For some time I have been pretty much ignoring PageRank in the Google Toolbar. I know too many sites that lost big PR on certain pages and not others or lost it across the board, all with no noticeable affect in their rankings.
More and more I see that link pages on websites register PR 0 (solid white bar) or no PR whatsoever (solid gray bar, which used to mean a site with a penalty) but which I can see by the PR of the rest of the website and the link structure should be all countr by PR2 or PR3 if not more.
But I have been assuming that the Toolbar shows PR lower than reality, never higher. That is, it gives lots (and lots and lots and lots) of false negatives, but never any false positives. However, lately my faith has been shaken. There have been a couple offers of link swaps involving pages that just intuitively should not have such a high PageRank. Today one of them struck me as odd enough, that I though I would blog about it.
This is a home page of a website that, according to both Google and Yahoo has 2 pages and shows less than 300 backlinks at Google. Furthermore, it is a blog with just two posts, both from 5 days ago. How would it get to be PR5, which takes a lot more links than it once did? And why am I suddenly getting an email for a home page link swap (becasue the savvy owner realises that he has something to capitalize on quickly before it turns to dust!)?
Don’t trust that green and white bar.Written by David Leonhardt
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