Google’s PageRank used to be the most reliable and easiest way to point at a hard number as proof of a “good” site. Many things have changed over the last few years. PageRank is still nice, but let’s face it, it’s not the be-all and end-all it once was.
Tad Chef over at seoptimise put’s it this way:
Why look at a site’s PageRank when Google itself admits that it’s only one of 200 signals that determine the assessment of a site’s authority in Google and sites with PR 3 outrank PR 7 sites?
Tad goes on to mention quite a number of better ways to measure your metrics, but a handful made me nod in agreement when I think about my particular field, online news publishing.
Returning Visitors! I wish I could get every McClatchy affiliate to know their percentage of returning visitors like the know their “hits”. Nothing says, “I trust you” more than a return visit.
Time on page/site. Both of those measurements mean that your visitor is actually reading content.
The problem with both of those measurements is they don’t lead to an immediate increase in cash flow. In the current state of the “newspaper industry”, cash flow is the first thought, and sometimes, the only thought.