Google recently confirmed that it will be removing the Toolbar PageRank from browsers. Users that currently have an extension or add-on that displays PageRank data from Google will no longer have access to data in the next coming weeks. While Google will continue to utilize PageRank data within the ranking algorithm, it will no longer provide that data to users outside of the Google organization.
To be fair, Google hasn’t updated PageRank score in years, and this has been a long time coming marked by the consistent discontinuation of the PageRank toolbars and utility in the browsers. There have been many PageRank naysayers over the years; most notably Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land.
In a recent piece by Sullivan, he explores a “retrospective” on how PageRank ruined the web overall. He states: “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. It also gave those who enabled the PageRank meter to see the PageRank score of any page they were viewing.”
The use of PageRank has been especially challenging for digital marketing teams and SEO professionals, as they have to have the PageRank conversation with potential and current clients who have enough knowledge to be dangerous. The consistent focus on PageRank by business owners and organizations allowed them to ignore the other ranking factors that have withstood the test of time. In fact, PageRank provided such high-level data that it didn’t correspond with specific organic objectives set forth by digital marketing experts.
Many believe that the infamous link farms and link spam started when people started to focus solely on increasing PageRank, which led Google to generate and recognize the nofollow tag.
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