Google Will (Probably) Not Be Updating Toolbar PageRank Again, John Mueller Confirms

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Google’s last Toolbar PageRank update, which rolled out on December 2013, may have been its last as Google’s John Mueller stated in a recent Google Hangout.

A question was asked by a frustrated individual who couldn’t understand why so many spammy sites selling PR6 backlinks had not been dealt with despite having been reported to Google multiple times.

Mueller’s response is as follows:

“There are a few things where we do take action that you might not see directly. Toolbar PageRank is something that we have not updated for about a year now, and we’re probably not going to be updating it going forward… we have a lot of way to recognize these problematic links, and the sites selling those links, that essentially blocks the PageRank from passing through those sites.”

You can hear Mueller’s response in the Google Hangout recording below:

Mueller also mentioned that he would go through the individual’s list of spammy sites to see if he can find anything that Google’s algorithms aren’t picking up on.

So Mueller really dropped two interesting pieces of news here. One was that PageRank will (most likely) not be updated going forward, and the second was that Google has measures in place to stop do-follow backlinks from passing PageRank if they’re on a site that Google finds to be especially spammy.

With this information now out in the open, I can only hope that the customers keeping these sites in business eventually stop buying links and we start seeing this trend going away.

A hat tip going to SERoundtable for alerting me of this Google Hangout.

Matt Southern
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing... Read Full Bio
Matt Southern
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  • Markus Trotzheim

    Seriously who cares about PageRank update ? Domain sales are going better than ever before, making lots of people rich. Backlink sales are on its peak now, and Negative SEO is having good time pointing bunch of bad links and competitors are going down. But yes Google has measures to stop this. Google cant even stop SAPE network neither Negative SEO.

    I bet you guys don’t publish this comment.

    • Kelsey Jones

      Challenge accepted! Comment approved!

  • Gary

    That’s me asking the question 🙂

  • Muhammad Mairaj

    Hi Matt,
    Wow, you are a treasure chest of great ideas! Again, wow. I am going to print out this post and have this at my side, within reach, at all times. Thank for sharing such an excellent and informative post.

  • Ruth Ownes

    Gone are the days for PR when SEO were worried about PR.
    Who cares !

  • Rohan Naik

    Hi Matt,
    Google Will (Probably) Not Be Updating Toolbar Page Rank Again?
    – Is There any chances for any updates in future or it is permanent.
    Thank for sharing such an excellent and informative post.

  • Maciej Fita

    Too many site owners focus on PageRank rather than actually marketing their site anyways. I understand why this tool was created but it might have done more damage than good. There are better metrics for success that people should be using.

  • Konstantinos

    And how will the backlinks of a PR6 website count in the future? Will it be equal with one from a PR0 brand new, but highly visited page?!

  • Gaurav dutt

    Well it was pretty much expected as the link building now have became a lot spammier than before which google have always hated, talking of now guest blogging is dead, google have made algorithm against forum posting and blog commenting too, therefore it is not very surprising to see that even if it is true ? What matters more is the procedure that google will use to rank sites without giving benefits to sites which have pr 6 or 7.

  • Sumit

    Hi Matt,
    As we all know that Google PR matters a lot for each and every single websites. Many newbies are waiting for the PR update and I am also one of them. Hope Google soon update the PR.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

  • John Fox

    I see many good sites with low pagerank, but it does seem to matter to some. Not everyone has a google rank toolbar, but if a customer saw your rank was say 1 and your competitor was 8, it could lead to a loss of sales or traffic. I would of thought that was the main reason for the ranking, that a site was more trustworthy. But its obvious those with the most money began to win the race. I do think the biggest factor that makes a difference is site age and the age of the sites linking in to you.

  • Anand Kumar Singh

    I’m not really surprised. In fact, I had been expecting it since a survey we conducted last year.