Backlink Obsession, that is. No, I didn’t coin the term, but it is used in a recent posting by Matt Cutts, which is a very worthwhile read for anyone with even a mild interest in PageRank.
Last week, a new set of PageRank values were exported to the Google data centers, which means that some of you may have noticed an increase or decrease for your site. In itself, this doesn’t really matter that much, but Matt has followed up this info with more details about how PageRank actually works. Some things that that users and SEOs have always suspected have now been confirmed:
“It’s more accurate to think of [the PageRank value] as a floating-point number. Certainly our internal PageRank computations have many more degrees of resolution than the 0-10 values shown in the toolbar.”
Another interesting quote:
“PageRank is computed continuously; there are machines that take inputs to the PageRank algorithm at Google and compute the resulting PageRanks. So at any given time, a url in Google’s system has up-to-date PageRank as a result of running the computation with the inputs to the algorithm. From time-to-time, that internal PageRank value is exported so that it’s visible to Google Toolbar users.”
In other words, the PR values that we see could be completely out of date – yet another reason not to obsess about them.
Read the whole posting if you’re interested – and those of you with B.O. would also be wise to heed Matt’s advice, which is to “stop and go and do something else for a bit.”