More appropriately, blame Google for ever making the PageRank score visible. When Google first started, PageRank was something it talked about as part of its research papers, press releases and technology pages to promote itself as a smarter search engine than well-established and bigger rivals at the time — players like Yahoo, AltaVista and Lycos, to name a few.

Steve, sometimes good information to users is a consolidation of very high quality links. We have over 3000 links to small business sites within the SBA as well as links to the Harvard and Yale library, academic journals, etc. But because we have the understanding that there should be no more than a hundred links in a website (more now from what Matt said) we have used nofollow on all of them out of fear that Google will penalize our site because of the amount of links.
Peter made a very good point in all of this, and Michael Martinez did in a backhanded way as well. Talking about a concept related PageRank sounds cool. It doesn’t actually have to be useful or practical, and it usually isn’t; but as long as the impression of something productive is given off, then that can be all that matters in the eyes of those who lack sufficient knowledge.
I think Matt Grenville’s comment is a very valid one. If your site, for whatever reason, can not attract links naturally and all of your competitors are outranking you by employing tactics that might breach Google’s TOS, what other options do you have? As well as this people will now only link to a few, trusted sites (as this has been clarified in your post as being part of Google’s algorithm) and put a limit on linking out to the smaller guys.
Another excellent guide is Google’s “Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.” This is a free PDF download that covers basic tips that Google provides to its own employees on how to get listed. You’ll find it here. Also well worth checking out is Moz’s “Beginner’s Guide To SEO,” which you’ll find here, and the SEO Success Pyramid from Small Business Search Marketing.
So, as you build a link, ask yourself, "am I doing this for the sake of my customer or as a normal marketing function?" If not, and you're buying a link, spamming blog comments, posting low-quality articles and whatnot, you risk Google penalizing you for your behavior. This could be as subtle as a drop in search ranking, or as harsh as a manual action, getting you removed from the search results altogether!
Thanks for the article (and lead-off links as they were good info too) but I did not quite get – if there was a penalisation by Google for sculpting – from the article or whether it was just bad practice? And also to echo what someone else asked ‘is it WORTH actually undoing this type of work on websites SEO’s have worked on’ or simply change the way we work with new sites?

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In both versions of my model, I used the total of my initia esitimate to check my math was not doing south. After every iteration, the total Pagerank remains the same. This means that PageRank doesn’t leak! 301 redirects cannot just bleed PageRank, otherwise the algorithm might not remain stable. On a similar note, pages with zero outbound links can’t be “fixed” by dividing by something other than zero. They do need to be fixed, but not by diluing the overall PageRank. I can maybe look at these cases in more depth if there is some demand.
I won’t blame MC. Google, knows what they does. These are things that webmasters need not worry about. Well, it won’t make much difference as far as I think. I don’t use no follow tags specifically – I use WP for blogging purposes and it does rest of the things for me other than writing content which I do. I think it is the content and the external links that sites point to – which should be considered. I mean, if a computer blog owner posts a really fantastic computer article about something related to computer, and also puts some links to external pages (which are really useful for the readers), then that post, should be ranked high in gooogle – And I think google does this well – So, webmasters, just concentrate on yur website/blogs etc and leave rest of the things to Big G.
A backlink is a reference comparable to a citation. The quantity, quality, and relevance of backlinks for a web page are among the factors that search engines like Google evaluate in order to estimate how important the page is.[2][3] PageRank calculates the score for each web page based on how all the web pages are connected among themselves, and is one of the variables that Google Search uses to determine how high a web page should go in search results.[4] This weighting of backlinks is analogous to citation analysis of books, scholarly papers, and academic journals.[1][3] A Topical PageRank has been researched and implemented as well, which gives more weight to backlinks coming from the page of a same topic as a target page. [5]
As mentioned earlier, technology and the internet allows for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week service for customers as well as enabling them to shop online at any hour of that day or night, not just when the shops are over and across the whole world. This is a huge advantage for retailers to use it and direct customers from the store to its online store. It has also opened up an opportunity for companies to only be online based rather than having an outlet or store due to the popularity and capabilities of digital marketing.
NOTE: You may be curious what your site’s or your competitor’s PR score is. But Google no longer reveals the PageRank score for websites. It used to display at the top of web browsers right in the Google Toolbar, but no more. And PR data is no longer available to developers through APIs, either. Even though it’s now hidden from public view, however, PageRank remains an important ingredient in Google’s secret ranking algorithms. 

As you might know, backlinks and all marketing strategies are dependent on the competition and existing trends in your niche. So if the blogs and marketers in your country are still using older tactics like web 2.0 backlinks and blog comments, then does it even make sense to go for tedious strategies like outreach? Does it even warrant a good business ROI?
Retargeting is another way that we can close the conversion loop and capitalize on the traffic gained from the overall marketing campaign. Retargeting is a very powerful display advertising tool to keep your brand top of mind and keep them coming back. We track every single touch point up to the ultimate conversions and use that data to make actionable recommendations for further campaign optimization.
Sharpe, who's presently running a company called Legendary Marketer, teaching you how to duplicate his results, is a prime example. By understanding how Sharpe has constructed his value chain, positioned his offerings and built out his multi-modality sales funnels, you'll better get a larger grasp on things. As confusing as it sounds at the outset, all you need to do is start buying up products in your niche so that you can replicate their success.
Before I start this, I am using the term ‘PageRank’ as a general term fully knowing that this is not a simple issue and ‘PageRank’ and the way it is calculated (and the other numerous methods Google use) are multidimensional and complex. However, if you use PageRank to imply ‘weight’ it make it a lot simpler. Also, ‘PageRank sculpting’ (in my view) is meant to mean ‘passing weight you can control’. Now… on with the comment!
Chris_D, great question. If you have a single product page that can have multiple urls with slightly different parameters, that’s a great time to use a rel=canonical meta tag. You can use rel=canonical for pages with session IDs in a similar fashion. What rel=canonical lets you do is say “this page X on my host is kinda of ugly or otherwise isn’t the best version of this page. Use url Y as the preferred version of my page instead.” You can read about rel=canonical at http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=139394. Bear in mind that if you can make your site work without session IDs or make it so that you don’t have multiple “aliases” for the same page, that’s even better because it solves the problem at the root.
Understand that whatever you're going to do, you'll need traffic. If you don't have any money at the outset, your hands will be tied no matter what anyone tells you. The truth is that you need to drive traffic to your offers if you want them to convert. These are what we call landing pages or squeeze pages. This is where you're coming into contact with the customers, either for the first time or after they get to know you a little bit better.
SEO techniques can be classified into two broad categories: techniques that search engine companies recommend as part of good design ("white hat"), and those techniques of which search engines do not approve ("black hat"). The search engines attempt to minimize the effect of the latter, among them spamdexing. Industry commentators have classified these methods, and the practitioners who employ them, as either white hat SEO, or black hat SEO.[49] White hats tend to produce results that last a long time, whereas black hats anticipate that their sites may eventually be banned either temporarily or permanently once the search engines discover what they are doing.[50]
PageRank was developed by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford. In fact the name. PageRank is a likely play on Larry Page's name. At the time that Page and Brin met, early search engines typically linked to pages that had the highest keyword density, which meant people could game the system by repeating the same phrase over and over to attract higher search page results. Sometimes web designers would even put hidden text on pages to repeat phrases. 

I don’t get it, it seems Google is constantly making rules & regulations as they see fit. I don’t try to “manipulate” any links we have on our site or any clients we work for. Links take time period. No way around it. But, now this explanation gives more fuel to all the Google bashers out there. I recently read an article about Guy Kawasaki has been “loaned” one, two, three cars in three years & is still within Google’s guidelines? Makes me wonder how many rules and regulations are broken. My take is do your job right, and don’t worry what Google is doing. If content is King then everything will fall into place naturally.
For the purpose of their second paper, Brin, Page, and their coauthors took PageRank for a spin by incorporating it into an experimental search engine, and then compared its performance to AltaVista, one of the most popular search engines on the Web at that time. Their paper included a screenshot comparing the two engines’ results for the word “university.”
Some backlinks are inherently more valuable than others. Followed backlinks from trustworthy, popular, high-authority sites are considered the most desirable backlinks to earn, while backlinks from low-authority, potentially spammy sites are typically at the other end of the spectrum. Whether or not a link is followed (i.e. whether a site owner specifically instructs search engines to pass, or not pass, link equity) is certainly relevant, but don't entirely discount the value of nofollow links. Even just being mentioned on high-quality websites can give your brand a boost.
For instance, the Pew Internet & American Life Project has demographic data that suggests individuals between the ages of 18 and 33 are the most likely to use mobile Internet technology like smartphones and tablets, while the “Gen-X” demographic of individuals who are in their 30’s and 40’s are far more likely to seek out information through their laptop and desktop computers.(See also Targeted Marketing)
Andy Beard, I was only talking about the nofollow attribute on individual links, not noindex/nofollow as a meta tag. But I’ll check that out. Some parts of Thesis I really like, and then there’s a few pieces that don’t quite give me the granularity I’d like. As far as page size, we can definitely crawl much more than 101KB these days. In my copious spare time I’ll chat with some folks about upping the number of links in that guideline.
Retargeting is another way that we can close the conversion loop and capitalize on the traffic gained from the overall marketing campaign. Retargeting is a very powerful display advertising tool to keep your brand top of mind and keep them coming back. We track every single touch point up to the ultimate conversions and use that data to make actionable recommendations for further campaign optimization.
Peter made a very good point in all of this, and Michael Martinez did in a backhanded way as well. Talking about a concept related PageRank sounds cool. It doesn’t actually have to be useful or practical, and it usually isn’t; but as long as the impression of something productive is given off, then that can be all that matters in the eyes of those who lack sufficient knowledge.
A breadcrumb is a row of internal links at the top or bottom of the page that allows visitors to quickly navigate back to a previous section or the root page. Many breadcrumbs have the most general page (usually the root page) as the first, leftmost link and list the more specific sections out to the right. We recommend using breadcrumb structured data markup28 when showing breadcrumbs.

Search Engine Optimization

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