Google PageRank Update November 2011

It happened. Google updated their PageRank again. Are most webmasters cheering or crying?

Of the 61 websites I manage, most went up. Some went from PR1 to PR3, one from PR4 to PR5, others stayed the same. One blog went from PR3 to PR0, for no particular reason. It’s true that I haven’t posted a while in it, but it’s total post count and original content quality is superior to the others. It has more links to it than the other PR0 blogs that today jumped to PR2 and PR3. I really see no rhyme or reason for it.

What is odd to me is what is considered an ‘incoming link’ according to Google Webmaster Tools. I actually have blogs that I have done zero with that now apparently have incoming links. I checked it out and it is getting credit for links only because a webpage uses filenames that are the same compressed word as my root domain. Weird, huh? It’s true. I’m sure it’s some kind of glitch Google needs to work out, because these sites did not and never linked to me, but I got credit for a similar use of name. I wonder if Google tried to make some kind of tweak to consider use/talk of trademark or brand names as one of their indicators. If so, people could surely use that to their advantage and get incoming link credit without actually having links. What a weird concept.

Another aspect of the update I noticed is that some of my autoblogs with generic, non-unique content now have higher PR than the more stagnant, manual post blogs with unique content (both with the same # of incoming links). What does this mean? Maybe Google favors sites that continually update content, even if it’s duplicate content that’s already on the web. If you think about it, with Google crawling billions of web pages, there’s a ton of duplicate phrases, sentences, paragraphs, etc. How possibly could Google know which content was first and which is simply an editorial quote, and which is more important than the other. It’s really a guessing game. We’ve already seen how the numerous Wikipedia clones manage to rank well with duplicate content- like Facebook pages, Answers.com, etc. So, perhaps keeping a blog updating somehow (so it pings pingomatic), is probably worthwhile to keeping Google interested in your site.

One observation about the update is I no longer see as many PR10 websites that I remember before. Facebook is PR10. Adobe, Apple, Amazon, YouTube, Baidu = PR9. Ebay is PR7 = ouch. I can’t tell what the main Craigslist PageRank is, because it keeps redirecting to Las Vegas.

Sites like FBI, CIA = PR8. Whitehouse.gov is PR9. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page) is surprising it’s only PR8. We all know how much Google loves Wikipedia. Twitter is PR9, LinkedIn PR9.

Other than that, I see no massive changes in the November 2011 Google PageRank update. (keyword plug) We all wish we had the rationale behind the changes and what factors caused the sites to move up or down, but we can only speculate.