Beware Of False Page Rank
The other day I got an email requesting a link exchange. The person requesting the link exchange said that they had a PR4 site on which they could place a link to my site.
I immediately thought “great, a PR4 link, which of my sites could most benefit from the link?”
I decided to have a quick look at the PR4 site where my link would go. The site was “getmentocommit.com”. As soon as I saw the site I was suspicious.
The website at “getmentocommit.com” is a WordPress site that contains only 11 posts in total, all of which were posted on March 18 2011. A quick back link check on Yahoo Site Explorer showed only 5 back links, all from pages without any PR. How could a site like this have a page rank of 4?
A Google search soon uncovered that this was a case of false page rank. The website “getmentocommit.com” does not really have a page rank of 4. This site implements a cloaking script that shows visitors “getmentocommit.com”, but shows Google a completely different site.
Go to google.com and type “info:getmentocommit.com” (without the quotes) into the search bar. What you get back is this:
Self-Help, Relationship and Dating Advice for Women with Dr. Paul
Learn exactly what to do to solve nearly any social or romantic problem
with new methods for women that will utterly transform your lifewww.womenshappiness.com
The website “womenshappiness.com” is a well established site with an authentic page rank of 4.
What is happening is that when Google visits “getmentocommit.com” it gets redirected to “womenshappiness.com”. When a real person visits “getmentocommit.com” they see “getmentocommit.com”. I won’t go into exactly how this is done because it is out of the scope of this article.
A bug, or quirk, in the Google toolbar shows that “getmentocommit.com” has a PR4, which actually comes from “womenshappiness.com”. The page rank for “getmentocommit.com” is fake and it’s real page rank is probably either zero or N/A.
The person requesting the link exchange is using the site with fake PR as link bait. This person actually wants a link to another one of their sites. People are more likely to give a link if they think they are getting a link from a website with high page rank.
SO BE WARNED. Particpating in link exchanges involving sites with fake PR won’t hurt the site you are getting a link to, but you definitely won’t be getting the high value link that you think you are.