Is Pagerank Still A Ranking Factor For Google?
by Nimisha Paul
What’s the Status of Google PageRank: Is It Still Relevant?
While Google will remove PageRank scores from public view in the coming weeks, the way those scores dramatically reshaped the web will remain.
PageRank- Is Google PageRank still important? The secret ingredient that Google used to become the giant of the search world — is no more. No more for the public, that is. Google’s numeric rating of how important it considers pages to be will soon no longer be accessible to the public.
Ever gotten a crappy email asking for links? Ever had garbage comments with link drops? Ever had to ferret out the how and why you should make use of the nofollow attribute on links? Blame PageRank.
More appropriately, blame Google for ever making the PageRank score visible. When Google first started, PageRank was something it talked about as part of its research papers, press releases and technology pages to promote itself as a smarter search engine than well-established and bigger rivals at the time — players like Yahoo, AltaVista and Lycos, to name a few.
When Google unleashed PageRank Scores
Where it went wrong for the web was in 2000, when Google released the first version of its Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer. The toolbar made it easy to search Google directly from within IE.
The screenshot above is from a later version of the Google Toolbar, one that eventually came out for Firefox. It shows how the PageRank meter looked. The more green in the bar, the more important Google deemed your page to be for ranking purposes. If you hovered over the meter, you got a score from 0 to 10:
Most people who used the Google Toolbar probably never went through the effort of enabling the PageRank meter, which Google offered as an incentive to web surfers, a way for them to understand the quality of pages encountered when browsing. But one group was very inclined to make the effort: SEOs.
Wanna buy a PageRank boost?
For those doing search engine optimization, the toolbar was an amazing present, a numeric rating of how important Google considered any of their pages to be. It was also a terrible trap for many SEOs and a disaster for the web as a whole.
PageRank always was and remains only one part of the Google search algorithm, the system that determines how to rank pages. There are many other ranking factors that are also considered. A high PageRank score did NOT mean that a page would rank well for any topic. Pages with lower scores could beat pages with higher scores if they had other factors in their favor.
You want better PageRank since Google Pagerank Still Important? Then you want links, and so the link-selling economy emerged. Google had positioned links as votes cast by the “democratic nature of the web.” Link networks were the Super PACs of this election, where money could influence those votes.
Google wasn’t happy with the Pandora’s Box it had opened. It began to fight back, with its most famous action against a network known as SearchKing, penalizing the site and some of those in the network with PageRank score reductions or actual removal from Google. SearchKing sued Google. Google won, a judge ruling that its search results were entitled to First Amendment protection as opinions.
That didn’t stop link selling. The quest for boosting PageRank scores quickly, rather than earning them naturally, continued for many. Link networks went underground or at least claimed Google couldn’t find them, until it did. No matter. As one closed, another came up in its place.
And then, the link spam
Meanwhile, the link spam began. People chasing higher PageRank scores began dropping links wherever they could, including into blog posts and forums. Eventually, it became such an issue that demands were raised that Google itself should do something about it. Google did in 2005, getting behind the nofollow tag, a way to prevent links from passing along PageRank credit.
The short story here is that nofollow certainly didn’t end link spam. It did, however, give enough of an impression that Google tried to fight it in some quarters that Google was no longer held so accountable for it.
The slow death of PageRank score
Ironically, the Google Toolbar that launched PageRank hysteria in 2000 is a fading memory. After a decade of growth, it suffered when Google launched its own Chrome browser with search from the address bar built-in. That left little reason to get the Google Toolbar, not that you could — Google never released a version for Chrome.
PageRank in the toolbar took other blows. Firefox support was dropped in 2011. Google took 10 months in 2013 to finally update the PageRank scores it was feeding into the toolbar for IE users. To our knowledge, it never updated the scores after that.
Meanwhile, PageRank scores reported through Google Search Console were dropped in 2009. The Google Directory, a hierarchical guide to the web based on the Open Directory, was closed in 2010, taking the PageRank scores it displayed with it.
PageRank as a visible score has been dying a slow death since around 2010, I’d say. Pulling it from the Google Toolbar makes it official, puts the final nail in the visible PageRank score coffin. The few actually viewing it within Internet Explorer, itself a depreciated browser, aren’t many. The real impact in dropping it from the toolbar means that third parties can no longer find ways to pull those scores automatically.
The post-PageRank score world
PageRank, Google’s original secret sauce, finally goes back to being secret. Only Google will know the scores, which it will continue to use mixed in with the many other factors that make up its ranking algorithm.
The absence of PageRank scores may cause some to seek alternatives, estimates from third parties about how authoritative pages might be. These remain, of course, just guesses. Only Google itself knows the actual PageRank score for a page — and as can’t be said enough, the score alone isn’t the only thing that determines if a page ranks well.
In other words, don’t fixate on scores, either Google’s scores, for the remaining few weeks they’ll be around, or third-party scores. For some, they can be a useful way to focus. Does Google pagerank still important for Search Engine Optimization? But for too many, they can become an obsession that pulls away from other types of SEO work that can be done.
Finally, with PageRank scores going away, we all can enjoy a peaceful web where no one’s dropping links in comments, emailing pitches to buy links or causing publishers to fear they haven’t applied nofollow properly in sponsored content to avoid a possible Google penalty. No PageRank scores, no pressure about links!
How Google PageRank Worked
Google PageRank assigned a number between 0 and 10 to provide a value to a website’s overall authority. The tool also weighed the value of inbound links to a site. Unfortunately, ranking pages in this way led to what people in SEO call “black hat” strategies. They include such actions as selling links to improve PageRank performance or putting links into comment sections on other sites. Other also published a wealth of content, much of it not high on quality.
While the scores now are not visible to the public, Google still will use the PageRank tool internally as part of its overall algorithm for ranking sites. That also includes such factors as site speed, meta tags and domain history.
However, without access to page rank numbers, many website site owners now must turn to third party companies such as Moz to estimate where they stand on page ranking.
A Shift In Focus
Exactly how websites rank in Google search engine results intentionally remains something of a mystery. However, one easy way to determine where your site stands involves simply looking at where you rank when searching for certain keywords and phrases.
Also, most webmasters agree that certain areas should be focused on to improve rankings with Google. They include:
Quality content. Coming up with content ideas and getting them produced has never been an easy task, but it is almost impossible to “game” doing so. Google gives credit for sites that produce content users want or need, not just content for content’s sake.
Engagement. Do users come to the site and stay? Do they return to the site because they find the content engaging and useful? These issues can help drive your standing in search engine results.
Social signals. Do users of your site share content they find compelling on social media? Social signals measure how much users share content on social platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Of course, exactly what factors Google uses to rank websites – and how those factors weigh relative to one another – remain unknown. Most estimate Google uses hundreds of factors. Focusing on content that users engage in and want to share is a smart move for webmasters.
Many advertisers considered Google Pagerank as the most reliable metric to measure a website’s authority, but they would possible need to find another one because we’ve seen the death of Google PageRank today.
The green bar on Google Toolbar was often updated a few times a year and webmasters always expected the next updates to see how their websites are progressing. However, if you are checking the PageRank with any plugin or online tool, you can see that they are showing PageRank: N/A for all websites. My site had a PR2 yesterday but now it has gone to N/A, I tried with the most popular websites like Facebook or YouTube and the results are still the same.
Why PageRank Should be Killed
There were some opinions saying that this is just temporary, Google is maybe updating PageRank again or stopped displaying PageRank to make a condolence to Steve Jobs’ death but I don’t think so. This is a suitable time to get rid of PageRank as its role is not as important as before. It has become an outdated metric due to the long period updates, last year witnessed the longest interval of over 9 months and advertisers shouldn’t believe in the metric anymore. So, it might be clear now on the fact of whether Google pagerank still important.
Now it is quite clear about the fact whether Google pagerank still important for your websites or not. Approach Dotz Web Technologies; the best SEO company in India for any kind of SEO services. Developing SEO of a website is a complex affair better handled by an experienced professional. It is a key player in the web development and web design arena. Contact Dotz Web Technologies for the SEO services in Kerala, seeking such professional help will give an edge to your website’s SEO ranking. If you want your website to have boosted SEO ratings, give us a call or leave us a message.