Google’s Matt Cutts on PR Updates

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PageRank, or PR, was once the most vital element of ranking in Google. Over time, PR has become just one of many ranking factors. Some have noticed, however, that PR has yet to see an update in the post-Panda world, which led to some questions about whether PR was being further diminished – or even discontinued – as a result of link-buying abuse or other frowned upon behavior. One brave individual, Rajeesh, contacted Matt Cutts to get the answer to just that question.

Cutts take a roundabout way of getting there, but I’ll skip to the important part: Yes, PageRank is still a thing, it will still be updated, and there’s no current indication that it’s being diminished as a ranking factor. To explain why people haven’t seen an update since Panda, however, Cutts took the time to explain how the PageRank numbers are generated and displayed.

As it turns out, Google actually keeps track of your new PR every time a portion of the web is re-crawled, which – thanks to Google caffeine – means constantly. The PR for all the sites on the web is “stored on a bank of machines,” and all that data can be exported manually and posted to the Google Toolbar. Additionally, the PR data in Google is “real floats or scalers” that go well beyond just the 0 to 10 rank that the toolbar provides.

The reason to keep the figures more narrow and the exports less frequent go back to avoiding webmaster obsession. Google decided they didn’t want webmasters checking back in multiple times per day to figure out exactly where their PR was, and Cutts specifically emphasizes that “there’s a lot of different stuff you can pay attention to beyond just that green indicator in the Google Toolbar.”

[Sources include: Google Webmaster Help]


Rob D Young
Rob has been insatiably obsessed with Google, search engine technology, and the trends of the web-based world since he began life as a webmaster in... Read Full Bio
Rob D Young

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  • David

    Is it coincidence that the Google Toolbar that shows PR no longer works in the latest release of Firefox?

  • Chris


  • Mike Kalil

    But PageRank was updated last week! Google’s went down from 10 to 9.

  • Virtual Business Assistant

    Got to know more about PR from your post and thanks for the share…

  • Jake Stichler

    Like Mike said, PR was updated last week. A weird thing happened with mine, though — after the update, it was zero for 8 days, which kind of freaked me out, especially since I was in the middle of negotiating an ad deal. And then, magically, on the ninth day, it went up to 3 (where it had been 2 previously).