Goodbye PageRank, hello mozRank

Features and Updates/SEO

Goodbye PageRank, hello mozRank

It’s no secret that Google isn’t crazy about marketers using their PageRank (PR) score. They probably even regret letting it loose to begin with, but let it loose they did — via their toolbar. Since that time, enterprising marketers have done whatever they could to know and reference PR for any given site or page.

As time has gone by, PR has become less important to seasoned internet marketers, and Google has also made it more difficult to retrieve the score from their servers. While Raven Tools has included the PR score as a part of our system since we first launched, it has become increasingly difficult to reliably provide PR scores to our users.

Open Site Explorer
Open Site Explorer

About Open Site Explorer

Fortunately, Rand Fishkin, and his team at SEOmoz, had the foresight not only to solve this problem, but to also improve on it. Using the data from their link popularity checker and backlink analysis tool, Open Site Explorer (OSE), they’ve developed new metrics for measuring link popularity, trust and authority. Those metrics include:

  • mozRank and mozTrust for individual URLs
  • mozRank and mozTrust for unique domains
  • Domain Authority and Page Authority

Why Raven is switching to Open Site Explorer

Effective immediately, we are replacing most data references to PageRank in our system with mozRank. Also, where applicable, we will be including additional metrics, like mozTrust, Domain Authority and Page Authority.

The Quality Analyzer has two new metrics, mozRank and Domain Authority, which are replacing PR. Even though we are replacing PR throughout the system, we are still keeping the ability to manually add or import PageRank into the Link Manager. So if you’re able to get the PR score from a different source, you can still add it to the Link Manager for your own reference.

Why OSE metrics are good for Raven

We believe that the addition of OSE metrics in Raven will provide a better experience for our users. Specifically:

  • You get better metrics to help influence intelligent marketing and link building decisions.
  • The SEOmoz Site Intelligence API is a reliable data source.
  • We can provide data faster and more frequently.
  • The metrics will be used to enhance future tool development in Raven.

Help clients understand the change

We realize that over the years, some or many of your clients have become overly dependent on knowing and monitoring PageRank scores. Part of this phenomenon has been created by our own industry, while another part has come from clients attempting to educate themselves about SEO.

Fortunately, in the past few years, we’ve seen a shift away from the PR metric, and a greater focus on site performance and ROI. It is essentially a focus on what really matters to clients — results. If you use Raven Tools, and find yourself in this situation, we encourage you to educate your clients about the importance of metrics that focus on organic search engine traffic, site engagement and conversions.

Lastly, we are sincerely sorry for any confusion this change may cause you or your clients. It’s a change we feel we had to make, but we also think it’s a change for the better. We are very excited to more fully integrate the OSE metrics, and we’re even more excited about the updates we have planned that will more fully use their link popularity, trust, and authority metrics.

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Tell us what you think

  • mertcan
  • jeff

    That’s great. PageRank is updated infrequently, while mozRank is updated about once a month. Google incorporates domain factors not necessarily related to link popularity in determining the PageRank for a page in a domain – meaning a page with little link popularity will still have a high PageRank in certain domains. Worthz.com uses mozRank, Page Authority, and Domain Authority.

  • Jonathan Penchas

    this is better then google – a transparent and open source, or at least more open….

  • Jon Henshaw

    Marc, I’m sure you’re excited about the education part. Sorry man!

  • Marc Levy

    Wow Jon, things really have come a long way!

    I think this is a great move and I am excited to the further education I am going to have to provide a number of clients when they receive their next batch of reports ;)

  • Ari Nahmani

    This is really exciting news. As RichardBaxter said above, we use OSE data in our decision making and competitive link analysis already. Alongside the Raven platform which we’ve been using since the early days, this is going to be an awesome way to integrate our decision making, insights, and reporting.

    I’m sure some clients who are still stuck on gaining links with a minimum PR will have to be hand held.. but its about time we put a final nail in the google TBPR coffin!

    Thanks Jon.

    Richard and Rand, see you in London next week!

  • Jeremy Rivera

    Any plans to pull the OSE actual link analysis (page by page) into the Raven platform in the Research Tab?

  • Topher Kohan

    I applaud Jon and the whole team at Raven for having what it takes to move past an outdated system (PR) and work with what might be thought of as a competitor to Rand and the team at SEOmoz to give the users of Raven tools what they need to know to help them do there jobs the best way they can!

    Keep up the great work Guys (and Gals)!

    See you all at PubCon

  • Jon Henshaw

    Rand, thanks for the explanations, and also for your kind words. Looking forward to seeing you again out in Vegas :)

  • Rand Fishkin

    Wow, this new site really is pretty… Kudos again to the Raven design team.

    Just wanted to hop in and answer a few of the potential questions in the comments above:

    Re: mozRank vs. PageRank correlation – this post might be useful – http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-science-of-ranking-correlations. We’ve also pointed out that each month, we compare mozRank against a sample of a few thousand random toolbar PageRank scores and on average, these values are off by around 0.4-0.5 (since mR shows two significant digits and PR doesn’t, a “perfect” relationship would be ~0.25).

    In terms of predicting rankings, both mozRank and PageRank are nearly exactly the same (PR was very slightly higher in our last look at the data, but often falls below mR when it hasn’t updated in a while). Neither are excellent by any means, but if you’re attempting to measure raw link equity, they’re both relatively similar.

    In terms of DA/PA – these metrics tend to be more predictive of rankings (particularly PA) because we engineer them specifically to rank model against Google.com rankings and be predictive of how pages will perform (sans signals like content + keywords). In our last examination of metrics, PA was around 0.35, which is the highest single metric we found among any we analyzed (both from SEOmoz and places like Alexa, Google PR, Compete, Yahoo! link counts, etc.)

    Obviously, I’m biased when it comes to the topic of mozRank, but I’m also a bit jealous :-) Raven has built a remarkably excellent product and I think many SEOs have recognized that.

    I’m not sure if anything like this instigated the shift, but I will say that a couple years ago, Google contacted SEOmoz and informed us that we couldn’t use their toolbar PageRank scores in our toolbar or new tools we built. Hubspot is another firm that recently switched away from showing PR in their application (again, I don’t know whether Google instigated or not). Either way – I think it’s clear that as software builders in SEO scale, Google becomes a threat, as there’s no completely “safe” way to grab PageRank and show it in your product.

    Congrats again Raven team – hope to see you out at Pubcon!

  • Orville Tadle

    Good move, as more and more SEOs is slowly embracing the importance and impact of PR in link popularity. Hope I could do educate well my clients getting away with Google’s PR.

  • Zarko Zivkovic

    Nice, personally I think it’s great. this way we can compare website rank based on more reliable sources. maybe it will give us something more to show to our customers, or maybe not. Time will tell!

  • Phill Ohren

    Seriously, I’m fed up of people using PageRank in general as an SEO metric… It’s unreliable, old and even used as propaganda by Google Themselves.

    Think you are forgetting theres one key channel missing from all of these “Rank” metrics. Until it is included I’m not interested in any of these page rank tools.

  • iamseo

    PR updates have been more sporadic lately, and not as widespread as they used to be, so I see the practicality in moving to mozrank.

  • Olivier Amar

    I don’t know about this one.. There’s no solid correlation between Mozrank and Google ranks, so why adopt it? It’s a great tool, but not one that I think needed to be included with Raven’s tool set.

  • Mike

    Interesting development. I’ve never been a fan of mozRank (for no good reason other than it seemed to be another proprietary system that tries to mimic another one). I had looked at Google’s PR value for a few years so this development wont affect me…

    However, it does show an openness in the market between two “competitors” that aren’t too proud to work together in this fashion – even it is one using the open index of another…

  • Jon Henshaw

    Thanks Samuel and Richard!

    Kevin, in true Raven fashion, we announce something as soon as it’s ready! That usually ends up being in the late afternoon on a Wednesday or Thursday. No timing conspiracies here :)

  • Kevin

    Your announcement is timed so perfectly with the launch of their revamped affiliate program:)

  • richardbaxter

    This is exciting stuff! Raven powers most of our internal client management, and SEOmoz data informs much of our decision making. Delighted to see the two join forces:-)

  • Samuel Lavoie

    Good move, took balls I’m sure, but I was actually looking for this. Can’t wait to see the new features, you guys seems to add them much faster now :)

  • Jon Henshaw

    It got to the point that we couldn’t reliably provide TBPR because of the speed of our current growth, and our need to continue scaling the system.

  • Dawn Wentzell

    Curious why you’re replacing TBPR completely with mozRank, and not doing both?