Does PageRank Matter When Flipping Websites?

PageRank QuestionI got this question the other day from Dee, one of my loyal subscribers. Thanks, Dee, for the question because I’m sure you’re not the only one who wants to know the answer.

PageRank does play some role – particularly if the buyer is inexperienced and new to Internet Marketing. The importance of PageRank is over-hyped and unfortunately, newbies buy the hype hook, link, and sinker.

For any buyer with experience, however, PageRank is just one small piece of the puzzle that carries little weight in the overall value of a website. Having said that, all things being equal, “site A” will have more value than “site B” if site A has a higher PageRank. No two sites are ever equal, however, so it’s a moot point.

Having a high PageRank is great when you’re ready to sell – especially if you’re selling to a newbie, but experienced buyers will look right past it. They will be looking for more important things such as traffic and revenue trends, number of backlinks, keyword rankings, etc. PageRank will be one the last things experienced buyers will be looking for (unless they are a text link broker, I suppose). Otherwise, it will be the last thing an experienced buyer will consider when determining the value of a website.

If you want to know more about PageRank – including how to check fake PageRank if you are buying a site solely because of its PageRank – read the detailed post I wrote about it here.

  • PageRank shows how effective the link building strategy that they are using is. If the seller was selling textlinks or doing something unethical but has a large number of backlnks it raises red flags to the buyer. From time to time I see a site like this with PR0. Of course these sites have good potential if they have multiple revenue streams that do not rely on selling text links or anything black hat. Buy the site and don’t sell links and follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines and it will have a high PR in no-time and more value if you decide to flip the site.

    I like to look for sites that have sitelinks in Google. I’m not sure what is more valueable sitelinks or a high pagerank such as 5 or 6. Any idea on that?

    • Travis

      Derek:

      When I assess a site, I rarely pay attention to PR. Aside from traffic and revenue, I am looking to see what keywords a site ranks for and how many backlinks and what kind of backlinks it has.

      Travis

  • James

    While I agree that high page rank in and of itself is not as important as newbies think it is, it can be very useful for building your backlinks. If you have a site with high PR, especially in competitive areas like finance, you’ll find it much easier to exchange links (non-reciprocal, if you’re smart) with other quality sites. If you are stuck with a low PR site you’ll find it a steep uphill climb if you’re actively trying to build your link profile.

    • Travis

      James:

      Good point. PR would definitely play a role then if you are a buyer looking to buy for the sole reason to expand your backlinks.

      @Justin: I agree. I should have noted in my post that not only do newbies buy into the hype, so do experienced marketers. I personally have never put any thought into PR. I have one site that I thought was a PR2 and it was actually a PR4! I had no idea. PageRank is so over blown that I wish Google would have done away with it as they promised a while back.

      Travis

  • Hi Travis,

    I had this discussion on a forum and we ultimately came to the conclusion that page rank matters enough to make a good proportion of people bid (or bid higher), and ultimately this will increase the sale price and hence ‘value’ of your site, even if the actual buyer doesn’t account for it.

    With forums like Digital Point making it all to easy to ‘buy’ page rank (that will inevitably stay static or drop because of the way it’s built) I think we’ll see more sellers pushing PR as a selling feature of an otherwise crappy site.