WASHINGTON, DC – inQbation™ is thrilled to announce that it has reached a Google PageRank benchmark of PR4. inQbation.com was initially registered with GoDaddy on October 26, 2007, although it did not launch as a website until after March 2008 when we changed our corporate identity from Artists Café to inQbation™. At that time, we were a PageRank zero (PR0) and stayed that way, probably in Google’s sandbox for about 30 days.
By May 2008, we were up to a PR1, by June a PR2 and by July a PR3. We stagnated at PR3 for over three months. Then, I decided to move our blog from blog.inqbation.com to inqbation.com/blog which concentrated all of our SEO and inbound links to a single domain. Initially, we were actually splitting our link juice between two domains; inqbation.com and blog.inqbation.com, which is actually a sub-domain. By moving the blog from a sub-domain to a sub-directory, we jumped from PR3 to PR4 and stayed that way for about 3 months.
Then something happened. I changed the .htaccess the the permalinks on WordPress. I was trying to make the URLs more pretty and less cryptic. I figured that www.inQbation.com/how-google-works would read more easily on Google’s SERP than www.inQbation.com/blog/2009/03/14/935813801.html. Would you agree? But, the penalty is we probably lost a lot of our inbound links that were pointing to specific blog pages. This loss of inbound links, due to broken links, probably caused us to drop from PR4 to PR3. Well, finally, another 3-4 months later, we’re back at PR4.
How is PageRank determined?
PageRank is a term coined by Google and it refers back to one of the earliest concepts of Google’s unique algorithm. PageRank is determined by how many other websites link to, point to or reference the website in question. Google describes PageRank like a vote – the more votes you get, the higher your PageRank or PR.
It didn’t take long for overzealous web marketers, spammers, Black Hat SEOs and hackers to start gaming the system. Link exchanges and paid links started unnaturally influencing and manipulating Google’s SERP. So, Google fought back to enforce the integrity of their algorithm by creating ways to find out if links were legitimate or not. For example, Google will only give you credit for one link per website. So, if I have 1,000 links from a single website to my website then it only counts as one link, not 1,000.
Also, Google detects to see if inbound links come from the same registered owner. For example, I could register 500 domains and host them cheaply on GoDaddy. Then, I can create inbound links from 499 of those websites into my one website. Since Google is a domain name registrar, it has access to registration information for website owners and can determine if a single owner or registrar is trying game the system.
Finally, Google can also detect IP addresses of originating inbound links. If too many inbound links are coming from the same IP address then Google is likely to discount those links because it detects link fraud.
So, what’s the big deal? Why is a PR4 so important? Well, a couple reasons. You’re not really considered an SEO player at below PR4. You are not considered terribly relevant in Google’s eyes at less than a PR4. Most importantly is what I’d call the slippery slope or the tipping point. Once you get into the PR4+ range, whatever search engine optimization (SEO) efforts you make catch traction faster.
So, we’re thrilled to be back in the PR4 range and working on PR5 – hoping to be there by the end of the year, which won’t be bad for a two-year old website.