Does a Website PageRank Still Matter If Used as a Source Link?

We all know that back in 2013, Matt Cutts and John Mueller confirmed that there will be no another PageRank update ever. John said:

We will probably not going to be updating it [PageRank] going forward, at least in the Toolbar PageRank.

Since then, most of SEOs do not consider PageRank as a strong ranking factor.

But as a source link, will you consider the PageRank of a certain site? I’ll share you an example.

Months ago, an interesting and somewhat tricky question from a client was forwarded in our mailbox:

The question was:


Without even looking at the website structure and content, you’ll notice that the sub-domain is niched to “How To” topics and confused if the “yellow”, was meant to be Yellow Pages? Yes, the site is one of the article sites of Yellow pages in New Zealand.

So, upon assessing the website and its homepage, this I saw:

howto yellow screenshot


The website is topic-niched to “How To” articles, wherein users can contribute and post content with a link of their own. Simply put, the site is also used to generate and increase backlink portfolio.

Answering the client question: Do you think if it would add much value? As a good link source? Hmmm… So that’s a tricky question right? First thing that comes in my mind was: “No. It doesn’t add much value to client as a source link. Considering the following reasons:

  • The site is an article submission site, which is specifically niched to “How To topic, articles and idea.
  • Most of the content on the site are used for backlink purposes only.
  • Client site might be penalized by Phantom update by having a low-quality link.

So I will not risk the site from having such a penalty or low-quality backlink profile from this kind of website.”

Without precautions of considering the site’s PageRank, I’d already come up with the idea and totally disagree to use it as a source link.

But as I dove deeper on this matter, I’ve learned the better strategy and proved myself wrong because at the end of the day, whether we like it or not, PageRank still matters.

The domain name and its owner, Yellow Pages, inherited the power and brand, SEO wise. Also, the Google PageRank of the site is PR 6. So the concise answer is yes, we could use the site as source link – very.

However, there are a few things that could be done to add more power to the link from this domain:

  • Articles that will be published in this article site should be temporarily posted on the homepage even if it was just the 3 to 5 most recent articles and then get archived after 5-10 days. Sitting on the homepage even for a few days allows the whole power of the site to pass to the target site.
  • When the article is archived, the final article should be no more 2 clicks deep. The more shallows the hierarchy of the article, the more powerfully it inherits the parent authority of the domain.


Domain PageRank still matters in the source link. The benefits of inheriting the power of powerful backlink domain, is a bit risky strategy but, keep in mind that the higher the PageRank of the website is, the longer it will take for Google to penalize it. On a PR 5-10 PageRank, 10 days are not enough for Google to provide an algorithmic penalty. I think this is one of the effective backlink strategies considering the conditions will be applied.

Elzer John Ramos is a Senior SEO Analyst in one of the leading Digital Marketing agencies in the Philippines. For three years of experience, Elzer has tried and used different methodologies that have produced results and pushed websites up the rankings. His vast experience ranges from keyword research, link building, in-depth site audits to SEO technical setups and implementations.
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