I received a comment this morning from someone (Anonymous) who wanted to know why anyone should focus on Page Rank...
The first thing I would like to say about that is please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions on search engine optimization. I will try to address your questions personally when time and the situation permits. While I love the comments, I am not always sure that the person interested in the answer is going to come back to the site for it. (If you don't feel comfortable posting your email on the Internet-like me - then leave a link to your Web site and your first name in the comment and I will track you down.)
Ok, the question repeated:
"I must be missing something with the whole pagerank thing. I mean, if I go after a keyword, and I get it to the top position in the search engines, why should I care at all about the pr that is going to show in the google bar. It shouldn't matter at all, to anyone. After all, the whole point is to grab those top positions, and you can do that just fine without having high google pr."
My answer: Page Rank is just one of the many factors that goes into determining your organic placement on Google. (Let me repeat that for affect: PR IS a factor that determines where you appear on the Search Engines.) The reason to focus on PR is that it is easy to affect as it is determined by links, and quality of links into your site. To the visitor's comment on how high positions can be grabbed without high page rank - yes! absolutely that is true. To be #1 on Google for the term "meghan wier", my site doesn't have to have a high PR at all... because there is hardly any competition. For a broader, or more highly sought after term, such as "Web design", the current highest ranking site (9/3/05) has a PR of 7. Trust me, if they had a 2, they wouln't even be on the first page... no matter how hard they tunred their site!
Of course Page Rank is not the only factor, but it is a BIG one. If two sites are built similarly, and have similar tuning, their only distinguishing factor may come down to who your friends are - and to Google, that mean who links to you.
Anonymous, I hope this answers your question on the importance of Page Rank - the rest of you out there... please do feel free to ask me via email, or leave your contact info for me and I will do my best to help you out.
... on a side note, I have been getting an influx of comments lately, a lot of "blog-spam". While I apreciate the interest in piggy-backing on my site, why don't you check out my Page Rank... which, in case you don't have a Google Tool Bar is a "1". And while I am working on getting that up, and no doubt I will... my PR is not going to rocket your PR anywhere. (Or drive any traffic to you what so ever). So go hop onto another site with a 3 or a 4... and stop getting my hopes up that I actually have people reading this blog! - (Oh, an I know when you are tring to be tricky about it... "I love your blog, check out my home loans site, I think you will find it interesting" - BS - you know I wont.)