Sadly, 2013 was a year of frustration for webmasters and SEO consultants. By and large it was a barren year, as everybody had to wait approximately nine months for Google to perform a PageRank update. Initially, the wait began back in February 2013. Matt Cutts, the famous face of the Google Webmasters’ videos from YouTube, said in October that there were no plans for another Google PageRank update before the end of 2013. Thankfully, however, he was wrong.
Surprise Update in December 2013
An update eventually occurred on December 6, prompting various webmasters from all over the globe to take to Twitter and discuss the ramifications. But why had Google instructed Matt Cutts to make an announcement that there would be no update? Well, this is because Google’s pipeline for transferring the data to its toolbar had broken, and thus updates couldn’t be displayed. Consequently, webmasters were unable to check whether or not their PageRank had been improved for the majority of the year.
Webmasters and SEO Consultants Forced to Change
By neglecting to perform an update for nine months, Google prevented webmasters and SEO consultants from evaluating their PageRank. The only alternative was to focus on the SEO factors that they could control, including on-page optimisation and social media. When the update finally arrived, it caused a degree of turmoil for the Christmas shopping season. Many websites were shifted in search engine results, with losers inevitably suffering.
Have You Heard of Pseudo PageRank?
When Google doesn’t have internal server issues to contend with, PageRank typically updates every three to four months – this is what is known as ‘pseudo PageRank’. Internally, Google updates the value of your PageRank on a frequent basis. This value is in the form of a decimal before it is eventually rounded up or down to display your rank. However, you won’t be able to find out this information until Google pushes the data out to various search engine toolbars in quarterly cycles.
PageRank Still the Ruling Factor
Matt Cutts and Goggle preach that PageRank isn’t the be-all and end-all, but this is a load of nonsense. When you read enough articles and watch enough videos from Google, you hear that other factors are now being considered in SEO. Honestly, there just isn’t any evidence of this for the moment. Sites with high rankings from their copious amounts of quality backlinks are still going to be favoured higher than those without, even if the latter sites have superior information to offer.
Prepare for Change in SEO 2014
Based on the two updates in 2013, it is not a pressing concern for Google to provide information on PageRank updates. Many SEO commentators have speculated that the search engine giant will eventually axe their long-running algorithm. Should this occur, you need to be ready for such a change. Along with link building, you also need to spend time building social media presence and continuing to perform on-page optimisation. Don’t neglect these important practices in a digital environment that is constantly evolving and where there are no certainties.
By Mike Porter