What was already an exceptionally limited group of sites holding the distinction of PR10, the badge has now been stripped from a number of the most authoritative sites on the Web. Search Engine Genie had a recent list of PR10 sites, that dates back to January 2011, that I clicked through to see whom of the creme-de-la-creme was still on top. Only 8 of the sites listed still maintained there PR10 status:
- Add This
- Adobe Flash Player Download
- Adobe Reader Download
- European University Association
- United States Department of Health and Human Services
- U.S. Government’s Official Web Portal
The Google Downgrade and How Facebook Forges On
As the link graph of the entire web grows the link graph of your website needs to grow with it. Remaining stagnant or only marginally growing is not winning according to the PageRank algorithm.
More and more sites are coming online every minute of every day and with these sites there are more and more links being added to the Web. When a site is redesigned, edited or launched the most common outbound links added are social links. These links are one of two things, profile links to Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and YouTube or social sharing links through services like AddThis. No one goes, “Oh we HAVE TO link to Google for our users and customers” because there is in no benefit to linking to Google for them. However, everyone says “We have to have a Facebook profile and link to it so we can engage with our customers”, that is how Facebook maintains their PR10 status.
Google has no one to blame except themselves for being downgraded from PR10 to PR9. Google has just been unable to keep up with the rapid growth that Facebook achieved with garnering links from, well, just about every website on the Web. A clear dominating force in the Social Web Era, Facebook is leading the pack and Google is struggling to even keep pace (from miles behind) but not for a lack of trying. Google is the king of launch and fail but all of this “spinning of the wheels” is getting them no where to remain competitive.
The direction that Google is heading, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them drop to a PR8. [gasp]