Here’s Why Google Doesn’t Turn Off Toolbar PageRank

    February 6, 2013
    Chris Crum
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Now that Google’s Matt Cutts is back online, he’s been steadily putting out new Webmaster Help videos on a daily basis. It will be interesting to see how long this continues.

Today’s is particularly timely considering Google just pushed out a toolbar PageRank update (the first of the year).

Cutts responds to the following user-submitted question:

Why don’t you switch off the PageRank Toolbar feature? It is widely used by link sellers as a link grading system. Why do you continue to display PageRank publicly? It appears to have little relevance, except to spammers.

“My rough answer is: there are a lot of SEOs and people in search who look at the PageRank toolbar, but there are a ton of regular users as well,” says Cutts. “You would be really surprised at how many just regular people have the Google Toolbar, and user PageRank as a way to figure out…how reputable at something…I know it seems kind of strange, but it also seems strange that nofollow is only a single digit percentage of links on the web. We get into our tunnel vision, and we sort of say, ‘Oh, well no one else uses the PageRank toolbar,’ but the fact is a lot of people do.”

He continues, “Now, one interesting twist is Chrome doesn’t really have a PageRank toolbar feature built in, and Internet Explorer 10, as I understand it, doesn’t allow toolbars or add-ins, or as Microsoft calls it, it provides an ‘add-in free experience,’ so if IE 10 becomes more popular, eventually it might be the case that the Google Toolbar is not as commonly used, and in that case, it might be the case that, it might be such that over time, maybe the PageRank feature is not used by as many people, and so 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.'”

He says Google will probably continue to support the feature as long as people are using it. With IE 10, however, he says, “the writing is on the wall,” so they’ll see how that affects things in the future (particularly for Windows users).

  • http://2013Taxes.org Steve

    Not sure why Microsoft would go with an add-in free browser, the add-ons are the reason I started using Firefox years ago.

  • Jerrie DeRose

    One thing about google. They always have an excuse to justify their decisions, whether those decisions are fair or not.

  • http://easyonlineclassifieds.com/ John Hogan

    Personally I am in favor of the demise of any page rank toolbar or ranking system altogether as it has little bearing on Quality of a site. It is all according to what you believe makes up a quality site.

    An example easy to prove is our site is an online yellow page style listing service which is THE BEST coded site, and the MOST mobile friendly site of any other in this class barring none.

    The proof of this statement is right on our main page for the world to see and both Proper coding, AND mobile readiness are important in Google and viewers alike.

    Yet we have a page rank value of 3 while others which are Not mobile friendly at all, and horribly coded may have a rank of 8. Our content is very good and the quality of listings is Non Spammy and in total compliance with googles and the W3c’s best practice policies.

    Advertisers and SEO pros still use PRV as a ranking mechanism when referring their business clients to this or that service based solely on the sites PRV ranking (which is not fair, and has little to no value to the client anyway).

    A sites PRV ranking itself has little to nothing to do at all as to where that site/page shows up in the SERP’s but SEO people do not tell their clients that fact. I know several SEO pros and I know they refer their clients to high priced, higher PRV ranked sites to place the business within SOLELY because the SEO pro gets a very nice kickback for doing so. Whether or not the service actually performs well for the client is not the main concern – The profit potentials for the SEO company IS.

    I know personally I AM going to be laughing my ass off when Google gets around to doing what they WANTED to do for a long time now and that is Ranking sites based on Quality, Proper CODING, and good use of Mobility standards (as most sites can never be made compliant at this point because they were not designed from the start with these things in mind)… Laughing all the way to the bank and back that is :)

    Personally I DO use the page rank tool as I like to ‘Compare’ PRV 6+ sites to our own by checking THEIR sites coding/and mobility factors to our own. Check Webpronews. Now check OUR site (the checks are available at our site) and are quick/easy to perform. NOW check YOUR site too as you should know where you stand with coding and mobility.

  • http://Mabuzi.com Mabuzi

    Oh dont take it away I have just managed to get PR4!