value of key words on page.
    d) this then affects calculation in (a)

    this short piece is reiterayed untill the value reaches a limit. once the limit has been reached the value is then placed into other pieces of the algorythm where a very similar process is applied.

    in these calculations some items are given a positive value, and others are given a negative value. the advanced mathematics using calculus has many co-efficients and some values are squared, cubed, and raised to higher levels according to googles percieved importance of this value. if your site just so happens to have a negative value in the wrong area, it will reflect in your SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages)

    People especialy SEO professionals and their assitants often forget the size of the GOOGLE data base, and the number of online computers that GOOGLE uses to manipulate the SERP’s through their extreme algorythm that uses very strange and ever so complicated mathematical equations with more than 1200 variables in a single equation.

    Then of course there is the thing of manual eddits which is hotly contested with much debate and counter debate.

  • http://www.garnernc-online.com Azor Israel

    I got large increase in traffic to three of my sites and moved up in most of the other major search engines. After adding a number of backlinks and major SEO I was looking forward to the new google rankings, but I was not impressed. Well my pagerank for google did’nt change.
    Garner NC City Guide

  • http://www.pixelheadonline.com/blog/ Pixel Head

    Mine was down to 3 from 4 in the last, but back up to 4 in this one. It does seem to be loosing ground in many arenas.

  • http://www.repairmysidekick.org Sidekicks

    Thanks for the interesting read. I checked my pr for some of my sites and they have gone up. I have ssen a small uptick in traffic in the last few days as well.

  • http://www.digitalnasties.com/blog/ jon

    does google even bother with DMOZ anymore ?

  • http://www.homeconstructionimprovement.com Todd

    I went from a PR of 4 to 0 over night. I had been using Kontera on my site. I’ve since removed it. Do you think this is the reason for the loss?

  • http://iamhealed.net Kathi

    My blog went from PR3 to PR0 overnight – which is costing me money – and I’m MAD.

    I don’t participate in linking schemes or do anything that Google would deem “illegal”… I have no earthly idea why they’d do this to me.

    • http://www.webtacs.net/page-rank/ Page Rank Info

      Maybe you just lost a whole bunch of you links because a site that had your link on an abundance of it’s pages was shut down. (that has happened to my site before)

    • http://www.excessivesweatinginfo.com Andrei

      why are you losing money because the PR dropped?

      that means you say you are selling PR?

      thats pretty stupid to yell and admit you are selling whatever you sell based on the little green bar you have there

  • http://www.crearedesign.co.uk Adam – Creare Web Design

    I was disappointed with the latest PR update. I expected my Web 2.0 blog to reach at least 2 with the SEO I had applied but it only got a 1. Anyway, I think the toolbars take longer to update.

  • http://www.MosaicWebsite.com Web Design Pennsylvania

    All of my sites went up in rank. But I do have an off topic questions. Does the page rank of a site have an effect on the site it is linking to. For example, if a site with a page rank of 5 is linking to my site, does the page rank of 5 have an effect on the quality of the link, and therefore increase my rank in Google?

  • http://www.MosaicWebsite.com Website Design Pennsylvania

    The only way my clients seem to understand their success is through the PR.

  • http://www.foxtech.org Technology News Maniac

    "It was my understanding that by the time the toolbar is updated, it’s already out of date according to it’s real PR"

    What you see in the toolbar is a pagerank export. It’s done every 4-5 monts so of course it`s out of date…

  • http://www.royaloak.uk.net Royal Oak

    End of the month new PR distributed

  • http://www.firebubble.co.uk Firebubble Web Design

    Google has recently updated its page rank, it seems they have changed the cached interface also.

  • http://www.blueseo.com/ Los Angeles SEO

    The new update is here, and it seems like PR’s are all over the place.  Some sites that you would think are getting a boost dropped, and some sites that I was sure would drop increased in PR… strange the way the updates work, but it’s not a perfect system.  I just focus most of my energy on good links, content, and rankings.

  • http://www.keepitpersonal.co.uk Gifts Ideas KeepItPersonal

    Strange I have a new site that lauched in May and my clicks have dropped from 250 down to 100  in a month although PR has gone from 0 – 3?  I have also submitted to Yahoo directory 4 weeks ago and havent seen any increase in clicks…?????

  • http://www.firebubble.co.uk Firebubble Design

    I know that google has been penilizing sites for selling links. One site I know went from a PR7 to a PR4.

  • http://www.newfoundlandbusinesses.ca Newfoundland Business Directory

    you can still have great SEO but be a low PageRank site.

  • http://www.swankigifts.com/ product articles

    Another great article, thanks for the information.

  • imd

    our website http://www.adailydeals.com is good for coupons and deals.
    how can we get good PR


  • http://www.seovisions.com SEO Company

    Page rank is a pretty useless metric nowadays, lets hope eventually the little green bar will be removed to prevent confusion for webmasters and business owners who are still using an antiquated system!

  • http://www.duanecartujano.com Duane

    I would like to say thank you from my heart for the webpronews for guiding us in the right process.

  • http://www.internetmarketinglosangeles.org Internet Marketing Los Angeles

    Page Rank is very great value for any type of websites whether you use it for rankings, backlinks of traffics purposes.

  • http://basementsource.com/ David Michael

    Im new to the whole SEO stuff but I know page rank is very important for the google organic search. Is the Alexa ranking system of any value to use for rankings, backlinks and traffic?

    I have a basement remodeling site www.basementsource.com I am trying to move up in the rankings of organic search.

    What are the top ways to get your google page rank up? Im loaded up with keywords and backlinks.


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