Page Rank (PR) has become a obsession for many webmasters. The sole purpose being the belief that any site with the highest Page Rank will produce the highest ranking Web Site. This is only partially true. You will find PR 5 sites that rank better for specific keywords than PR6 or PR7 sites. Why? Because the PR 5 sites are targeted, if they were PR 6 sites and just as targeted than the case may be true, but there are other factors besides Page Rank. Specifically, now that all the search engines are popularity search engines ( like the "old" Direct Hit). Any Google bomb of 200 pages or more will rank #1 for any keyword regardless of its PR, unless it is removed from the index manually, by the search engine's employees.
The PR Vampire
A trip to the largest resource for SEO's and webmasters seeking advice would lead them to the online forum of WebMaster World. Here there are ongoing mathematical discussions and theories on Page Rank. Formulas, on how many links should be on each page and how many should link to sites that do not need Page Rank, run rampant. One can be overwhelmed and confused. Here's our opinion. Ignore Page Rank, ignore it like the plague, make changes for the benefit of the site, its content and its viewers. Page Rank will come over time and sometimes takes several months in today's search world. As a matter of fact recent changes in Google make it very difficult for any site to gain Page Rank under the 30 day major update. It's much easier to loose PR.
Changing a web design causes the biggest loss in Page Rank due to Google's recent changes. I remember when sites were indexed and given PR at the same time. This is no longer the case. Why, Blame it on the blog. That's right. Ever since Google went blog crazy it incorporated some of the ideas and technologies used by blogs into its ranking structure. Do we know this for sure? No, there is no proof, nor will there ever be. It would seem to be common sense since they are trying to update sites daily, as blogs are updated daily, but they did not take in to account a website restructure. Its a dangerous game and only time will tell. It is possible the New Google Toolbar is working on a fix for a similar problem.
All the internal pages are new and not indexed by Google, so they have no PR, thus the site looses Page Rank over all. Its like a Vampire just came in and drained it. Its actually now a big decision as to whether its worth updating a web design and changing its structure. What happens when you loose all your internal pages for the benefit of appearances? You loose Page rank instantly. Now your almost back to where you started. Is it worth it all? In some cases Yes, in most cases it is a big risk and a big wait. This is a really unfortunate feature of updating websites. You have to name the new files exactly the same. This is something that should be frowned upon that a webmaster worked very hard to achieve high rankings only to be slapped in the face when they give it a face lift. Wait! There is a temporary solution that could possibly work. The fact is you may never get the Good PR back even if you uploaded the same files back The solution would seem to be to leave the old site up and add the new site. Right? Wrong, that would cause duplicate content and cause a PR penalty. One solution is to update the other pages that were originally indexed and play the waiting game. If you optimized the other site correctly you should be OK in the long run, it may however take several months of waiting for any real changes to take place.
Google now update its ranking index on an almost daily basis. If you are one of the lucky sites that gets constantly updated (because you are constantly updating) your new pages will be indexed but not ranked, so effectively you will loose your PR for all the new pages with new file names instantly and it may take months of waiting to achieve your original rankings. This will take PR away from your home page as it no longer has any pages linking to it. Shame, Shame, Shame. Updates are important why should they leak the PR from the site.The best solution is to use the original file names from the start and update them slowly. No more than a handful of pages per month, Can't help that? Want to update them all? Sorry your out of luck, there is no fix for the Vampires bite. This is not the movies. As long as you have kept the original file names you will be OK. However if you have decided to change file paths and file names because they work better for he new site, you will loose Page Rank for about a month. In most cases it will return.
The Link Vampire
Page Rank is a gift, a vote for another site if you will. Linking off to sites gives them PR. Getting Links from sites gives you PR. There is an unknown percentage of PR lost for every link out, and an unknown number gained for every link in. Advise from experience before anyone knew what Page Rank was, would be to forget about it and just link to sites that matter and get links from sites that matter. Of course the advise heard round the world is get links from everyone and return them if required. Reciprocal linking is the Link Vampire. Be sure to get what you give from good sources that feed the Vampire.
It should be noted that these are opinions and not facts, some content may be inaccurate. It is based on experience, and common sense, but there are always different solutions and opinions.