Cutts looks at PageRank after Hummingbird update

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Reduced frequency of PageRank updates

Distinguished Engineer at Google Matt Cutts has confirmed that Google is choosing not to update PageRank as regularly as it once did.

In a recent Webmaster Help Channel Video, Cutts answered a query made by a webmaster concerned about their lack of improvement in Google PageRank. He responded: "It's only updated periodically so you know for a while we would update it relatively often, now we'll update it a few times a year."

Cutts also reminded webmasters that PageRank is not directly related to quality content and is instead about the links to a site, including the number and quality of links as well as how they point to the website. If looking to improve a PageRank, Cutts suggested that site owners should:

  • Establish good site architecture
  • Create a strong homepage with static links to individual pages
  • Ensure that important pages are just one or two links from homepage
  • Also while content does not have an immediate effect on PageRank, it does still have a substantial impact on it. So, it is recommended that sites concentrate on the creation of high quality content in order to get people wanting to link to their site.

    Google Hummingbird and PageRank

    The recently introduced search algorithm Google Hummingbird is said to use around 200 signals to determine the ranking of a page, with PageRank being one of them.

    Having a natural, relevant link profile appears to be important for this update. Meanwhile, being an authority site is essential, which can be achieved by making sure that a site has authoritative content and links from reliable domains. With the aim of delivering even better results to users - specifically for conversational searches - Google seems to be looking for ways to improve search results to better answer and problem solve the longer, question-based search queries.

    Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword, has said: "Taking a multi-pronged and natural approach when optimising a site - from the creation of high quality content right through to the development a diverse and relevant link profile - can help you to become the authoritative site that Google wants to rank highly."