PageRank Superstition: 200+ Signals Are Not One Google Juice



There is no hidden Google juice that miraculously determines the ranking in Google’s results like some bloggers claim. It’s not 1998 anymore.

A few months ago Google disclosed to the New York Times that about 200+ so called “signals” determine your ranking in the search results of Google. It wasn’t very surprising news to me or webmasters who practiced SEO themselves recently.

You could have a high PageRank in the toolbar and not rank well at all already more than a year ago, while you could outrank high PR websites with a few considerations put into practice. Also a high PageRank link would in many cases not push a site’s ranking.

Like Phillip of Google Blogoscoped has aptly summarized it, signals, classifiers and topicality count.

So it’s not that simple.

You can’t reduce these 200+ signals into one term dubbing it Google juice like search was another Spaceballs movie.

Please read the New York Times article from June. Do me the favor and quit that oversimplification reinforcing superstition.

Ranking is not about Google PageRank, toolbar Pagerank or the invisible and yet unnamed Google juice.

Times are more complex nowadays. There is a list of ranking factors you should look at.

  • It’s not about the PageRank lottery.
  • It’s not about Google juice.
  • It’s not about the force some Jedi might master.

We live in a complex world, let’s just face it. I didn’t even mention Universal Search yet in this post.

PageRank is one signal among 200+ while other signals count even more, domain age and history for instance.

* Creative Commons image by Rob Bertholf