Google Toolbar PageRank Lives (For Now)

    December 8, 2013
    Chris Crum

Just when you thought you were out, they’ve pulled you back in.

Google has updated its data for Toolbar PageRank, after giving indication that it likely wouldn’t happen before the end of the year, if at all. Many of us assumed that it was pretty much going away because it has been so long since it has been updated, after years of regularity.

Google’s Matt Cutts tells us it came as the result of an update to a backend service that “handles dupes and equivalent names,” and that while he’d hesitate to says he’d be surprised if regular updates like before started happening, in general, he’d “expect PR updates to be less of a priority.”

Are you glad to see a PageRank update? How did you do? Let us know in the comments.

Reactions to the update are mixed. Some are happy to see the new(er) data, while others wish it would just go away once and for all. As those in the SEO industry have known for years, the data simply isn’t that useful as a day-to-day tool, mainly due to the time that passes between updates, yet others obsess about it.

Here’s a real time look at what people are saying about the update on Twitter:

This is the first time Google has updated PageRank since February. Historically, they’ve updated it every thee or four months. Cutts tweeted in October that he’d be surprised if there was another PR update before 2014.

Shortly after that, he discussed the topic in a Webmaster Help video:

“Over time, the Toolbar PageRank is getting less usage just because recent versions of Internet Explorer don’t really let you install toolbars as easily, and Chrome doesn’t have the toolbar so over time, the PageRank indicator will probably start to go away a little bit,” he said.

In another video earlier in the year, he said, “Maybe it will go away on its own or eventually we’ll reach the point where we say, ‘Okay, maintaining this is not worth the amount of work.

On Twitter, Cutts acknowledged the update, which perhaps did come as a surprise to him, as it came by the hands of a different team at Google.

He also mentioned on Twitter that it wasn’t an accident, but “was just easier for them to push the new PR data rather than keep the old data.”

Cutts tells us:

Sounds like we’re probably not going to get the frequency of years past.

Should Google continue to update Toolbar PR in the future? Let us know what you think.