I was asked in the comments of a recent post whether it we could get Google’s PageRank ® for any given URL. Pulling Google’s number would probably be against their terms of service, but we would not want to do this anyway. Since we crawl the web independently of Google, we have our own data and arguably we could do the Google PageRank algorithm on our data and work out the Page Rank for every URL.
We still would not do this. Even though mathematical formulas are legally interpreted as matters of fact rather than intellectual property in the UK, we look to be legitimate on a world stage and in any event believe we have done better.
PageRank(R) is a very old mathematical formula. It is protected in some countries as a Patent owned by Stanford university. (In the UK you cannot patent a mathematical fact… but we still respect the patent.) In the days of “big data”, combined with large computer processing power, newer metrics make for better understanding of the Internet. Flow metrics(R) are much more modern and we conveniently haven’t trespassed on any prior art.
5 Benefits of Flow Metrics over Page Rank
- Flow metrics are ten times more granular (being from 0-100 instead of 1-10). 100 times more granular when you take two metrics together
- PageRank does not “FLOW” information beyond a single link, whilst Flow metrics use a decay algorithm over many iterations of links.**
- We can represent different “quality” concepts by using different data sources. For example, Citation Flow is different to Trust Flow.
- Page Rank rarely updates. Flow metrics are recalculated on every full index update (daily in Fresh Index)
- Page Rank operates at a URL level only, Flow metrics also wrap up to sub-domain and top level domains
** [EDIT] A reader has correctly pointed out that The PageRank Matrix does indeed effectively “flow” data through iterations, so to maintain five solid reasons, I offer this in position 2: “Backlink data is returned with new metrics already in place instantly – no need to query PR servers, What’s more backlinks returned are already sorted by our metrics as part of our data.”[/EDIT]
n actual fact, we did see that Citation flow had over a 0.8 correlation wit PageRank when we checked a basket of sites – but recreating an old metric is not our objective. We have something new. Something stronger and something that is rightly ours to be able to share with you.
If you want more details on how we calculate Flow Metrics you can see the original announcement.
(You can also try our Link Intelligence tool online from under US$50 a month.)