Google PageRank: Goodbye and Good Riddance

PageRank — Google’s measure of a website’s value — is at last dead.

The final nail in the coffin comes with Google saying PageRank will no longer be made public, and will not be visible in web browsers or third party browser add-ons.

PageRank

Google will continue to use PageRank in its ranking algorithms, however. What’s changing is that website owners and any others who may be interested (that is, anyone involved in SEO) will no longer be able to see Google PageRank.

This is a natural evolution: Google stopped showing PageRank in Google Search Console (then Google Webmaster Tools) in 2009, and never released Google Toolbar for its Chrome browser.

Why should you care?

This is a good thing, as industry analyst Danny Sullivan rightly notes on Search Engine Land.

In our view, here’s why:

  • No-one’s sure when PageRank was last updated. What we do know is that it is no longer updated frequently enough to be a useful measure of a site’s worth.
  • PageRank uses a logarithmic scale, generally requiring a lot of improvements before there’s a perceptible change in score.
  • No-one’s using PageRank except SEO companies looking for sites they want to get links from. And there are equivalent or better measures that SEO companies can use if they must (mozRank is one).

But what does Google say about all this?

Google Webmaster Central’s John Mueller told The SEM Post: “…this update does not change anything for webmasters or SEOs in how their sites show up in search. Webmasters can use Search Console to get details about their content’s presence in Google Search, including information about links pointing to their sites. As the Internet and our understanding of the Internet have grown in complexity, the Toolbar PageRank score has become less useful to users as a single isolated metric. Retiring the PageRank display from Toolbar helps avoid confusing users and webmasters about the significance of the metric.”

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in the development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End.At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he is the head of Paid Search Advertising and oversees the delivery of AdWords and other PPC campaigns. He also helps clients make sense of their website data.