Is Google PageRank still important and are backlinks still a good idea?

By May 1, 2015 All members, SEO

Google logoIs Google PageRank still important and are backlinks still a good idea? This is a question that is still often asked. PageRank was the first algorithm used by Google. It is a link analysis system that gives a 0 – 10 score. It figured out the relative importance of a website, based on the number of in-bound links. The name comes from Larry Page, one of Google’s founders.

Google stated: “PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.”

At the time of writing (May 2015) PageRank would appear to be still used by Google itself. However, the thinking behind backlinks has moved on as they are far less important than they used to be. Personally, I have always thought that backlinks are a poor indication of page quality because it is relatively easy for website owners to get / buy backlinks, hence the low integrity practice of using link farm merchants (a client of mine nearly lost their multi million pound business by using an SEO firm which was outsourcing to a link farm).

Here are some relevant facts:
* Google removed PageRank from Webmaster tools in 2009.
* PageRank is not part of Chrome.
* High (or low) PageRank is no longer a key determining factor within SERPs.
* Spammers loved PageRank and Google hates spammers (don’t we all).
* Google is not investing in PageRank, releasing updates etc

So, all in all, my answer to this question is that no, PageRank is no longer relevant.

Currently, backlinks are still helpful, as long as they come from relevant, high authority websites.

What else is important, when it comes to SEO and getting onto that magical first page Google? For more information on SEO, including tips, ideas and links see:
http://www.marketingcompass.co.uk/glossary-of-seo-terms

Written by SEO consultant and trainer Nigel Temple.

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