New Google Toolbar plays down PageRank
by Brian Turner
The Google Toolbar on my IE install has just updated – and the PageRank bar has been really shrunk down.
As you can see, that’s a radical shrinkage, and almost certainly is a continuation of Google’s policy to try and diminish how PageRank is used and abused by webmasters.
Interestingly enough, most commercial SEO’s see little importance in PageRank anyway – with the Toolbar PageRank indicator serving no real purpose other than to indicate with a simple graphic an idea of the domain’s link profile.
While a number of people have made a point of chasing “high PageRank” links, as I advised at SMX London in November, an page on an old domain with a low PageRank score will probably pass more link benefit than a new domain with a high PageRank score showing in the toolbar.
Even still, a lot of people remain confused about PageRank – I still read posts on forums where people think the only way to rank for anything is to increase their PageRank score. In fact, I’ve even had people calling themselves SEO’s who claim that PageRank is a major ranking factor.
When it comes to SEO, PageRank scores on the toolbar are not significant, and actually tell you very little about a webpage – as the scoring is often more indicative of the domain than the page. Additionally, the score is usually out of date by around 3 months. Plus PageRank just isn’t a significant factor for ranking purposes these days – maybe 10 years ago, but not now.
Hopefully Google reducing the visibility of the PR bar on the toolbar will help diminish perception of PageRank, as part of a process Google has had on-going for a few years.
Perhaps soon webmasters will focus more on building great sites, and looking at other webpages on their own merits, instead of chasing little green bars which communicate very little if anything of use about a page.
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