Google PageRank: Who Gives a Shit?
It’s been a long time in the making, but Google has placed the final nail in PageRank’s coffin.
Honestly, I can’t imagine anyone caring about Google PageRank anymore, but it still seems to get a lot of attention.
Search Engine Land reported earlier this week that Google would be removing its Toolbar PageRank. So if you use a browser toolbar or add-on that displays PageRank information, it may no longer work. Google is still in the early stages of rolling out this change, so it may take a couple weeks before the data is completely removed.
Just because the Toolbar PageRank is going the way of the dinosaur, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that Google is nixing the technology altogether. According to a statement made by a Google spokesperson, the Mountain View company will continue to use PageRank data “internally” for use in its ranking algorithm. In other words, you won’t be able to see PageRank data, but Google will continue using it as a ranking factor nonetheless.
“Google explained that the company still uses PageRank data internally within the ranking algorithm, but the external PageRank values shown in the Toolbar are going away completely,” wrote the folks at Search Engine Land.
PageRank has deep roots dating back to the origins of Google itself. While attending Stanford University, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed the algorithm for a research project on search engine technology. Over the years, it became an integral component of Google’s search ranking algorithm, with the Big G using it to determine where and how to rank websites.
PageRank is essentially nothing more than a number ranging from 0 to 10 that’s given to each webpage in Google’s index. It is calculated – or was calculated – by analyzing both the quantity and quality of backlinks pointing to a particular page. Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that pages with a significant number of high-quality backlinks are more popular than pages with few-to-no high-quality backlinks, which is the fundamental principle behind PageRank.
With PageRank data no longer being displayed, you might be wondering how you can determine the quality of a webpage. Well, there are other factors to look for, such as Alexa rating, domain age, and the number of backlinks pointing to a particular page. Just because PageRank data is no longer being displayed doesn’t necessarily mean that you are out of options. Look for the aforementioned signals to determine whether or not a webpage has authority.