Google: PageRank Is No Longer The Be-All & End-All Of Ranking

Jul 1, 2011 • 8:42 am | comments (25) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google: PageRank Is No Longer The Be-All & End-All Of RankingGoogle has finally written a blog post specifically about PageRank and how Webmasters and SEOs should probably focus on other things.

The blog post is named Beyond PageRank: Graduating to actionable metrics, written by Susan Moskwa, one of the fearless Googlers involved with webmaster communication.

She said, "PageRank is no longer—if it ever was—the be-all and end-all of ranking." She then goes on to explain:

If you look at Google's Technology Overview, you'll notice that it calls out relevance as one of the top ingredients in our search results. So why hasn't as much ink been spilled over relevance as has been over PageRank? I believe it’s because PageRank comes in a number, and relevance doesn't. Both relevance and PageRank include a lot of complex factors - context, searcher intent, popularity, reliability - but it's easy to graph your PageRank over time and present it to your CEO in five minutes; not so with relevance. I believe the succinctness of PageRank is why it's become such a go-to metric for webmasters over the years; but just because something is easy to track doesn’t mean it accurately represents what’s going on on your website.

Susan instead recommends you look at the following metrics that are "actionable" such as conversion rate, counce rate and clickthrough rate (CTR).

This is not the first time Google has downplayed PageRank. They downplayed it in the recent toolbar upgrade and we know that Google's Matt Cutts has always wanted PageRank removed from the toolbar. Adam, back then "mini-Matt" asked for feedback on the removal of PageRank from the toolbar. Plus we know, many SEOs want it gone from the toolbar. There were rumors in 2008 that Google was removing it and it 2009 they removed the data from Webmaster Tools.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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07/01/2011 01:02 pm

I'll repeat myself for the third time here (said it on the original post, on Pierre's Google+ status too): "lee stuart and squibble both have it right. If you want people to stop focusing on it, Google should stop focusing on it. Remove it from view, and while it is in view, don't show the public things that say that PageRank is "Google's view of the importance of a webpage". It's blindingly simple but it has to start with Google. Eat your own dog food, as they say."

Barry Schwartz

07/01/2011 01:03 pm



07/01/2011 01:13 pm

I still find that PageRank is often a strawman argument. Toolbar PageRank has never mattered for anything.  It is an indicator, not a ranking factor.  What it measures is highly important, the weight of your incoming links, but it, itself, is not important. In almost any discussion of PageRank you can replace the word with "incoming link weight" and no one will dispute the importance, but some people have a kneejerk reaction to hating PageRank as others have a kneejerk reaction to worshipping it. If anyone out there truly does not care about their link weight, by all means, send it my way. I will take it off your hands.

Black Seo Guy

07/01/2011 02:03 pm

No your right..but it does give a little weight in getting advertisers though. "Black Seo Guy "Signing Off"

Nick Stamoulis

07/01/2011 02:59 pm

I stopped believing in the absolute power of PageRank a long time ago. There were much more important ranking factors to worry about and actually do something to help. It's nice to hear Google finally say it though.

Michael Martinez

07/01/2011 03:40 pm

Well, she proved she doesn't understand the complexity of bounce rates any better than a lot of other people who have been talking about them lately.

Michael Martinez

07/01/2011 03:47 pm

PageRank never had absolute power over anything other than those willing to believe in it.  Do you hear the sound of millions of hands clapping?  There are yet legions of believers who are trying to wake up the PageRank fairy.


07/02/2011 11:38 am

If the page rank is not the valid metrics, why they keep... They can simply say "Page rank doesn't related to quality of the page content & traffic"


07/04/2011 12:48 am

Susan Moskwa is a nice girl but I wouldn't trust her advice on how to rank.  Many of the things she says online and seminars make zero sense.

Frases Romanticas

07/04/2011 10:39 am

Well!! After This Recent Page Rank update one thing is clear that Google is not giving any importance of Page Rank!! 

Dave Fowler

07/04/2011 11:13 am

Barry, of course conversion rate, bounce rate and clickthrough rate are metrics worth considering in terms of your website sales performance, engagement, etc. But to be crystal clear, do you believe - or at least believe Google are claiming - that these measurements are now ranking factors? I.e. that *today* they have a *direct* influence on where a web page ranks in Google's organic search results? That is what this post implies, and as many SEOs put value on the information SE Round Table provide, I just want to be clear about your opinion on this.

Barry Schwartz

07/04/2011 11:28 am

I don't think the blog post implies these are ranking factors. No. But are they factors that I believe Google uses? :)

Seo Services

07/04/2011 11:45 am

We recently found a change in pagerank of our website from 3 to 4 but the ranking is still the same. it does means that there is no impact of PR to the current ranking on SERP. If this is true, then no one can forget about the relevancy factor for the ranking.

Dave Fowler

07/04/2011 04:00 pm

Erm, clear as mud? :-/


07/08/2011 04:12 pm

"Google is not giving any importance of Page Rank" advertisers and businesses do, most of them don't care when google say pagerank is not important, for them its, just ask yourself would you rather advertise on a website with pr0 or pr3?


07/12/2011 04:54 pm

I've used this post in my July SEO Round-Up published here:

James Spacey

07/13/2011 09:20 am

Google has been pushing relevance, relevance and more relvance for a long time now so anyone who is still worshiping their PR needs to get over it, fast!


08/19/2011 06:16 pm

Oh my good, i already knew about how google its abandoning the PR, this is no longer valid for having a good amount of SERPS, thanks for the post....


09/07/2011 12:11 pm

Great Post, Thanks to this site I got from a 0 to a 1. Hope to keep it going. Lots of great info. thanks again.


09/07/2011 12:11 pm

This is a great  resource for people who ask: what are the SEO basics I should be taking advantage of on my site? These are usually small business owners who just need a simple list of items to give to their webmaster. Nice work!


09/07/2011 12:14 pm

Yes,Google page raking matter in future because Google provide number of quality back links for web pages.It’s important for website ranking.


09/07/2011 12:18 pm

 There way more factors to consider than just pagerank, i have a pagerank 2 site that gets more google traffic than one of my pr 5 sites. So PR is not the only factor in determining rankings


09/07/2011 12:22 pm

page rank is an important criteria which reflects the importance of your website in Google’s eyes. These are like the votes for your site. So it is somehow cardinal trait to establish your online image.


09/07/2011 12:27 pm

PageRank is probably one of the most important algorithms ever developed for the Web. It is not simply based upon the total number of inbound links.Basic approach of PageRank is that a document is in fact considered the more important the more other documents link to it,but those inbound links do not count equally.


04/06/2012 10:19 pm

Google still giving away pagerank to many sites. If it doesn't affect SEO, why they are maintaining such algorithm.

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