Why would one want to have a fake pagerank? Google PageRank is a factor that determines a websites price. Usually the higher your pagerank is the more cash you can get for your website or advertising space on your website. Many webmasters are also buying pagerank for their website(s). A link to you on a website that has a pagerank of 8 will pass some juice to you and google’s robots will see this as a good vote for your website. Sometime later your web page may end up with a higher pagerank. The popular belief is that pagerank is all it takes to make your website more popular and thus appear in search results more often. While it is one factor to determine the positions of your web pages in search engines, it certainly is not the only and most important one. The recent google penalization of selling text links has cooled down matters a little bit, but websites with forged google pageranks still appear daily in the webmasters markets. Now that the reasons of why one should fake a page rank are known, we will look how this is done and how to avoid purchasing such websites or advertising on it.
SPOTTING A FAKE PAGERANK
There are two possible indicators that show google pagerank may not be valid. One is when a page shows pagerank in online tools but does not have any or very few backlinks in google. For example a website claims to have a pagerank of 7, but when you check it with the previously mentioned tool it shows no or very few backlinks (50 is very low for a website of PR7).
The Second possible scenario is when a domain is masked to redirect to a higher PR site. The masked page will temporarily gain the pagerank of the page it was masked to, even after the domain masking is taken down. All a person has to do in order to fake a pagerank is use a redirect for their domain and point it to a high pagerank domain. In the Google toolbar it will show the PR of the page it was pointed to.
DETECTING A FAKE PAGERANK
Detecting a fake PR is fairly simple. If you think that a site is showing a fake PR, then simply take a look at its cache version on Google. Make sure you check both instances, with and without the www prefix. One may be redirected, while the other not!
- Check cache by going to google and typing in info:yourdomain.com
- Check cache by going to google and typing in info:www.yourdomain.com
In this example here we see an actual website faking its pagerank. While we have typed info:muslimsislam.com into the search box, the results returned the website www.dar-us-salam.com, from which it was taking the PR. It is either doing a 301 / 302 redirect directly or with the use of cloaking. 301, 302, 200 are status codes which tell your browser what to do next.
- 301 – Permanent Redirect
- 302 – Temporary Redirect
- 200 – Connection Established and The Request Has Succeeded
To find out whether it is doing a 301 / 302 redirect directly or indirectly with cloaking, you have to look at its HTTP Header. To find this out go to Header Status Check Tool and type in your desired domain. In our example below we can see that the website in question was not using direct redirecting, but with cloaking. It is only redirecting the GoogleBot to www.dar-us-salam.com with either a 301 or 302 Status code on the basis of its IP address or User Agent field.
So next time you buy a website, domain or advertising on a particular webpage, be sure to check out these indicators! If you are suspecting a faked pagerank, leave this website and search for another one. Detecting a pagerank that is forged can be done with online tools too, but I always recommend the manual check, so you can see what exactly it is doing.