What Happens If PageRank Goes Away?

Ever since Google removed PageRank from it’s Webmaster Tools area, there has been speculation that Google may in fact get rid of PageRank altogether. These rumors are getting louder, many believing that as of January 1st, PageRank will disappear from the Google Toolbar!

Is this true? And if so, what does that mean for all of us?

Read any of the SEO forums, and you’ll see the same responses. “PageRank isn’t important, just focus on quality content!” And while that’s absolutely true, PageRank is what brings in the money.. It’s a controversial issue that Google has wrestled with, and it comes down to paid links.

A friend of mine has a number of sites, which collectively bring in about 400K visitors a month! Google Adsense doesn’t pay worth a damn, and because of the niche he’s in, affiliate ads are hard to come by. His only option is selling links. But when he started doing this, Google dropped the hammer on him, and gave him a manual PR penalty.

He tried selling links based on the merits of the site. The number of visitors, the Alexa numbers, the reputation of the sites, etc. But every advertiser would site the low PR as the reason they wouldn’t buy links. This went on for well over 18 months! He scraped by, but it was a losing battle.

It got to the point where he almost shut down his sites a few months ago, as the amount of work he was doing was hard to justify.. Then, in that magical mini-update in the beginning of December, his sites got a MASSIVE boost, and all of a sudden it was “game on!”

Ironically, he didn’t even know about the PR update! But all of a sudden, he was getting e-mails out of the blue, all asking about advertising opportunities on his sites. When he realized what had happened, it made his day. Within 2-3 days, he had netted over $2000 from paid ads. While this isn’t huge money, it would have taken him 2 years in the Adsense world..

So that brings me back to my initial point. What happens if PageRank goes away? Will it put guys like this out of business? Or will it level the playing field, causing advertisers to focus on what’s really important – The merits of the site itself.

Only time will tell.. Would love to hear your thoughts on this, feel free to leave me a comment!

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One Response to “What Happens If PageRank Goes Away?”

  1. Jason@Silver says:

    I believe it will level the playing field. People won’t see you just because you are knowledgeable with PR and you have high PR. Without it, people will find you because you are the expert as shown by the quality content that you’re constantly putting out.

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