Google Ditches PageRank in Webmaster Tools

It Still Remains in the Google Toolbar

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Google has quietly gotten rid of PageRank in Webmaster Tools. Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable points to a thread featuring an explanation from Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Susan Moskwa.

"We’ve been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it’s the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true," says Moskwa. "We removed it because we felt it was silly to tell people not to think about it, but then to show them the data, implying that they should look at it."

Barry Schwartz Search marketers are wondering why Google tells people not to focus on PageRank and removes it from Webmaster Tools, but still keeps it in the Google Toolbar. "Back in 2007, Google wanted feedback on removing PageRank from the Toolbar," says Schwartz. "I felt it was a good idea but the idea died out. Google cannot remove PageRank from the Toolbar, it is too much of their branding. No matter how much Matt Cutts and the Google search quality and webmaster trends team want it removed, I cannot see Google’s executives allowing it."

Andy Beal of Marketing Pilgrim says the role of PageRank has been reduced to nothing more than a "comfort blanket for SEO Noobs." He adds, "I say this, with a high degree of confidence that most experienced SEOs pour over the data in Google Webmaster Tools, whereas those new to the industry likely let the toolbar be their only guiding light."

He also notes, however, that PageRank data can still be useful. For example, it can be a good indicator of a site’s behavior in Google’s index. "Any green means ‘go.’ No green, means there’s something to investigate," says Beal.

Despite this usefulness though, Moskwa pretty much closes the case on Google’s position on it. In fact, she even points to a FAQ page about crawling, indexing, and ranking, which says that webmasters shouldn’t even bother thinking about it. It also says that PageRank is just one of over 200 signals that can affect how your site is crawled, indexed, and ranked.

What are your thoughts on PageRank? Discuss below.

Google Ditches PageRank in Webmaster Tools
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  • http://www.juiceelinks.com JuiceeLinks

    Clearly there are a variety of criteria that are used to calculate a webpage’s placement within Google’s SERPs. PageRank is only one.

    If you want evidence, check the PR for a number of different searches. You will find that some top-ranking webpages (and websites) have a lower PR than some of the lower-ranking webpages (and websites).

  • http://deananddannys.com/mesquite-steak.php Steak Seasoning

    How true that PR has little value, so take it with a grain of salt for minor observation in SEO.

    • http://www.mybabygiftbasketsandmore.com Guest

      I have taken the page rank off my toolbar. I look more to Bing and Yahoo. I think they are more accurate in their backlinks. Google doesn’t seem to be able to pick up backlinks. My website has had numerous backlinks other than search engines. They also tell you don’t link with someone who has the same products, but if you only link to a website with something similar they don’t consider that relevant. Relevant to me would be if you have baby gift baskets you would link to sites that had baby names, baby strollers, baby clothes, baby shoes. Not the same thing you have baby gift baskets.

  • http://deck-boards.com Deck Boards

    It’s true that Google has recently devalued the role PR has in determining who gets listed (especially for low competition phrases). But for highly competitive phrases it’s very obvious that PR AND favored sites rule. Search for debt settlement and you’ll see what I mean.

    They just don’t want to admit their system is still easy to manipulate and there result still aren’t so great. They are getting closer though.

    • http://www.mybabygiftbasketsandmore.com Guest

      I agree that their system is easily manipulated. It amazes me how others can do a rotation and Google still hasn’t. I tell everybody I know just because it’s on the first page and at the top doesn’t mean it is the best, they just have more money to invest.

  • http://www.sitebyjames.com James

    How about opening up some new metrics?

    How about “Word Rank”… and then dividing that into 200 or so individual scores which make it up?

    That would be nice…

  • http://bay-areawebdesign.com Bay Area Web Design

    As a small Bay Area Web Design firm, we’ve always done well for our clients (SEO) in Yahoo and MSN for relevant keyword ranking.

    Google remains the difficult one for us & many others….and always will until they “actually” consider and place some more weight on many other factors… other than Page Rank and links. If in fact Google is taking off some of the SEO weight of Page Rank… it’s good news for all the “little guys”….. which by the way make up most of the work force in America (small businesses).

    Lets face it, your average small new local business will not be able to “ethically” obtain the valuable links and page rank necessary to make top search rankings Google in for years, if then.

    Your typical small local business will never achieve the means necessary to meet the $$$ criteria needed to fully SEO their websites competing against Big Boys like the hundreds of Directories and Commissionable link sites which spend untold amounts to obtain their top rankings in Google.

    Meanwhile, Directories, National outfits and other sites (often just commissionable link farms) which are not even located in the locale are making top search rankings. Simply doesn’t make much sense, especially to small local business owners.

    Do a search for say…. Miami insurance….. notice how many of the websites listed are actually insurance acencies/agents/companies actually located in Miami? Very few…..

    Aside from the “spamming” of so many Directory listings (which all have about the same content). You’ll see very few LOCAL miami insurance businesses making first 2-3 pages of search results.

    It’s twisted……. very much so… atleast in our opinion…..

    • http://www.mybabygiftbasketsandmore.com Guest

      I think they should do away with PR. I have also noticed Bing and Yahoo, which I look more at than Google, doesn’t take as long to figure out Backlinks to my website. Google picks up the Search Engines, but it takes them forever to pick up the the relevant site linking back.

  • http://2009Taxes.org Steve

    Many are still programmed to look at pagerank when considering the value of a website or a page. Advertisers want high page ranks or they will not advertise or might want discounts if the site isn’t at a certain level.

  • http://www.seoshop.org seo

    Google how to judge the website level?

  • http://www.sangwan.com Sandeep Verma

    True, Google not using it while displaying search result, still the linked pages are most important factor of results, but all other directory sites and advertisers use Google Page Rank and Alexa to determine the website value.

  • http://www.alpha-bionic.de Robert

    What in hell are pagerank..only the serp’s is was i looking for ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • http://www.seoskillz.com SEO


    I really wish they would pull the green ingot from the toolbar too!!!

    We can wipe out the whole links PR fascination and start using metrics like traffic volume and revenues earned!!!!!!

    I imagine a day taken from the Wizard of Oz where people sing “ding dong PR is dead”

  • http://www.welshbikers.co.uk Welshbikers

    How true is this?????

    I think google are trying the cloak & dagger stuff

  • http://faizsulaiman.com FarEast

    Certain people just ignore the PR and looking for serp, then how to measure the value of website at first impression? Especially for those website that selling their ads space. Some of media buyer are looking for PR..isn’t it? Let say our website have a good serp, then how can we show the result to visitors and convince visitors to rent our ads space? PR certainly still necessary to measure website value..

    • http://www.topweddingsites.com Top Wedding Sites

      PR is mostly Google’s attempt to get more folks to d/l their toolbar.

      Savvy advertisers know that it’s all about traffic/visits to make sales. Link popularity is overrated (IMO). Just post your analytics and statistics to show how much traffic your website receives. Most internet advertisers know enough to research their keyword phrases and see the Google, Yahoo, AOL and Bing results. From that information they should be able to determine where their potential customers are going, where to spend advertising dollars and how much to spend.

  • http://www.nationalgraphics.co.uk designer

    I’m kinda confused by this from Google. It would be nice if there was more clarity on the matter. It would make sense to remove it from the toolbar if it is as irrelevant as they claim.

  • http://www.WebsitesForSales.com WebsitesForSales.com

    I am not sure where I read it but I read that google give a college {Stanford University} a lot of shares of there company and each share right now is selling at $500+ so I cant believe they would just do away with the page rank but they do own the patent only its not in googles name its in Stanford University’s name.

  • <a href="http:www.surveymoney.x10hosting.com">Free-Fun-Surve

    Does this mean that google will not long use pr for search engine ranking

  • http://www.x9internet.com Karl Bergerman

    What’s with you guys? Being herded around like sheep – why is everyone walking around with blinkers? Hello, wake up! Search should not all be about Google. Tell me one good reason why Google should take over the world. Nearly 80% market share! That is crazy! What is the benefit of having just ONE search engine? So Google comes out with something called Pagerank – so what! It’s not used by Yahoo and Bing, it’s a Google thing which only confuses most Internet users. Pagerank can be manipulated by the jam sandwich pony-tailed SEOnerd brigade, therefore rendering its effectiveness useless. It can suck unsuspecting Internet users into unscrupulous websites, because the high pagerank will ignorantly have them believe they can safely shop there. Other than giving the nerdheads a run for their money, it brings ZERO to the Internet community. Well done to Bing and Yahoo for not having followed this white elephant nonsense.

    • http://www.islayinfo.com Ron

      Google has already taken over the search world in my opinion and they bring 80 to 90% of the traffic to your site. Seems only logical to “follow them” and it certainly doesn’t mean we are all sheep. If you don’t like Google then don’t Google, no one says you must use it ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • http://www.brendarobert.com B. Robert

        I really do not believe that “Google is the best SE”; however, what choice do I have when they have 80%+ of the market share, but to use them and keep up with their updates? Especially, when they provide me with a minimum of 70% + of the traffic to my sites.

        RE: page rank.. When a surfer searches the Internet, page rank has no influence on what is returned and indexed in the first 1-5 pages for that search. Therefore, the importance is so simple! SERP is what will make or break any website and whether the web site displays on the first returned pages.

        B. Robert

  • http://www.ramitnarang.com Internet marketing expert

    One should always focus on their search engine keyword rankings and not on PR.

    I have sites that have PR2 and rank in top 10 for keywords that have 600,000 searches

  • http://learnseowithme.wordpress.com/2009/10/18/google-pagerank-a-bit-useful-very-misleading/ Learning SEO

    The best summary that I’ve seen on Google PR makes the point that it is:

    – Google uses it to communicate sometimes when there’s a problem. Remember when the paid link people’s page rank dropped to zero? It was a warning shot which was better than immediately dropping them in the index. As he says, green means GO.

    – I don’t see anyone else trying to explain what the visible Google PR actually is. I read that it’s a simple count of incoming links which ignores relevance and quality. And that it is often a totally misleading indicator of the weight that Google assigns to that page and those links.

  • http://www.shockingexperts.com William

    With all the manipulation and link juices channeling of pagerank in SEO work, it is little wonder that they want it removed from plain view but having it under the radar. It doesn’t do good and defeats the purpose of pagerank when more and more webmasters are preferring nofollow outgoing links on their sites. Thus preventing the real function of the pagerank in acccurately picturing the overall real web linking.

    Remove it and let it do its real work instead. Very nice strategy!

  • http://www.surveymoney.x10hosting.com Free Fun Surveys

    I think all this hoopla over everything google does is crazy.I am concentrateing my efforts on yahoo.

  • http://www.netservices1.com/ NetServices

    I think Google should remove the concept of Page Rank, and then webmasters would give importance to content rather than LINKS. I for one need to see more current data on a site but if I just use PR I

  • http://www.liberty-lawyer.com/ Minneapolis Criminal Lawyer

    I hadn’t noticed on Webmaster Tools, with all the other cool stuff there! I’m glad it will still be on Google Toolbar. It’s the only thing on Google Toolbar I actually use. I realize PR is not everything, just something. But most tools for SEO and SEM are as well. Just another tool.

    Google is awesome – so good it can scary. Yahoo SiteExplorer is cool, though not quite as cool as Google Webmaster Tools. Does Miscrosoft have any thing similar? Why can Google out compete the comeptition? Is that why they are number 1?

  • http://www.studio98.com Studio98

    I think Google should DEFINITELY keep PR on the Google toolbar as that is the only reason I use it. I think it is not the end-all, but a good relative indicator of a site.

  • http://www.gamblecorner.net www.gamblecorner.net

    I agree with the other postings, stop concentrating on PR so much, and concentrate on content. IT’s rediculas to think a website ranks high because of exchanges, where as it should rank higher because of the info provided.


  • http://www.computerizedspirit.com Guest

    Most of you guys do not see the game behind what Google is preaching and doing…
    Have you forgotten when Google wanted webmasters to spy and submit sites that
    were selling links? Only them – Google may do such a thing, which of course is crap!
    PR has been important and will continue to be important for webmasters with sites
    that are selling links – think webdirectories, blogs and whatnot.
    What Google wanted was to punish sites selling links with “dofollow” that were
    spreading PR juice to other sites, and being as powerful as God in Heaven is what
    Google has been after all along, so, as long as the SEO and webmaster communities
    keep doing what Google is preaching we are all doomed…

  • http://www.melmenzies.co.uk Mel Menzies

    I can’t even log into my Webmaster dashboard at the moment because Google seems to have messed up my password which works for some things but not others. I must say I do like to know what ranking other sites have: it endorses them for me. And I like to know that my own is validated in the same way. Perhaps I’m being naive . . .

  • Johnson

    It’s all about ranking with the key words. If you could hit those, doesn’t matter what your google ranking is.

    Tracking over 1 million discussions worldwide

    • http://gotrocks4sale.com Millie GotRocks4Sale.com

      Thank you Johnson! Amen to your comment. PR is a joke and always has been. I’m getting the buying traffic I need when someone is looking for my product. I haven’t spent dime one with a SEO or anybody else. I target my market, that is it! \o/ Woohoo!

  • http://hermanu.blogspot.com Hermanu

    Actually pagerank only worthful when you have an attempt to sell or buy links. For years it’s like a hard currency for web-based business ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • http://www.streamline-power.com/ Guest

    Good SEO website masters would never be that impressed by the PR bar it is only a rough guide.

  • global warming

    Page rank or should we say “P” rank for some brains?
    Whether they include a P rank or not is really not necessary. But it does for a novice give them some idea of what and how their site is doing. It also reflects which sites one should target for certain directions.

    • Guest

      Geeze, dude. Take a Valium and chill out. I followed your link and you came across like a 13 year old bible thumping kid trying to sell his lemonade. Get a spell checker and learn proper grammar.
      Your page is obviously a poor attempt to get some sucker to click on an ad so you can make a few cents while preaching the end of the world.
      Oh, you can take basic HTML training on the web for free. Your page looks extremely poor. Were you drunk or stoned when you wrote it?
      Just Google “learn beginning HTML.” You can also hire a twelve year old kid to write your page for you for the cost of a single beer.
      Good luck selling your ‘magic free energy machine.’

    • Guest

      There is a place for people to expose their political beliefs and this is not the place!

  • http://www.designfirms.org DesignFirms

    I remember when people would buy links strictly for PR. I’ve haven’t given it a second thought for over three years now. It’s about time they do away with something that really has no importance at all. I’ve seen many great sites with low page rank over the years. Bravo!

  • http://www.agayomato.com free acne treatment info

    There have been lots of emphasis about getting links from websites with high PR to the extent that those holding high PR are reluctant to link with new emerging websites that has no PR at all. Most are scared about lossing their link juices if they do so. I’m happy to hear that Google is ditching the PR thingy which some experts still consider as important. I simply hope once this PR thingy is gone….hopefully more webmasters will be willing to exchange links base on relevancy rather the PR.

  • Scott2

    A high page rank IS important when you have several competing sites with SIMILAR content, products and services you want your site near the top. I just don’t see the doubt about that.

  • http://www.fiint.com/ Jacob Fiint

    I’m hoping that Google will not ditch pagerank.

  • http://www.lerentech.com Web Design Syracuse

    I never thought PR had much value in SEO. i’ve seen a number of sites with low PR come up highly for competitive keywords.

  • http://www.jehzlau-concepts.com/ Jehzeel Laurente

    I think page rank is still important. :) Even if we cannot see it, Google measures how important our website is using that system.

  • http://www.gracecore.com Toronto SEO Consultant

    For some time now PR for most webmasters should have been taken for entertainment purposes only. The implementation of PR was Google

  • http://afree4u.com afree4u

    I think they removed it so it would be harder for webmasters to know what is working and what is not. I’m thinking they might even remove it from their toolbar.

  • http://www.1daytutoring.com CSS Training

    I do not believe the PageRank has no value although we should not focus too much on that. The little green bar or lacktherof is a visual indicator that can give the website owner some ideas about how that web pages is doing.
    * Greey bar can mean banned, not indexed yet or removed from google index.
    * White bar (PageRank 0) means the page is indexed buck still lack some link juice.
    * Green means, well, the page has some inbound links to it.

    So you see, I do not think Google is ditching the PageRank from the Webmaster tool to discouraged SEO Noobs from focusing non it. Maybe that’s an attempt to to turn those SEOs Noobs from frantically seeking for backlinks.
    We know when your site lack Pagerank the only other recourse is to setup an adwords campaign. So you see, it all works in favor of Google. So until someone proves me that backlinks are useless, I would keep looking at the little green bar.

  • http://www.thisworks.co.uk/index.php http://www.thisworks.co.uk

    If google could have its time over in relation to PR, I propose they would go with a metric based on 1 to 100 as opposed to 1 to 10.
    Even 1 to 1000 maybe.

    1 to 10 is a ridiculous parameter when there are billions of websites out there.

    If Google was intended to indicate a point of differentiaition between web pages, to use a scale of just 1 to 10 was a schoolboy error.

  • http://www.bayarea-website-design.com Mike

    Having pagerank on the toolbar is confusing to people who know just enough about SEO to be dangerous. Or maybe it’s a good thing to have those people spinning their wheels.

  • http://www.realisingdesigns.com/weblog/ James

    Whether it was a worthwhile indicator of not, if certainly was always mentioned by clients and so did require explaining, perhaps it now being removed will make that less common. As a broad indication and for vanity I did always quite like it though, but certainly agree with the comments on low PR and high ranking.

  • http://www.cheers2wine.com Steve

    Google Page Rank is still showing up on my google toolbar. When will it be removed???

  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com Official Safety and Security

    Although Google is trying to convince us to minimize the usefulness of PR, I think it’s still something to keep an eye on. My web site, http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com went from a PR 1 to a PR 4 and likewise my traffic increased so there is something to it. Thanks, Chris, for this interesting information.

    • http://www.shoutmeloud.com Harsh Agrawal

      I checked your blog and I can say that it has nothing to do with PR. Your content are good and thats the reason your traffic has increased. One of my blog went down from PR 2 to PR 0 and Still traffic is increasing.

  • http://www.zygella.com Joe

    Totally agree what google have done here. Smart move from Google ditching the PR.

  • http://www.hampshire-waspcontrol.co.uk Paul Sweet

    Pagerank, no Pagerank, that is the question!

    I have never quite grasped the whole concept, well thats a lie actually, i can see where google is coming from, the idea of an established site with good content is most probably going to pick up backlinks to its wonderfull content! And rightly so, BUT and it is a big BUTT, 95% of the time this isnt the case! How many times have YOU done a search and visited numpteen sites before getting the info you are looking for?

    There are a whole lot of sites out there that have been kicking about for a long time, gathered a lot of links, but overall the site is pretty awful!
    Which brings me onto my gripe, a brand new site (for arguments sake, the best site in the world), striving to get a foothold on the google ladder may take a overly long time to get a reasonable position, and gather enough backlinks to get some sort of pagerank.

    Having said all that, personaly i have found that pagerank doesnt seem to effect the way a site is listed, i think good QUALITY content is paramount, but as most of you SEO specialists already know, there is more to a site than content.

    My opinion for what its worth, pagerank should be consigned to the dustbin, and “contentrank” should take the reigns.

  • http://MovieAmore.com MovieAmore.com

    PageRank is how G qualifies a website. Your PageRank depends on how good your site is (according to Google), not the other way.

    If anyone wants to keep using it, you can get it as a Firefox extension on http://www.quirk.biz/searchstatus/


    • Guest

      Is bliss in your case.

      • Paul Sweet

        Please elaborate oh wise one and give us the benifit of your superior knowledge, actually dont bother! With wise crack statments like that, i hate to think how a full blown sentence (if you could manage one) would bore me. ;O)

  • Guest

    1. How about using my high pagerank pages to help build rankinks for my other pages, or other sites.

    2. Pagerank not vvaluable for SEO. Who are you KIDDING? Is this a secret Google campaign? I make a living ranking sites–not a Noob. Pagerank is essential for ranking, which is why MAtt Cutts wants it removed. DUH!

  • http://www.allaboutgoingout.com Guest

    We have created a website http://www.allaboutgoingout.com that is more content rich than virtually all of the others in our particular field. Not only content rich but constantly updated and refreshed. We so often find much higher ranking sites than our not only sparsley populated but also very out of date. We have been working solidly for two years to improve our google page ranking, thinking that it is very important to google. Although we have gained substantial traffic. we have currentlyonly reached PR2.

    Should we stop bothering about this?


  • Emigrantee

    I would like to get my website on the first google page or the second, i don’t want to pay thousands pounds to the shady internet companies promoters, and actually, I don’t think it would be very profitable for an entrepreneurial company yet..could someone tell me how to do that?

    • Guest

      Mr ignorance will give you all the details LOL

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