How mozRank is Filling in the Gaping Hole Left by the Departure of PageRank

Graphical example of backlinks. Source: mozRank? What are these things?

PageRank and mozRank are both simply a number ranking system that reveal a website’s authority and popularity on the world wide web. They do this by looking at a website’s backlinks, among other things. These systems are run by Google and SEOMoz, respectively, and they rank your website on a logarithmic scale of 0 to 10; think of them as a Richter scale for websites.

These numbers are very popular among webmasters and bloggers to compare and rank different blogs and websites. The problem, however, is that PageRank seems to have been fading away over the last year or so. Read on to find out more.

Google is abandoning PageRank

If you are involved in blogging or website design, chances are you have heard of Google’s PageRank algorithm. This is a very important number that is used in blog ranking systems and has wide important on many aspects of blogging, up to and including selling your blog to a third party.

The problem with PageRank is that it has been slowly fading away since more than a year ago. Google has repeatedly said that PageRank should not be taken too seriously by webmasters and others, and they have since removed PageRank from their Webmaster Tools. While they currently allow people to view an “external” PageRank through their toolbar and through third-party websites, this external ranking is not updated very often and does not reflect the true PageRank at all; in fact, nobody really knows how Google determines rankings since they keep those details a secret.

Nonetheless, a lot of people still place a lot of value on a simple website ranking measure, like PageRank. This is unfairly punishing newer blogs such as myself, since the last public PageRank update was made nearly a year ago, when I didn’t exist. Am I being dissed by Google? I don’t think so, but to some people, it might seem that way.

Enter mozRank

The gaping hole left by the fading away of PageRank is starting to be filled. Enter mozRank, an alternative ranking system by SEOMoz. This is a ranking system that fills the same shoes as PageRank and also ranks websites on a logarithmic scale of 0 to 10, but it is run by a different company. It is also updated much more frequently.

How can mozRank help you? If you run a new website, chances are you are being unfairly punished due to your PageRank of 0. mozRank offers you an alternative ranking system that is updated much more often, and more and more scoring systems are starting to include mozRank. The Yakezie network, a group of highly respectable and motivated personal finance bloggers, is now including mozRank in its ranking. This is great for younger personal finance blogs that are being unfairly penalized in these ranking systems due to the lack of any recent PageRank updates.

How do I check my mozRank?

You can check your mozRank by heading over to Website Grader or Blog Grader. The first will give you a score between 0 and 10 while the second is accurate to two decimal points. Both of these sites also offer a lot of helpful tips to help you optimize your website and blog, and they don’t cost anything to use, so I highly recommend passing by these sites and evaluating your site to see where you stand, and where you can improve.

Further reading

Here are some interesting posts on mozRank around the web. If you would like to be included on this list, just let me know (the list will be capped at 15 posts).

So, reader, are you also being unfairly punished due to a lack of PageRank updates? If you are, there’s one way you can help change things: publicize alternatives! The blogging community has put all of its eggs in one basket for too long, and it is good to have alternatives. Google might decide to pull PageRank completely one day, or something else might change. Why depend solely on them? Let me know what you think about PageRank and mozRank in the comments!

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    • says

      Nothing really special — I just adjusted length of RSS feed, made some other minor adjustments: The blog grader and website grader sites will give you a lot of great tips that will help you optimize your blog for better rankings.

      A non-MOZ specific optimization that I did was enable WP Super Cache preloading. This has greatly increased my site speed from “Very Slow (5 seconds)” to “Average (~1 second)”. Since the SEs take this into consideration, this is starting to become important.

    • says

      I like your theme and site, and there are definitely small yet very useful tips which you will learn from the grader websites.

  1. says

    Kevin, I’m in the same boat that you are wrt to google and I think our sites are comparable in age. I must tell you that I understand the importance of Googles view of one’s site in the cyberworld, but nevertheless, I resent the time spent on optimization that could be spent on developing strong content for my readers!

    • says

      Content for the readers is the most important. Don’t resent the optimization as some of it is useful; even if you don’t see the public page rank, Google is still calculating something internally.

  2. says

    I hate page rank as advertisers love to ignore us 0 page rankers!

    I also have a Mozrank toolbar installed on my pc and I can analyze any page I am on.

    Thanks for writing this post Kevin. If only more people understood that page rank is fading away.

  3. says

    I really hope that the page rank is fading away. Interesting article. Did the Blog Grader and ended up with 3.09. :-) Surprisingly didn’t get depressed.

    • says

      Didn’t you just switch domains? That isn’t so bad at all. You’ve been pretty good at promoting, and you should see that shoot up in no time at all. :)

  4. says

    This is great, and exactly spot on. It’ll be great if we all highlight the importance of mozRank as well.

    I had a LONG conversation with a veteran SEO expert and he agrees and totally uses mozRank as a key metric.

  5. says

    Oh my god, a lightbulb just went off in my head when I read this. I had no idea that page rank stopped updating over a year ago. I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong with my blog that I was getting a 0 ranking. Duh. Thank you for this explanation. It all makes sense now.

    • says

      Truth is, we all have PageRank, but Google is just not telling us what it is. They want us to focus on the user rather than an arbitrary metric, which is a goal I actually agree with, but the problem is that without a metric, it’s more difficult to arrive at an objective ranking for a website.

  6. says

    I am heading over there now to test my site! I hope I rank good lol I know my mozRanking is pretty good, but not sure about the whole grade aspect. Is it directly related to each other?

    • says

      Saw your rank over at BFS… not bad at all! :)

      I think that the mozRank will feed into whatever your overall website/bloggrade is, but not the reverse. mozRank appears to be primarily based on link authority, though they may certainly use other factors in secret. 😉

  7. says

    I wish Google sheds some light on all of this PageRank drama. We need them to clarify why they stopped updating the rankings and if they intend to resume it or not. That will trigger a lot of movement in the advertising world as everyone knows what to focus on for metrics.

  8. says

    I agree with Mich’s comment wholeheartedly. I don’t think people are adverse to using a new metric if there was some transparency on what Google is doing (why would be an added bonus). It’s somewhat unfair Kevin for them to leave sites in limbo, even if they aren’t directly “penalizing” anyone.

    Best Regards,

    • says

      Google, transparent? Never happen. But I’d love to know more about optimizing for mozRank. It would make life so much easier. And exactly when did Google stop updating pageranks? I have a PR of 3 and my blog is about 1.80 years old. :) Since we’re now using decimals for mozRank.

      • says

        I think the last update was in April. It would be nice for Google to just come out and make a public announcement regarding PRs future, but maybe things are playing out exactly as they intend…

  9. says

    I’m one of the people who have benefited from PR not updated. I was given a PR4 back in march and it hasn’t budged. This means lots of advertising revenue I probably didn’t deserve. If I had to rate myself, I would have said that by July, I should have dropped considerably, but in the last 2 months I would have gone back up.

    Also, it’s not clear what Google is doing. There may be an update around the corner that we simply don’t know about.

    Relying on mozRank or any single metric can be dangerous – alexa as well. But if you take everything into account, I think we can do a pretty good job of determining which sites are the more important/relevant.

    • says

      Definitely good to not put all the eggs in one basket. I’m hoping that other metrics will be taken more seriously going forward.

    • says

      I’m curious about this, myself. Maybe Sam could share some of his insights regarding that. IMO I think MOZ Rank are slightly higher than PRs on the low end, so maybe PR 2 would correspond to Moz 4. Can’t really say without having more data, though.

  10. says

    If PR just bothered to update we wouldn’t be having the conversation. Google are losing some of their hold by closing some of their old open values and now we are turning to things like MozRank which is pretty awesome…. Well it likes me anyway :)

    • says

      I definitely would like to see more transparency from them here. Well, their absence is driving momentum towards competitors, so maybe that’s a good thing down the road, even if I’m being punished for it ATM.

  11. NiceBox SEO Blog says

    Great post Kevin,

    As you rightly say, Google’s pagerank hasn’t been updated (publicly) since about April 2010. If you’re not “in the know” in terms of SEO then you might have been wondering what on earth was going on in terms of your site’s PR (in fact I think I saw at least one comment above making this exact point).

    We use mozRank as an alternative to PR when educating our customers about the linking popularity of their website, and that of other sites on the web. mozTrust is also a really cool metric, but only available to SEOmoz paid customers.

    • says

      Quite a few out there are still stuck on PR, but I’m starting to see the seeds of change. If we get to 1 year without PR updates, these seeds may germinate in the minds of those still reliant on PR, and we may see a real change in mindset. That and more transparency on Google’s part are things I’m looking forward to!

  12. John says

    PR just dropped from 4 to 3.. however I think it’s because we switched from a Java based dropdown menu (which search engine couldn’t read) to a html menu supported by css.

    So Pagerank has dispersed from being hoarded to the main page, to being spread out throught all the other pages.

    Before homepage was PR4. Now it’s PR3.. and around 8 other regularly linked pages have become PR3 as well.

  13. says

    Even though PR drops.. as long as you are gaining more links, your site will still keep its authority. PR isn’t dead, just isn’t updated much on the tool bar. One of the biggest factors on getting links on a website is based on how many unique domains link to it in the first place. The more websites linking to you, the better your mozrank and the more authority your website will have. MozRank is definitely the wave of the future.

  14. SEO adword Associates says

    This is by far the most useful article I’ve found on the internet in quite awhile. I’m still developing my skills as an SEO professional, but It’s nice to see how Mozrank works. I still think it comes down to the old school ways a bit. Find the best links and pursue them. As for the bloggers awaiting update to PR, I would agree, the big “G” always is changing.


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