Goodbye Google PageRank?

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There is currently a debate going on right now about Google removing the PageRank score from the Google Toolbar.

Why?

  • Toolbar PageRank numbers can be 3 months out of date or more.
  • Some “PR Updates” have been buggy enough to seriously misrepresent a page’s real PR.
  • Matt Cutts has blogged that PR Updates are considered pretty much a non-event around Google.
  • PageRank has started a flawed econonmy of link building and trading in an effort to raise or distribute these scores.

Unlike a lot of the rants which go on in forum threads, it seems that Google is keeping an eye on this one and taking it seriously.

Search Engine Roundtable notes that Adam Lasnk of Google has joined the discussion and is looking for feedback and alternative information which Google could serve.

PageRank is an important signal and remains one of many effective measures of quality, but admittedly it’s often viewed and used/abused in ways that run contrary to the interests of searchers and webmasters. Still, a lot of folks find the PR information useful; it provides a great incentive to try out our toolbar and explore its other features as well.

Given that many of you aren’t so fond of PR info in the toolbar, I’d love to know what feature you woudl like to see.

Mandatory criteria:

  • Would have to provide actionable info for webmasters
  • Would need to be useful and interesting for the ~99.9% of users who aren’t webmasters

Yep, a lot of search marketers & webmasters tend to forget that unlike Alexa, Google Toolbar was not made specifically for them.

Perhaps Google should release a toolbar only for Google Webmaster Tools users, or should the company leave such tweaking up to Greasemonkey? You be the judge!

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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