Why have some of my PageRanks dropped?

This content is 18 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

It’s well known that the Google index is based on the PageRank system, which can be viewed using the Google Toolbar.

Google page rank

But something strange has happened on this blog – the main blog entry page has a PageRank of 5, the parent website has a PageRank of 4, but the PageRanks for most of the child pages have dropped to zero.

Now I know that posts have been a bit thin on the ground this month (I’ve been busy at work, as well as working on another website), but I can’t understand why the rankings have dropped. I found this when I was using the site search feature to find something that I knew I’d written, but it didn’t come up. Entering site:markwilson.co.uk as a Google search brings back 258 results, but this blog has nearly 500 entries, plus archive pages and the parent website – where have all the others gone? Some recent entries, like the one on Tesco’s VoIP Service, have a PageRank of zero but still come back on a search (at the time of writing, searching for Tesco VOIP brings back my blog as the third listed entry). Others just don’t appear in search results at all. Meanwhile some old posts have PageRanks of 2 or 3.

I know (from my website statistics) that Googlebot is still dropping by every now and again. So far this month it accounts for 3319 hits from at least 207 visits – I just can’t figure out why so many pages have a PageRank of zero (which seems to be a penalty rank, rather than “not ranked yet” marking).

I don’t deliberately try to manipulate my search rankings, but steady posting of content has seem my PageRank rise to a reasonable level. I just don’t understand why my second-level pages are not appearing in the index. The only thing I can think of is that it’s something to do with my new markwilson.it domain, which is linked from this blog, and which redirects back to a page at markwilson.co.uk (but that page has no link to the blog at the time of writing).

I’ve just checked the syntax of my robots.txt file (and corrected some errors, but they’ve been there for months if not years). I’ve also added rel="nofollow" to any links to the markwilson.it domain. Now, I guess I’ll just have resubmit my URL to Google and see what happens…

3 thoughts on “Why have some of my PageRanks dropped?

  1. I was searching for answers about why my PR has dropped and cam accross your blog. My website Bighippo Bathrooms started with a PR of 4 and now its 2. I have been trying to find out how this has happened. One person told me it was possibly due to your recipricol links being not relevant enough, have you heard this? Is it possible for someone to add someone elses site to a link farm? i know this would give any site a black mark.

  2. Hi Grant,
    First of all, I should explain that I’m no search expert – like you I just run a website that I need to get the PageRank (PR) as high as possible on.

    I found that adding a sitemap helped to improve the number of pages on my site that Google found and indexed. Also, using my URL in my signature on forum posts wasn’t a bad thing (although that’s probably because my site is technical – that might not help you much, unless there are forums about bathrooms).

    On the whole issue of PageRank, mine dropped recently – which was surprising because I’d just been linked from some good sources (like one of the bloggers at Microsoft…). It seems that periodically (and no-one know when), Google updates the PageRank mechanism and the figures that are used. Apparently the Google Toolbar’s not that great an indicator either.

    I also found some information that suggested PageRank is based on the number of backlinks (among other factors) and that it uses a logarithmic function from 1 to 10:

    1 = PR 1
    10 = PR 2
    100 = PR 3
    1000 = PR 4
    10000 = PR 5
    up to 1000000000 = PR 10

    So to get from PR 4 to PR 5 would require a huge increase in the number of backlinks (don’t think I’ll ever get the billion backlinks that I need for a PR 10!).

    HTH, Mark

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