Google’s John Mueller shared some of his thoughts on third-party metrics that try to replicate Google’s internal PageRank metrics. PageRank is one of many signals Google uses for ranking websites in Search, the importance of PageRank in Google’s search ranking algorithms have been debated over the years with more and more saying it has less weight now than it did early on. Either way, SEOs and others want to know how Google sees their site in terms of PageRank since Google removed any public indicators for it in 2016.
In any event, there is initiative named OpenPageRank which describes itself as an “initiative was created to bring back Page Rank metrics so that different domains could easily be compared. We do this using Open Source data provided by Common Crawl and Common Search. The common crawl corpus contains petabytes of data that has been collected over the last 7 years. The July 2017 crawl contains close to 3 billion web pages. While these numbers are not as large the number of pages crawled by any of the top backlink providers, the data is available for anyone for free. We, therefore, decided to use this data to make Page Rank data available to anyone for free forever.”
It is interesting but is this useful? John Mueller of Google chimed in on this on Reddit that you shouldn’t confuse this with Google’s real PageRank. All this metric is “Yet Another Self-Made Link Metric” like the others we have in our industry. Here is what he said:
It wouldn’t be Google’s PageRank. All of the other companies that run crawlers already have their own metrics (which are probably pretty robust in the meantime), so it would basically just be “Yet Another Self-Made Link Metric”. People already have enough metrics to look at when buying / selling links (and often they don’t even know what those older metrics do, or how they’re calculated), another one isn’t going to change any of that.
From a cool project standpoint and trying to learn how linkgraphs work on the web, sure, John said it is interesting. He said:
Playing with big data sets can be fun, trying things with PageRank & other graph calculations can be fun, but none of this is really useful compared to taking that time to make a better website. If anyone reading this is keen on building something like this, imo, go off and build it – you will learn a lot along the way, and that knowledge & experience will be useful. The numbers that come out, not so much, but what you learn along the way will be.
But don’t expect that when your OpenPageRank goes up, your rankings would go up. Or expect that if your OpenPageRank goes down, your rankings would go down.
Forum discussion at Reddit.