In the next few weeks AutomaticBacklinks.com will switch from using Google PageRank as a metric for determining the quality and price of a backlink to using mozRank by SEOmoz.
Why we are abandoning PageRank
For a long time it has been common knowledge that PageRank is not a very good or trustworthy metric for quality even Google agrees.
Additionally PageRank has never been made publicly available by Google except for in browser toolbars, so for us to get the PageRank of a particular page we have to pretend to be a browser toolbar and send a fake request to google. As Automatic Backlinks has grown, we have been sending tens of thousands of these requests on a daily basis and Google quickly detected that we were no ordinary browser toolbar and blocked our servers, even as we added more and more. Lately it appears that Google have started replying to these requests with a 0 instead of the usual ‘#blocked’ message meaning that we incorrectly marked pages as having a PageRank 0.
A final reason for the change is that we do not like to send requests to google with the URL of every page in our system. It gives them an opportunity to detect our network and this is a risk we feel we can no longer take.
Why we have chosen mozRank
mozRank is a metric quite similar to PageRank as it is a score from 0 to 10 on a logarithmic scale. In fact our preliminary tests show that mozRank and PageRank seem to follow each other quite closely. The number is calculated for using the metrics of 9,200,000,000 links on 400,000,000 pages.
Additionally, the clever people over at SEOmoz have made an API available that makes getting the mozRank of a page a very simple task which means we finally have a reliable, accurate and up to date method of determining the quality (and thus price) of a backlink.
What does it mean for our members?
We have decided to go with a rolling launch of this new system which means that we have already started adding pages with a mozRank of 1 or above. We expect that we will start adding links to pages using a price calculated from their mozRank (as opposed to their PageRank) as early as next week. Existing links added using PageRank as the price metric will remain calculated using the “old method” in a transition period of some months. This is to avoid large fluctuations in our members’ Link Credit balance.
Some members will have noticed that they will now have both a www and non www entry (and possibly other subdomains) of their sites in the dashboard. This is because Google does not distinguish between the two versions, however SEOmoz does. We encourage members to create a redirect from the non www to the www version of the site (or vice versa). This is a best practice SEO technique anyway and it will mean that the mozRank will all be on the same subdomain. Members are also welcome to activate the additional site, although we will not place links on it unless it has any mozRank.