Pay Attention to Google PageRank When Purchasing a Domain


Any website owner can tell you that the ever important Google PageRank is a huge concern for them and it’s not difficult to see why. The higher the Google PR number, the better… and getting that number as high as possible and keeping it there is often an ongoing focus. Website owners that have a PR of 2 are dreaming about the day when it’s a 4 or a 5 instead. Then once they reach 5, they want it even higher than that. Most never stop trying to improve that number.

Google is responsible for sending more than 90% of internet traffic, so it only makes sense that being the best according to their PageRank system would be vitally important. But is it an important concern when purchasing an existing domain name? How does Google PR in particular affect the overall value of a given site?

How Is Google PageRank Determined?

In a nutshell, the Google PR of a given page is a numeric value that gives you an overall idea of how important that particular page is considered to be on the internet. This importance is directly determined by the number of other websites that are linking to that page. A link to a given page is seen as a “vote” in favor of that page’s value. The more votes the page has, the higher the value.

Of course, raising your Google PR isn’t all about simply tallying up as many “votes” as possible. Quality matters just as much as, if not more than, quantity. A link from a bigger website that is seen as a huge authority in your industry will be worth much more than a link from a low-quality article database or an obscure personal blog outside of your niche. Links from .gov or .edu sites are considered to be especially valuable (if you can get them).

What Do High PageRank Numbers Tell You About a Domain?

Ranking DashboardBefore you can decide how much bearing a given domain’s Google PR should have on your decision to purchase it, it’s important to truly understand what the PR does (and doesn’t) indicate. For instance, the Google PageRank should not be confused with a domain’s overall ranking. Google PR is part of how rank is determined, but it’s not the only factor that’s considered. It’s completely possible for a given page to have a relatively high PageRank of 4, but not be generating a lot of actual traffic.

A high Google PR is mostly going to tell you that the domain you’re considering has a lot of good quality backlinks attached to it. While this is certainly an important consideration, it should be viewed as a piece of a much larger puzzle instead of as a reflection of the domain’s overall value. How important the PR is to you personally will depend entirely on what you’re looking to do with the domain once it’s yours.

PageRank and Expiring Domains

Since so many people looking to purchase a particular domain name are doing so after it’s expired (or is about to), it’s only natural to be concerned with how expiration affects the domain’s Google PR. Since PR is determined by the number and value of the backlinks leading to that domain, it’s not going to be directed affected by expiration.

However, it’s important to understand that the links themselves can sometimes be lost because of the expiration. If that happens, the PR could drop. Once the domain is officially yours, make sure you go through the process of checking each backlink to ensure it’s still active. Some may need to be re-activated, but once this is accomplished, the original PR will return.

PageRank and Domain Value

Naturally, a domain that comes attached to a high Google PR is going to be worth a lot more than a domain that doesn’t. As anyone who’s ever built a website knows, that number is attached to a lot of hard work, networking, and effort when it comes to building quality backlinks – all work the site’s new owner won’t have to do right out of the gate. However, it’s not the only thing that’s important when assessing a site’s overall value. Make sure you investigate everything about a given domain before deciding it’s right for you.