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Is it the End for Google PageRank?

Posted on November 20, 2014

Google PageRank has long been associated with SEO since the early days when the term was first coined. Until recently, a high PageRank meant that your page was more important and highly regarded by Google. 

In short, PageRank is a toolbar numbering system (0-10) that was created by Google to measure the quality/importance of a webpage based on the quantity and quality of a website's backlinks. This ranking system had webmasters and SEOs working overtime to achieve the highest PageRank they could get for their websites.

Unfortunately for SEOs, it was soon learned that there was no hard evidence to correlate the traffic volume or organic rankings of a website to its PageRank. Furthermore, PageRank was one of the biggest reasons for why there has been manipulative link selling and black-hat SEO techniques on the web for so long. 

In their continued effort to fight spam and unnatural SEO techniques, Google has been gradually paying less attention to PageRank. In fact, the last "confirmed" PageRank update was in December 2013. 

In a recent Google Hangout Session, Google's John Mueller stated that it is unlikely that the Toolbar PageRank will receive any future updates. When asked about the matter he noted, "We [are] probably not going to be updating it [PageRank] going forward, at least in the Toolbar PageRank." 

Since the publication of the Google Hangout Session, the Internet technology industry has been abuzz with the speculation on what will happen to the current Google PageRank system. Google has consistently maintained that it has a well-established system in place for detecting backlinks. This system also detects whether the links appear to be 'spam in nature' or are used to truly bolster the content of the website in question.

The potential end to Google's PageRank updates means that SEO providers and website managers will have to consider alternative tactics for bolstering the rankings of their sites. However, many SEO firms believe that these actions could be a "blessing in disguise." In the past two years, SEO companies have had to play a guessing game, stressing about whether or not their actions would have a positive result on the PageRank scale. In response to these stressors, there are now new, more calculated metric systems that are available to improve website search rankings. 

In conclusion, the "official" news that Google will not be updating the Toolbar PageRank is further confirmation of the long held belief that the December 2013 Google PageRank update would probably remain the last update. The news offers an opportunity for SEO firms to leverage other tactics for improving the search engine results of their customers' websites.


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