Is Google PageRank dead, or is the search giant just having a laugh?

Posted on 06. Oct, 2011 by in Digital Marketing

As internet marketers woke up today and checked their PageRank through their favourite third party tool they could all hear a collective pin drop as they saw the PageRank 6 go to a whopping PageRank nil.

In reality no internet marketer worth their salt does this and I feel for those whose hearts leapt at this discovery. (Although Google might be having a little chuckle)

So, what has happened, what does this mean and what is the future of Google PageRank?

PageRank still works if you are using the Google Toolbar however if you are using a 3rd party add-on you are most likely seeing no PageRank or N/A for sites. This is because the URL that Google is using to query has been changed.


Google Toolbar showing the PageRank for the Google UK homepage :) .

PageRank taken from the Google Toolbar

 3rd party, same page, no PageRank :( .

PageRank taken from 3rd party

What this means is that 3rd party providers can update this or let the use of their tools die a death as people delete their add-ons.

Google is still using PageRank as it has updated its own toolbar. Does this signal the end to PageRank? I am sure some people are hoping it does. But what does this mean – a future without Google PageRank? Is it warm and fuzzy or just a cold, dark and ranked out of 10 as before?

I think in the first instance people will look to other “scores” which include SEOMoz, Majestic, etc. Although these will be based on largely the same factors that PageRank looks at.

What I am hoping for is that people start incorporating a number of signals into their website assessments. Yes some of the aforementioned spring to mind but what about the other signals which Google and Bing/Yahoo! have started paying more notice to. Yes, social signals . Signals that are impacted by real people on the web.

To me this says it’s all systems go for new shiny ways to measure the authority of a website incorporating different signals into an altogether different metric. Developers start your engines.

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  • John Meffen

    If only Toolbar PageRank would go away, but I’m afraid that the ‘little green bar’ is like a drug for too many people. Ah well.

    • Andrew Girdwood

      Do you think significantly less people would use the Google Toolbar if PageRank vanished? Or do you think Google is now confident with Chrome that that wouldn’t happen?

      • John Meffen

        Very hard to say, I’m a convinced chromite but the extensions I mainly use to evaluate a site are ‘SEO site tools’, Meta SEO inspector’ and occasionally ‘SEO professional toolbar’ I don’t completely disregard PR, but I still think many out there are looking for an easy way to boost their own vanity and simplistic metrics can give it to them.

        Plus, as you will know, many clients are still stuck on TBPR as a metric, and it can be hard to convince them otherwise, it is a bit like telling people that nofollowed links are not actually a bad thing, especially if they come from a high authority domain/page.

        But if the TBPR disappeared, I think the vast majority of “mainly” bloggers would just start showing their MozRank, or their Klout score [already happening] or whatever is the next fad on their sites.

        I’m afraid it seems people need crude measurements to boost their own egos

        • marielslater

          Is it wrong to hope for the conversations around whether or not links are nofollowed disappears along with the obsession with PageRank? 

          • John Meffen

            It certainly is not wrong, the authority [and clickthrough] from a well placed [ie. not spammy] wikipedia link is worth more than hundreds of followed, anchored links from splogs. Even links from twitter and other nofollowed [even redirected] social media platforms enhance and speed up the chances of a new page being indexed.

  • marielslater

    Hopefully soon there will be some kind of “treatment” for those addicts!

  • Önder ‘Vincent’ Koç

    Firefox Based Fix here -