Over the past year I’ve read a lot of articles and posts from people claiming that page rank is no longer important because information shows that it does not heavily affect ranking in the SERPS. This is a valid argument and it’s definitely true that people should not assume their site is going to rank well just because it has a high page rank. However I think this argument misses the point behind page rank.
Page rank is a logarithmic calculation of your current linking practice. This includes all links to a single page, including inbound and onsite links in comparison to the Internet as a whole. If your well established site has a page rank of 3 or less then that means your page isn’t as “efficient” as it could be. By efficient I mean the pages capability to draw links in comparison to handing them out. By this simile you can determine if your site is competitive in the efficiency sense with the other sites related to yours.
This is very important for two reasons
1) The major search engines are always encouraging site owners to “stay in good neighborhoods.” That way when you are seeking links from other websites in your field you can know which ones are not only in good neighborhoods, but which ones are in great neighborhoods. This is the true intention of the page rank meter. No one can argue that a link from a PR7 site that has the same topic as you won’t have a drastically positive affect on your SERP rankings. The meter is there to help guide webmasters to finding the RIGHT links that WILL improve their rankings.
2) Page Rank IS calculated in some form into the SERPS. This cannot be denied, but one could argue about how little it may actually affect them. Consider this for a moment, even if one day Google decides that with all the spam and link buying that page rank is pretty much worthless, they will still, at least to a small degree, include it in the algorithms that determine which sites are in the top. For those of you who don’t make a living on the Internet you see this as a relief to quit worrying about page rank, but for those of you who are Search Engine Optimizers you realize that your site is not OPTIMIZED until EVERY single aspect of your site is the best it can be, this includes even the most minuet factors. If you are a true pro then you ask yourself this question every time you are wondering if you should make a change. Do the search engines use this to determine my rank in the organics? Yes? Then I must make the change.