Now, let’s preface this by saying this is NOT a crap on Google post…we like Google, anyone who has visited our forum could testify to the respect and admiration we have for them…as far as companies go, they apparently treat their employees extremely well, they offer a wide variety of free services, they offer programs and competitions to benefit developers ( such as the one where they offered $10 million dollars to the winner of who could come up with an idea to improve society ), and they have in the past stood up for privacy rights, etc…
for all intent and purposes Google is an extremely employee and customer driven company…but…
every company, no matter how great, has it’s Achilles heel…and with Google that Achilles heel is it’s Page Rank system.
Page Rank has two obvious flaws…1. it’s penalization methods ultimately end up penalizing thousands of sites inadvertently…and 2. you cannot condense millions of sites into just 10 ranks without having each rank represent an unfair representation ( as the difference between the 200,000th site and the millionth site can be huge ).
Page Rank System: Defining millions of sites through 11 ranks ( 0-10 )
This is why Alexa and Quantcast are by far the better rating systems…your site’s position is more clearly defined. You are not ‘ lumped in ‘ with a million other sites. For instance, in October 2008, the Netcraft Web Server Survey found 182,226,259 distinct websites…that would mean that even a year ago each Page Rank ( 0-10 ) would ( if we assume that even 10% of them managed to be ranked ) comprise of well over a million sites, assuming that only approximately 18-19 million of those 182,226,259 million sites today are even ranked.
If the percentage of ranked sites is higher than 10% then the Page Rank system becomes more and more ludicrous with each percentage point.
Page Rank System: Penalization
Recently we were informed by members that our rank went from 4 to either 2 or N/A ( depending upon which page rank checker you happen to use )…I can only assume that we were accidentally caught in Google’s efforts to penalize those not using ‘ no follow ‘ in their link tags to external sites.
Because for the last two years we have been ranked as a 4…and the only significant difference in the site over those 2 years has been the recent addition of 3 links ( the only links on this site that go to external sites ). Those 3 links were introduced in the last few weeks, all other links are internal links that have been there for years.
We understand that of the millions of sites that get penalized some are bound to be errors…probably thousands out of the millions, no system is perfect…luckily, in our case we don’t care…we are not a commercial site…so we do not have to cater to commercial interests.
We care about traffic inasmuch as we want to be known, like all websites we want to be visible and attract members. We care about advertisers inasmuch as it brings in enough revenue that it covers costs and provides something extra for upgrades and more features. But we aren’t looking for the blockbuster deals or the huge bandwidth draining traffic…we’re happy as a middle-of-the-road site.
Now…we can understand why Google would want to curtail or penalize sites who are obviously just link farms…and those sites that have mass amounts of links at their footer, or links buried in their site in posts or pages that you know are just affiliate links or other spammish-type links…
anyone can see that is not the case here…nor is there even one affiliate link on this entire site.
Anyways…our Alexa rating is still reflective of our medium-site status, and our Quantcast rating is closing in on the top 100,000…so we can live with Google’s mistake…but we suspect that there are some site owners out there that are probably sweating bullets as to why their site dropped.
Google is a great company…but even great companies make mistakes. The Page Rank System does not really reflect today’s Internet and should be changed into something that lets site owners have a better understanding of where their site sits among the millions of sites out there…
something more in line with Alexa and Quantcast.