Google Wants Feedback on Removing PageRank Score

Aug 9, 2007 • 9:32 am | comments (25) by twitter | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Yesterday, Barry reported on the WebmasterWorld discussion about removing the PageRank tool.

After a bit of feedback, Adam Lasnik of Google has written on the thread, where he emphasizes the importance of PageRank.

PageRank is an important signal and remains one of many effective measures of quality, but admittedly it's often viewed and used/abused in ways that run contrary to the interests of searchers and webmasters. Still, a lot of folks find the PR information useful; it provides a great incentive to try out our toolbar and explore its other features as well.

But more importantly, Adam solicits advice from the community to offer feedback on what they'd rather see instead:

Given that many of you aren't so fond of PR info in the toolbar, I'd love to know what feature you woudl like to see.

Mandatory criteria: - Would have to provide actionable info for webmasters - Would need to be useful and interesting for the ~99.9% of users who aren't webmasters

Of course, that just brings up the suggestion of providing up-to-date and accurate PageRank data -- all the time. I've even heard that at Search Engine Strategies conferences. This is what the webmasters want, and it should appeal to those who are not webmasters.

Other suggestions include a page quality indicator (as long as it's kept current).

The forum discussion is still ongoing and quite interesting. Check it out at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Yahoo! Search Marketing Launches Traffic Quality Center



08/09/2007 10:57 pm

Leave it the way it is. Most web surfers don't notice the green bar, so any change will only benefit the webmasters. Google has the webmaster tools, spend time on improving that if they want to help out the webmasters. Changing the toolbar PageRank will just cause more headaches for Google.

Kevin W

08/10/2007 05:59 am

I say dump the current toolbar PR and give us access to some meaningful tools and measures so we can tell when we do things right and when we do them wrong, without having to wait and see what the SERPs do and then having to try to dig out of a hole if they go down. Why is it that Google is so afraid of telling us what to do to make our sites as good as possible, or even what we've done wrong when they punish our site? Why can’t they tell us in plain terms what types of link building are good, bad, and indifferent? Is Google so scared of spammers that they can't tell anyone the rules? When I first started SEO I was terrified to do anything, because as quick as I'd find a tip I'd find a bunch of postings that the technique is worthless at best and could get you banned for spamming at the worst. For months I did nothing outside of tweaking my copy in fear that submitting to too many directories, submitting the same article to too many places, “spinning” articles, etc... would get me banned. The way Google is acting makes about as much sense as having traffic laws but not posting them and writing tickets as "poor driving habits" without giving any indication of what law you've broken or how to avoid breaking it in the future.


08/10/2007 09:25 am

Hi, I fully support Kevin. If the PR cannot give us an accurate position, then dump the silly PR, instead give us some other useful tools.


08/10/2007 09:54 am

yes i copmletely agree Rohini


08/10/2007 10:29 am

Page rank was and is a bad idea, the second Google put a number on it, suddenly everybodys gone rank happy. Content ? No longer matters, whats your rank is all anyone cares about, site to site exchanges for content are a thing of the past. Link buying and paid links are rampant, as all of sudden rank is all that matters. Google did a major disservice by doing this, despite good intentions, it needs to go.. period


08/10/2007 12:42 pm

From a functional perspective, a tool bar that provides actionable information for webmasters, yet useful & interesting to the 99.99% of people who are not webmasters doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Why not offer two tool bars? Make it easy. Keep the current tool bar as is for non-webmasters. The 'webmaster' version could borrow ideas from the many plug-in tools available for FF (as someone mentioned above) and/or some features from G's Webmaster Tools could be incorporated. Honestly, I don't use the G tool bar any more as I rely on FF plug-ins...but...if G came up with a 'webmaster' tool bar I'd at least give it a go.


08/10/2007 01:18 pm

I agree with Kevin and Esta. Give the user tools like you have given the webmasters such as Google Analitics. Let the user pick and choose what is important to them if anything!! Let the users set if they only want to search sites from USA or sites which have a certain speed or inlinks or etc., That way Google will not be responsible for the rules. THE RULES WILL COME DIRIRCTLY FROM THE USERS. If we are trying to build a better search engine for the user, this seems to be the only way to do it.


08/10/2007 04:11 pm

There is really no problem with page rank, however with a measurement of such you will always have the individuals who are going to try to manipulate the system. There are sites in my industry of focus that rank #1, are completely deceptive on all marketing levels, and have 10's of thousands of irrelevant virtual back links. And as a result they have excellent page rank. I attribute this to the fact that a lot of internet marketing efforts forgo the necessity of augmenting a web presence with traditional sales and marketing, or just know nothing about it. My emphasis has been and will remain a long term approach to garner and sustain a solid web presence. I have worked successfully in sales and marketing for years, and never thought it should be any different to build a new business on the web. It takes time to build name recognition, customer loyalty and trust. I think this was the original hope of page rank, that it would measure the site based on these merits. We just happen to live in a dishonest, quick fix society where integrity is not the most popular way of doing business. At the end of the day, I could live without page rank.

James Burns

08/10/2007 04:39 pm

The green bar, as it is now, is really of little importance. If it were updated daily, it might give some idea of whether what I do to my site is working or not. The only measure that I use these days is where my sites show up on keyword searches. If I drop a little, I want to know why, if I gain a little, I want to know why. If I see a page of a site move up to #1 in the search results, why would I care what the little green bar says, or how many back links the page has?

Jaan Kanellis

08/10/2007 10:42 pm

How about just showing us the live true PR value. How can doing this threaten the secrecy of the Google algo? I doubt it can.


08/13/2007 01:18 am

What would be nice is a live PR which tells us in real time if our modifications are going to help or not. I change my Title Tag, I see right away if it will help with traffic volume, serp ranking, etc. Please Google, do it! Mike


08/13/2007 01:26 am

as far as i know, Pagerank is not displayed for SEOs, but for "normal users". so, it makes a little sense for Google to show real Pagerank. but we also know "normal users" don't even know there's a green bar somewhere... ;) if Google removes visible Pagerank, Internet can be a better place. wanna bet? :)

Kevin Whynot

08/13/2007 02:35 am

The Internet would be a better place if Google left PR alone and just disappeared itself. Google has grown from the small, organic search engine that was praised for being different then the rest. Now it has grown into an even worse corporate monster then yahoo ever was. Even worse, Google holds in it's palm the success or failure of countless small to large businesses, controlling who succeeds according to rules they set and change on a whim, without telling anyone what the rules are or how you've broken them. It's reminiscent of what it must have been like to own a mom & pop shop in mafia controlled Boston. Of course at least the mafia made it clear what the rules were. At this point I would like to see nothing more then for every web page owner remove their listings from Google to force them to play fair, of course that would never happen. Personally I’ve taken to ignoring Google and concentrating on everything else. I never check Google SERPs and no longer look at the PR toolbar. I get more then enough traffic from other search engines and good links from related sites.


08/13/2007 08:44 am

I think that Google should improve Pagerank ! But, removing it will not change anything !!! Only seo marketers will lose some potential ads placements ! But like many webmasters I think that pagerank should be improved and not removed !!!


08/15/2007 08:56 pm

Any discussion surrounding PageRank only exposes the fact that 99% of SEOs and webmasters are clueless about PageRank.


08/17/2007 07:30 am

@Halfdeck: LOL - well put @all others - I don't get it how much time you can spend on bitching to Google to give you back what they have taken... face IT - if Google gives accurate, in time data (be it backlink data, supplemental index info or pagerank values) they make it easier for SEOs to judge on their manipulations against Google. And that's NOT what they want! Thanks Google for f*cking up your tools, gives me a couple more competitive advantages vs. so many clueless folks hanging out in the forums all day long... christoph


08/17/2007 09:33 pm

So you think it's a better use of my time and gives better content to spend countless hours of trial and error to try to figure out what Google likes? Wouldn't we all have better content, which is what Google wants so we could spend the majority of our time improving actual content instead of wasting time? Is Google so insecure in their abilities to catch spammers that the only defense they have is being secretive? That would be like a bank refusing to have a brick and mortar presence because, let's face it, having a visible presence just lets crooks scope out the place to figure out how to break in. Oh, and christoph, isn’t it hypocritical to berate others as “clueless folks hanging out in the forums all day long” for posting here when you’ve just done the same thing?


08/22/2007 11:12 am

My PR toolbar shows me that ranks only a 5 - do Google need any more proof that it isn't working?


08/23/2007 12:53 am

Page rank is a wonderful thing leave it where it is!!!

charles turner

12/07/2007 09:14 am

One of the biggest indications of whether a site is good is the uniqueness of content, the quality of content and the depth of content (size of the site). Surely, if google want to improve the user experience these are three very useful indicators on whether a site is unique and is therefore worthy of being 'page ranked/ trust ranked. As a user, I would prefer to come across sites that had unique content, rather than repetitive information or spam pages that have been built to get more pages crawled. Therefore, if a site constantly generates unique content for a subject matter this would receive a higher rank indicator than a site that just copied content. If its about quality, this is the way to go. It doesn't necessarily have to effect Serps but it would give the user a clue as to whether they have reached a site that is full of unique content or just another copycat.

abdul qudoos patoli

12/23/2007 10:15 pm

thanks for google for chance me for my commance for all world people's i love all of you happy eid mubarak happy new year happy new year i want lot of friends for my email address thanks help me i have no friends plz please bye


02/04/2008 11:56 pm

I do not like going to page two and beyond and seeing the same URL first on the list. It some how just doesn't seem fair. Money Talks and Good sites walk.

ken duquette

02/04/2008 11:57 pm

I do not like going to page two and beyond and seeing the same URL first on the list. It some how just doesn't seem fair. Money Talks and Good sites walk.


03/05/2008 05:53 am

The only problem with page rank is that its less dynamic, google should make it mandatory for all indexed sites to add some code, thru which they can derive some useful data regarding the quality of site. Just counting the number of links seems dumb. A good number of return vistors would show that a site is indeed of good quality.

No Name

01/29/2009 08:51 am

well google's page rank has flaws, I think they should figure out new means of letting websites get attention, how is a new site going to get off the ground if all the big players have the scores.

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