How Important is Google PageRank in 2010?

Mar 12, 2010 • 8:10 am | comments (16) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Every year or so, the Google PageRank debate lives on. Some people say Google PageRank is the number one important attribute to have a page rank well in Google. Some say PageRank is worthless and should be completely ignored. Others take a middle ground. SEO's opinion on the topic changes from year to year - even mine.

A WebmasterWorld thread has renewed discussion on the topic. So I thought it would be a good time to run a poll and see how important you all feel PageRank is nowadays. Here is the poll.

Now that you have taken the poll, I want to share some recent Google chatter on PageRank.

A couple weeks ago at SMX West Google's Director of Research, Peter Norvig told Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman that PageRank is overhyped. Here is an abstract from Search Engine Land's coverage of the event:

One thing that I think is still overhyped is PageRank. People think, yeah, you do this computation on the web graph and then you just order all the pages by that [PageRank]. Yes, that computation is important but it’s just one of many things. And people say, “Oh, well you’re stuck if you don’t have that.” We never felt that way. We never felt that it was such a big factor. It’s got the catchy name and the name recognition, but we’ve always looked at all the available data….

There is this confusion that there’s this one component that’s called PageRank, but the whole thing [Google's algorithm] has [also] been called that. That was a mistake. We need some better branding.

There is no doubt that Googlers involved with webmasters want to remove the PageRank values from the toolbar. In fact, PageRank was removed from Webmaster Tools last year after concern of PageRank became overwhelming for many. Since before 2007 Google wanted to remove PageRank from the toolbar. In fact, then Matt Cutts personally wanted it gone, but I guess he failed? And my new favorite Googler, Tomer Honen tweeted, "And that's why I don't use Twitter that often - only 140 characters... Get over PageRank!"

As you can see, I did not make a distinction here between real PageRank and Toolbar PageRank.

So what do you think? Take the poll and feel free to comment.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Update: The poll results can be found over here.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: March 11, 2010


Peter Handley

03/12/2010 01:52 pm

I think that the behind the scenes algorithmic measures of PageRank are more than likely a vitally important measure. As I foolishly asked on Twitter before reading the whole post, I can now see that you dont make a distinction between the 2. I think that toolbar pagerank is just about meaningless - its updated so irregularly and infrequently that it's a somewhat meaningless measure.


03/12/2010 06:49 pm

I was actually glad when PageRank was removed from Webmaster Tools last year. I'm tired of hearing individuals ask how do I get a better PageRank? vs. How do I optimize my site for better search engine performance?


04/06/2010 02:12 am

I don't think Page Rank is a important factor anymore. If you check on google results, some pages with certain words come higher than those with High Page Ranks.


10/01/2010 03:44 pm

Can you tell me why my site has a zero page rank with google, even though it’s popular, has a lot of backlinks, good traffic and a high Alexa rank? It doesn’t make sense and is costing me a lot of money and traffic every month. I’ve spent 10 hours a day the last three years building up and promoting my website, and Google just screws it up by giving me a zero PR with no explanation and refuses to answer any emails! I’ve gone to the Google Help Forum, written many times, submitted many site reconsideration requests in google webmaster tools, etc. Yet no response from Google! No one can explain why Google penalized me. I did not violate any of their guidelines. So what is the problem? Frankly, it’s not right that Google owns the internet since it is virtually the only company in the world with no real contact info, no real customer service, and no way to discuss any problems with them. That’s just wrong. What can I do? Google won’t answer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My URL is: if anyone can help.

Chimpy McDaniels

12/13/2010 06:56 am

Shouldn't we look at PageRank as a thermometer of sorts instead of a ranking factor? PageRank isn't something that gets your site ranked higher but a visual tool to see the quality of links coming into your site and its overall popularity on the web. For me it isn't useless at all. I use it like a thermometer to gauge the health of my site. Chimpy,


12/23/2010 09:15 am

Pagerank is not important, It's neither helps or decreases your chances of taking a ranking. It has absolutely no influence on that. PageRank doesn't track the quality of backlinks but the quantity so if you get 50 quality links and your competitors have 5000 common links page links these will have no where near the value. But the 5000 links provide a higher PR.


12/29/2010 05:09 pm

Today is 29 December 2010, after i check my site it has page rank 3 already ( i guess today is the day google update the pagerank) and also my site alexa rank fall under 100.000. I just built it 3 weeks ago and only updated it once or twice a week. Yes, i made a lot of backlinks (but they are free links). Only the site visitors are less than 100 per day. So what do you guys think of it.

Sanson James

01/01/2011 06:38 am

Then if pagerank is worthless then what is the most important thing to SEO?

Sanson James

01/01/2011 06:40 am

Then is this article full of it?,-What-is-the-Most-Important-Thing-to-Do?&id=3787452

Nick Ker

03/22/2011 12:10 pm

How the site ranks in SERPS is what really matters. A site can have a PR of 0 and still show up very high in searches for appropriate keywords. Real searches are what gets a website results. If you are trying to sell ad space or exchange links, however, many people still use Pagerank as the main metric.


07/21/2011 06:21 am

I see little importance in it. Specifically because it has nothing to do with your website rankings, traffic and user perception.


07/21/2011 07:02 am

Page rank have its own importance but one this which is most important is website traffic. Page rank is of no use if no one is visiting your site.

seo backlinks

07/24/2011 12:05 am

Really, I am not taking it as serious as I did before anymore.  One of my sites that is forgotten and has only 1 article recently got PR 2. It has no backlinks, no articles, nothing. I think Google should just remove that PR thing. It is just causing people to be confused, nothing more.


12/03/2011 04:48 am

Pagerank is a measure of Google’s perception of the quality and authority of an individual website or webpage. So, the higher up you are on a search engine, the better!


01/26/2012 06:13 pm

I wouldn't say full of it, the article is from 2008 and a lot has changed for SEO in the past 4 years. I think this article is just stating facts that were the common perception at the time.

Abhishek Singh

05/07/2012 06:32 am

Page rank is important if you have good contents, I will give one example that would be helpful for others. Suppose one website is having PR3 and other PR1 if you are searching for some String like "flat for rent" then Google will visit PR3 website first then PR1 website. If Google finds that PR1 is having more relevant keyword then they will show result from PR1 and If both are same then they will prefer PR3 and after that they will show PR1. Here comes Value of PR. Quick Points: 1. Google will visit often with high PR websites i.e will index or crawl frequently like if crawler visit PR3 website daily then will visit PR1 website after 2 days (timing is just for example).

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