Oh PageRank, where art thou? PageRank in 2018, thou art gone. Possibly forever.
If you’re unaware, “PageRank” was meant as Google’s way of checking where your page ranked on Google. Sadly, this beautiful beast ceased to exist in 2014. It’s no longer functional or even helpful for modern SEO. Despite the sad death of PageRank, progress has marched forward in those four years, though.
Surely there’s still a way to look into how you’re ranking, right? How else could we manage SEO without understanding how we’re doing? Learning is a process that involves constant feedback. Unsurprisingly, so does SEO.
There are plenty of ways to check your page’s progress and rank like it’s 2018 and not 2014.
Come, let’s go on a journey down page-ranking lane.
Understanding PageRank in 2018
First things first: know that Google puts relevancy, quality, and business above ease of access to their methods. Their secrets are only pried from their cold, dead hands (but also, please don’t die, Google).
PageRank is still known and searched widely because PageRank was one of the original algorithms Google released. In fact, it was even named after one of Google’s founders: Larry Page.
Google is known for using hundreds of factors in their algorithms which decide and sort how they rank pages. They’re purposefully “on the down low” about many of these factors because they don’t want their methods exploited and their customers ending up with the equivalent of word-stuffed pages full of nonsense.
Yes, black hat SEO is still a thing, and that’s exactly what would happen if their deciding factors were openly unveiled. Not everyone would use SEO in this manner, but many results would end in relatively useless Google search results.
PageRank was actually created to combat these types of “cheating” and low-quality returned search results. Instead, with the implementation of the PageRank algorithm, links to and from said site became the new judge of a website’s quality. Back in the day, a PageRank toolbar even provided insight on improving SEO tactics based on the algorithm.
Essentially, as Google and PageRank evolved, PageRank couldn’t keep up with the new demands for increased sophistication for ranking web pages.
Converting PageRank into Modern Use in 2018
Since the almighty PageRank is useful no more, where do we look next for SEO feedback on where we currently rank? Well, thankfully, there are multiple options. And notably, not all of these are directly “How is my page ranking?” but SEO tools that can also help you explore and improve the data you’ll harvest.
3A9WfB7G%5Moz’s MozBar tends to reign as the royalty of rank-checking these days in what is essentially the new PageRank toolbar. Even better yet? MozBar is free (but additionally, a Pro version is also available for $149.00/month), but make sure you’re using Chrome or Firefox as your browser.
3A9WfB7G%5After you’ve read more about how incredible it is, you can download the toolbar here. But let’s actually talk about this masterful piece of work first.
3A9WfB7G%5Since we know your time is valuable as a business owner, we’re just going to give you the highlight reel. Here are some of our favorite features of MozBar:
- Tools and Settings: This feature, besides obvious and necessary reasons, has extended helpful abilities that allow you to check and uncheck features such as MozRank, Domain MozRank, Link Metrics and more. Only investigate what you need to know when you need to know it.
- SERP Overlay: The toolbar’s overlay changes when you’re looking at a SERP (search engine results page) and thus allows you to better browse and understand what the SERP is displaying.
- Export to .CSV: Export the SERP’s displayed information into a spreadsheet file to have better accessibility and analysis over what the data is telling you.
- Overall Favorite: This toolbar provides authority metrics and even includes a list of links directed towards a specified site. This means having data regarding the linking power and “authority” of your domain or the domain of a competitor.
3A9WfB7G%5Alright, so now you know where you stand in regards to your site versus your competitor’s. Now what? Well, now is the time for content gap analysis and to pluck those juicy keywords from your competitor’s grips! You need a keyword research tool. That’s SEMrush.
3A9WfB7G%5You can search keywords in your niche for data on cost per click (CPC), volume (how many have searched for this keyword), SERP source (which search engine provided the data), and best yet, find related keywords and keyphrases. With this data, you can cover relevant topics your audience is looking for but hasn’t been covered by your competitors.
Like we said, pluck those keywords from their fingers! Yoink!
3A9WfB7G%5Not only does SpyFu have an A+ name, but even more mechanisms to crush your competitor’s rank, particularly in reference to their ads. With SpyFu, based on a domain name alone, you can search not only what that domain has purchased as ad space, organic ranks, PPC competition research, and even ad variations. Did we mention that for any of those variables you can search for the past eleven years? Because you can.
3A9WfB7G%5Spyfu tends to be more economical compared to some competitor’s prices. Basic plans for SpyFu start at $33/month where competitors can be $100-150 a month for similar features.
We’re not paid by any of these companies, by the way. We just honestly appreciate a legitimate value.
3A9WfB7G%5Don’t get too excited, but in case you forgot, Google themselves will provide you with direct data regarding your site! You’ll need a Google Webmaster account, but once you’re in, the tools are worth the login. You can learn which keyword has received how many clicks and what keywords you’re currently rocking and ranking with. You can also access data regarding what keywords were most viewed during different time frames.
3A9WfB7G%5PageRank may be gone, but that doesn’t mean there’s no hope for you. Besides these tools, don’t forget that our SEO experts have researched and perfected their art with years of experience. If you don’t to take this journey alone or maybe just don’t have the hours to commit to quality SEO, talk to us. Help us help you.