I came up with an interesting finding today, whilst testing whether having a link on a Google Profile passes PageRank. Writing it up prematurely, I am going to end up tainting the experiment, but since I inadvertently spotted something interesting, I decided to stop anyway and tell the world. So this post:
- Shows you how to tell whether a page really passes page rank
- Shows you why I think Google Profiles don’t pass PageRank (even though they are not nofollow) and
- Shows an error in Google’s algorithm…. clear as day.
How to tell if a page really passes PageRank
Well first… I don’t believe in Page Rank. What I am actually testing is whether a link from page A to page B actually influences the ranking of page B in the SERPS. If you think that’s the same as green fairy dust, then please go back a few steps.
My test was to put some unique anchor text on page A that did not appear at all on page B. Most people trying to check or claim a page passes any authority or relevance tend to completely ignore this important part of such a claim. If the anchor text has any similarity with the content on the landing page, then you have screwed up your test, because there could easily be (and probably are) other factors affecting whether the landing page shows on a search engine for that term. Below is my test in pictures.
Why I think Google Profiles don’t pass PageRank
I did the above test on a Google profile… My own google Profile. I used the unique text: “I live in Harlington with Marie and my two kids and I have just taken on an allotment.” The profile went live in late November. Now in THEORY, that link is not “NoFollowed” so if Google finds it, then it should take some authority from it’s parent domain (which is www.google.com!) and then in due course, the landing page would show in the Google results for either the phrase “I live in Harlington with Marie and my two kids and I have just taken on an allotment.” or just “just take out an allotment”… even though these words do not appear on page B right? Of course, just because Google doesn’t put “NoFollow” tags in its own links, doesn’t mean the links are “DoFollow”. Anyway… Here’s what has happened with the test so far.
Day 1: Google hadn’t indexed anything. So no screenshot to show you.
6th January the result was like this:
Very cool… Compete.com seems to have cached the page, and its cache made it into Google’s SEPS before the original post! However… no sign of the landing Google profile or the landing page yet.
Jan 15th the result was like this:
Google has found Page A (The Google Profile) and has indexed it… and to be fair has given it more relevance than the Compete.com Cache, even though Google indexed the Compete page before its own.
Feb 1st the result was like this:
Google managed to kick Compete out of the results altogether. But the Landing Page (page B) is still not appearing for either of my test search phrases. Now that I have published this post, my test must stop, because I have other links to the landing page. But a new test continues, I suppose, to see if THIS page passes anchor text link juice to the landing page. But I stopped the test, because the test already found two new things:
An error in Google’s algorithm…
Look closer at the above image. Is it my eyes, or does it say “No results found for ‘I live in Harlington with Marie and my two kids and I have just taken on an allotment.’ and then… right underneath it… show a page with EXACTLY that result. Syntax correct… match case correct… everything correct. So the Hazard symbol lies.
Here’s another bonus secret for reading to the end…
Most people think that Google will call the first page it indexes with duplicate content the authoritative version. However, Google clearly indexed compete’s version first… some days later, it indexed my profile… then some days later again it dumped compete.com.
So that debunks the theory that the first call on content wins.
Much to think about there. Can you add to my findings?