Should Google Hide the Toolbar PageRank Score?

Aug 8, 2007 • 8:06 am | comments (16) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

feature_pagerank.gifTedster, administer over at WebmasterWorld, started a WebmasterWorld thread with a proposal to remove PageRank from the toolbar.

As he explains, the PageRank score in the toolbar is an out-of-date metric that is often misconstrued by SEOs and webmasters.

Tedster said:

Enough is enough. Can't the folks in Mountain View see that this situation is nowhere near honorable or "entertaining"? Since it seems that up-to-date and accurate PageRank reporting is an extremely unlikely step for Google to take, I think the time has come for them to stop reporting ANY green fairy dust at all. Keep it as part of the secret sauce, sure, but stop teasing the public at large with funny numbers.

As I see it, PR (PageRank) = PR (Public Relations), and that's the main reason that Google keeps Toolbar PR report around. Branding. Image. Mindshare.

We have seen several PageRank scams and even sometimes buggy data, while people still anxiously await PageRank update. But we also know, PR is not the final answer when it comes to "buying links." We know that many top notch SEOs want Toolbar PageRank to go away. We once lost all PageRank data in May 28, 2005, which turned out to be an export bug - which was resolved in about 24 hours.

Of course, when talking about PageRank, we should reference Danny's What Is Google PageRank? A Guide For Searchers & Webmasters.

Now, with all that said, what do you think? Should toolbar PageRank be gone? Will that hurt Google's PR (public relations) campaigns? I bet there are cat fights in Google about this topic. It is a tough decision but ultimately, I feel PageRank should be removed from the toolbar.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Michael Wilson

08/08/2007 12:51 pm

Well I keep hoping that Google's algorithm will filter out those sites that keep trying to make a mockery of a useful tool. There was a interesting post at talking about Toolbar PageRank is for entertainment purposes only Do I fixate too much on that little green bar... sometimes I guess I do. When Im buying something I like to see that it does have a descent pagerank so Its not a scam site. If my little green friend wasn't there I guess Id find something else to fixate on. I try to focus on rich content and good use of key wording, converting those visitors into customers. Nice post Rusty. Mike

Michael Martinez

08/08/2007 04:32 pm

There is no SEO value in knowing what the Toolbar reports for any particular page.


08/08/2007 09:32 pm

Nah, its useful. I use the Toolbar PageRank when I'm looking for stuff to buy and find myself at a site I never seen before. TBPR 2 means I hit the back button. I only want to buy from a legit site, and what legit site walks around the web with a TBPR 2?

Jaan Kanellis

08/08/2007 10:39 pm

Well if your going to remove the SI from the SERPs then get rid of the toolbar PR as well.

Ryan Lash

08/09/2007 01:01 am

Um Google Toolbar sana PR? What incentive would your every day webmaster have for installing it? -Ryan


08/09/2007 07:33 am

How can you track more web savy users.. Its a get way for google to track people who know a bit about the net vs people that have no idea what PR is ?


08/09/2007 12:04 pm

I think it's kind of useful. I give it a glimpse now and then to check if my site's PR got updated. If you don't fancy the PR tool in the Googlebar, then just disable it! That's how it is by default. Some of it DO actually use it, you know :)

Sébastien Billard

08/09/2007 02:00 pm

I am very far to be obsessed by PageRank. Though, as an SEO consultant I find it useful to judge quickly a website popularity, even if I know the bar is not always reliable and up to date. I don't understand this wave of PR-hating. People love to burn what they idolized before I think.


08/09/2007 03:27 pm

If the PR tool is kept upto date (ie displays the true PR which only Google knows) keep it - otherwise bin it :-)

Matt Ellsworth

08/09/2007 08:55 pm

I find it very useful. They can remove it from the toolbar if they want - but it should stay in the searchstatus plugin and other PR checking tools.


08/10/2007 08:55 am

I am all for getting it removed, its very out of date and inaccurate. It gives people that don't know better the wrong idea and the wrong information, the site might hav awesome info but quit a new URL so it doesn't have great PR yet, so both the site and the user are at a loss.


08/10/2007 09:06 am

What would we do without TBPR!? how would we lie to ourselves then? What pseudo-metric would we rely on?


08/10/2007 11:59 am

Google PR!!! A great dilemma. This is a decision point for the users who know worth of PR while on the other hand what about people who use Yahoo & MSN Search engine?

08/10/2007 08:59 pm

I'm never used this freaky toolbar stuff for my browser. The browsers are better without stuff like toolbars.


08/13/2007 08:59 am

People give too much credit to PR, thinking that a high PR describes a good site, which is not always true. A good content, links from quality and trusted sites are what should matter. It’s true that PR from Google toolbar shows me 2-3 months old data. I could recheck the PR of a site if we doubt the button, but most of the time I trust it. The data do not change very fast - not in my sites case at least. But in the same time, PR tells me how important a page is for Google. So if I do not count PR… how I will realize what is important for Google?

Mobile gal

12/20/2007 10:57 pm

It's just quality indicator for some users.

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