Google’s Page Rank is updated on a daily basis internally and a snapshot is exported to the Google Toolbar for us to see on a somewhat irregular scale (see the dates). What we get in the toolbar is a historical representation. It is not the true PR that is used by Google in the rankings.
Google can also reduce the PR seen in the toolbar to 0 or not available. For example, this is commonly done on the internal pages of some web directories. The SEO kiddies jump to all sorts of conclusions about this, but it could mean:
- That Google has penalized the page or site and reduced its PR
- Google had not penalized the page or site, but has just reduced the visible PR in the toolbar to put an end to the nonsense of link buying and slow down the web directory creation industry (the internal PR could still be used by Google).
We just do not know what Google is doing – is the page really PR0, is this a penalty or are they just playing with us? So it is often not possible to trust the PR that Google shows us – its old and maybe artificially adjusted. Even Google themselves want us to take the emphasis of the green tool bar.
Metrics are still important to measure a site (or in our case, a forum) to monitor progress towards goals; to analyze competitors rankings; and find sources to get good links from that pass good link juice.
SEOMoz have created Linkscape which currently consists of 54+ billion URLs across 230+ million domains. Based on this database they have created mozRank (mR) which is their equivalent to Google’s PR of a page. It is a logarithmically scaled 10 point measure. It is a measure of the global link popularity of a page.
The also have created mozTrust (mT) which is the measure of trust of a domain. Receiving links from sources which already have trust, like universities or governmental pages, is a strong endorsement, not necessarily of popularity, but of trust. mozTrust is a quantitative measure of this trust. Receiving one of the trust-passing links from a trusted source boosts a pages mozTrust. Authority sites will tend to have a high mozTrust. Looking at a competitors mozTrust can often help explain a higher ranking if their Google PR (or mozRank) is lower than yours.
Both these scores are good metrics to monitor and to work at increasing both of them via link building campaigns, as they give more and better information that Google’s Page Rank or Bing’s Page Score. The scores can be seen in the SEOMoz toolbar for pro-subscribers. See the image above of Forums Doc’s mozTrust and mozRank. We have also included the PR, mozTrust and mozRank for our list of forum directories.