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 people still claim. It’s not 1998 anymore.


PageRank vs 200 ranking signals

One day Google disclosed that about 200+ so called “signals” determine your ranking in the search results.

The large number of ranking signals wasn’t very surprising news to me or people who followed search engine optimization news.

It was obvious that you could have a high PageRank and not rank well at all already a year or so earlier.

At the same time you could outrank high PageRank websites with a few considerations put into practice. Also a high PageRank link would in many cases not push a site’s ranking.


Facing the reality of Google’s algorithm

Like Phillip of Google Blogoscoped has aptly summarized it, signals, classifiers and topicality count. Thus 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 list of 200 ranking signals compiled by Brian Dean. 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 just 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.

Last updated: March 26th, 2018.

* Creative Commons image by Rob Bertholf