It looks like Google Toolbar PageRank may officially be a thing of the past. This will no doubt please some, while upsetting others, but for better or worse, don’t expect it to be updated anymore.
Do you think Toolbar PageRank should die, or do you still find a use for it? Let us know in the comments.
Over the last couple of years, Google has already been updating PageRank less frequently. In fact, it’s not even been updated this year at all. The last update came in December.
Even before that, Google had given indication that it wouldn’t update it before the end of last year, if at all, though it ultimately did. By that point, many had assumed Toolbar PageRank was going away because it had been so long since the previous update after years of regularity. Before the December update, it hadn’t been updated since the prior February. Historically, they had updated it every three or four months.
Google’s Matt Cutts tweeted a year ago that he would be surprised if there was another PR update before 2014. Well, there was, but that was the last one. It’s now been ten months.
Google’s John Mueller actually addressed the lack of an update in a Google+ Hangout (via Search Engine Roundtable).
PageRank is something that we haven’t updated for I think over a year now, and we’re probably not going to be updating it going forward, at least in the Toolbar PageRank…
He said that at 20 minutes and 30 seconds into this video.
Of course Mueller is incorrect in that it’s been over a year, but he seems to be under the impression that Toolbar PageRank is dead. He wasn’t exactly making an announcement, but discussing it in relation to somebody’s question about a particular site’s rankings, so it’s probably not out of the realm of possibility that an another update could sneak through, but it sounds like it’s not going to happen.
A year ago, Cutts discussed PageRank in this 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.'”
So the writing has been on the wall for quite some time. Still, people have continued to monitor PageRank, and look forward to seeing that data refreshed.
The last update was actually kind of a side effect of sorts. As Cutts noted at the time, the team was fixing a different backend service, and did a PR update along the way. He said it wasn’t an accident, but that it was just easier for them to push the new PR data rather than keeping the old data. Maybe that will happen again.
Do you want to see Google continue to update Toolbar PageRank? Let us know in the comments.