First of all, Page Rank is Google’s ranking algorithm that calculates the importance of webpages on the Internet. In order to get a high PR, a site has to have high PR websites linking to it that are relevant to the topic of the site, and are not blacklisted by Google. The PR scale is from 0 to 10, with 3 being respectable, 6 impressive, and 10 almost impossible to achieve. It is a widely used way to determine a website’s value when deciding to buy a site, exchanging links with it, or in any other circumstances. Since it is so widely used, sometimes the consequences of being tricked by a fake PR can be drastic, like in a case of buying an expensive website. However there are ways to identify fake Page Rank, depending on circumstances:
1. Visit this PR checking tool (checkpagerank.net) to determine if the PR is valid. Among other things, it checks whether a site uses a 301 or 302 redirect that points from their site to another site with a high Pagerank. Such redirect can be used to fake a site’s PR by displaying PR of another website, instead of its own. PR displayed in toolbars is not always real, as it can be tricked by redirecting.
2. Check the number of backlinks on the smartpagerank.com site. If there are none or only few backlinks from low PR sites and the sites appears to have a high PR, it might indicate that something suspicious is going on. Use the backlinks analyzer for detailed information.
3. Check the number of indexed pages by checking out smartpagerank.com. If there are no pages it means that the domain has probably dropped/expired recently, or that it is blacklisted by Google. If there are only a few links and the site has a high PR, you should be cautious as well.
4. Use the WayBackMachine tool (archive.org/index.php) to see how the site looked like in the past. If it was a completely different website, it might mean that it recently switched owners. If the topic of the new website is different as well, there is a risk that the PR will drop. That is because Google only counts links relevant to the topic to determine PR.