Google has confirmed killing PageRank from its browser. The secret sauce of Google that enabled it to become giant in search world will no longer visible to the public. The numeric rating system of Google that displays the importance of a page won’t be available for public view.
An announcement isn’t at all surprising as Google is giving PageRank a slow death. Google first used PageRank in research papers, press releases and technology pages to display itself as a smart search engine than others. Now it has decided to remove from public view, though, it will be kept as ranking factor itself. Let us look at the reasons for this decision.
Introduction of Google PageRank Scores
Google released the first version of its toolbar in 2000 to make Google search easily from within Internet Explorer. It enables users to view PageRank score of that particular page they are viewing. In the later version, it was released for Firefox. The PageRank meter provides 0 to 10 scores on the pages deemed valuable for ranking purposes. Greener the meter better the score.
But, people who used Google toolbar never enabled PageRank meter, an extra incentive for web surfers to view the quality of pages they are browsing. Though visitors didn’t use it SEO professionals take great interest in it.
PageRank – A Ranking Factor in Search Result
For SEO professionals, PageRank is an amazing tool to find a numeric rating of Google of the given pages. It is used in making SEO effort and campaign successful or at least create well ranked pages to get favour from Google.
This is because PageRank is a crucial part of Google search algorithm, the system that decides the ranking of pages. But, there are numerous other factors that are also considered in ranking pages higher. Higher PageRank is not only considered in ranking pages as even lower score pages can beat if others factors favour.
Every business wants better PageRank to succeed online. To increase PageRank, links play an important role. Network emerged in a market and sold links to a business wishing to get higher PageRank. Google had used links as votes to rank pages higher in a search result. But, large quantity bought links from networks helped business to rank higher than natural link builder. Money is a deciding factor to increase ranking instead of natural links.
In this way, the problem of link selling started and Google wasn’t happy. It has started action against networks penalizing with reduced PageRank score and even removal from Google. The most popular one is action against SearchKing who sued Google for its removal.
Link selling didn’t stop there as a quest for boosting PageRank scores continued. Link networks went underground to avoid detection and penalty of Google.
But, link spam soon took its place. In order to build more links, people started dropping links everywhere they visit. Blog, article, forum and everywhere they could. It has become a huge issue and Google started no-follow tag to prevent this in 2005. Earlier, Google was held responsible for starting link selling and link spam. With this fight, Google is no longer held responsible for it.
The slow death of PageRank score
The hysteria made with launched of PageRank from Google Toolbar faded with the launch of Chrome browser. It facilitates searches with the built-in address bar. Now, there is no reason to use Google toolbar and hence, it never released a version for Chrome. Another blow comes after dropping Firefox support in 2011. It took 10 months for Google to update PageRank score to feed into the toolbar for IE users. After that, it has never updated the scores.
In 2009, PageRank score was dropped from Google Search Console. Following the suit was Google directory in 2010. It is evident that PageRank visible score has started fading away from 2010. Now, it’s official that Google is dropping visible score from a toolbar and no third party can access it automatically.
Post PageRank Score Impact
Interestingly, Google’s secret sauce is once again going to be secret. Nobody can find scores of pages but it will continue to use as a ranking factor. Now, it will be difficult to find out quality, authority pages but it isn’t the only factor that determines page rank.
Finally, PageRank score is going away from its browser. Enjoy a peaceful web with no dropping links in comments, email for links, no fear of not applying no-follow link to avoid penalty. In short, there will be less pressure on making links.
But, natural quality links will continue to be an integral part of the ranking. It is imperative to build links as Google result depends much upon them.