Mythbusting 101: Don’t Talk If You Don’t Know
Ian Lurie Aug 15 2007
SitePro News sent me this dandy article this morning: SEO and Page Rank – Which is More Important.
With my BS monitor pegged in the red, I took a look. The article starts:
“Whether you believe in SEO or Page Rank and wonder which is more important, your thinking is irrelevant. You are wasting your time in wondering what is the correct answer to that question, since even if you knew it, there is little you could do to use that information.”
PageRank is a number assigned to you by Google. SEO (search engine optimization) is an activity. You can, arguably, try to measure SEO results using PageRank.
The article goes on:
“SEO, or search engine optimization, is a way of designing your website, and placing content in it, to satisfy search engine algorithms.”
“Now, consider if you thought Google PageRank more important (and PageRank is correct, not Page Rank). You would then spend more of your time trying to get links back to your website than you would properly optimizing your site and filling it with good content. If you were successful in that difficult job, then Google, and possibly other search engines, would list you a bit higher in their indices, not because their spiders thought your site was relevant to the search term used by the potential visitors, but because other websites thought so.”
Wow. So if I’m PageRanking (not a word), instead of doing SEO, I guess I focus on links? But if I’m doing SEO, then I focus on how my site’s designed and built.
Wrong. Link popularity work is an integral part of search engine optimization. Again, PageRank is a number. It’s not an activity. Nor is it something that can or should form the central part of any strategy.
Also, the PageRank we see in the Google Toolbar is very inaccurate – you cannot use it to measure how well you’re doing, SEO-wise.
Comparing PageRank and SEO as separate strategies is like asking “Which is more important, a car or an odometer?”
Smart SEO practitioners and internet marketers know that linking is part of the strategy, and that PageRank is fun to watch.
End of rant. See you tomorrow…
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More