It’s almost a year since Google last updated PageRank toolbar and this has been a much discussed topic. Webmasters who started their websites after the last update have been waiting for an update and those whose ranking dropped last December too have been looking forward to an update that’s very unlikely to happen.
In October 2013, Matt Cutts announced that there would be no more update for the year but surprisingly, PageRank was updated two months later. Although the update proved him wrong, his announcement and the irregular updates since last year only implies that Google might kill off the much coveted ranking algorithm anytime soon.
We recently saw the disappearance of Authorship, the death of PageRank wouldn’t be a surprise.
Google Probably Not Updating PageRank Toolbar Anymore
Since the beginning of the year, there hasn’t been a single update and it appears things will remain this way as John Muller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google said in a recent svideo at a webmasters hangouts conference.
“We are probably not going to be updating it (PageRank) going forward, at least in the Toolbar PageRank.”
Below is the full video:
The Importance of Page Rank has been declining for quite a while now but that hasn’t stopped people using it as an important yardstick for the success of a website.
The reason behind it
Webmasters have been manipulating search engine ranking for quite a long time by creating spammy backlinks. In the last couple of years, Google has been waging a serious war against spamming, demoting websites and in some cases, completely reverting websites’ PageRank to zero.
Google is trying hard to discourage people from focusing on building backlinks to rank on search. In short, Google is trying to place more importance on content and less value on backlinks.
Does it mean PageRank is totally gone?
Maybe not. Judging from John Muller’s statement, Google may be updating it in the background. This means there will be no further (externally apparent) updates to the PageRank feature in the Google Toolbar, this does not mean Google is totally discarding it as a ranking factor.
Building valuable backlinks is till important but it seems Google is trying to make it hard to measure it or know the important.
What ranking factors are available now?
Alexa ranking may be popular but it has never been a reliable way to know how well a website is performing. Now that Google PageRank is going out of the door, webmasters may begin paying more attention to Moz’s domain authority, Semrush Traffic, Majestic Site Explorer and social media reach.