Page Rank's Disappearing Act

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The disappearance of Google's Page Rank from computer screens across the globe at the end of May left many wondering whether the tool was taking a short respite or whether a permanent departure was in store for the scale used to make or break a Web site in the eyes of Internet searchers.

Web enthusiasts were in a panic when they noticed that Google's Page Rank bar was not appearing on a number of sites, including Google. Everything was back to normal a few days later, but the rumors and speculation still ran rampant. And since Google officials have yet to release a statement regarding the tool's disappearance and subsequent reappearance, rumors on everything from Page Rank's sure demise to a soon-to-come major update in the Page Rank system are still circulating.

Though this topic seems relevant only for Web geeks and industry insiders, the implications it holds for search engine marketing, in general, and those who rely on Page Rank to sell their Web site could be highly significant.

It is no secret that Google is king of the Internet and, more specifically, the King Kong of the search engines. Unless a Web site is that of a major brand name and has an established following, Web sites in general need major search engines such as Google to grant them visibility. Web sites often do whatever is necessary to optimize their content and form quality links with other, related Web sites to increase their rank on the search engine results pages (SERPs) of major search engines. And Google's Page Rank tool goes one step further by keeping a constant reminder of a Web page's rank and, ultimately, its credibility on the bottom right corner of a Web page.

So, while for most the news of a lapse in the Page Rank system does nothing more than go in one ear and out the other, for search engine marketers who rely on Google, and Page Rank specifically, to maintain their Web sites' visibility and to maintain credibility with searchers news like this should serve as a wakeup call to pay close attention to seemingly small changes in the industry.

Search engine marketers should keep up to date on all upcoming Page Rank-related news to ensure that if any of the rumors and conspiracy theories are in fact truths, they will have enough time and warning to make the necessary adjustments to their search engine marketing plans.


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