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Google PageRank is finally dead

Everybody is asking me the same question over and over again, “Is Google PageRank Dead?”, if so what are the new tools to measure website quality and credibility? Finally, I can answer that question with a yes and no.

Yes, it’s dead to those outside of Google. Google Page rank tool is not used to measure the website quality anymore, it not even getting updated.

No, it’s not dead to Googlers (people who work at Google). In other words, Google are indeed using PageRank as a part of their organic ranking algorithm for now. I just don’t think they will push PageRank out to the public anymore. 

Basically, and for years Google has been throwing us hints, and slowly removing PageRank data from our grasps, until it was gone. These are the signs, from which we can safely assume Google PageRank is dead as a measuring tool to non-Googlers.

10 Signs Google PageRank is Dead

1. PAGERANK DATA REMOVED FROM WEBMASTER TOOLS.

In 2009, Google removed PageRank data from Webmaster tools.  I know this happened nearly 5 years ago, but now we know it was a sign of what was yet to come. This was their explanation as to why they removed PageRank from Webmaster Tools:

“We’ve been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it’s the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true. We removed it because we felt it was silly to tell people not to think about it, but then to show them the data, implying that they should look at it. - Susan Moskwa, Googler”

2. LESS UPDATES OVER TIME.

Since 2006. Google has consistently released fewer PageRank updates over time for non-Googlers, until it completely stopped. 

3. PAGERANK NEVER WAS ADDED TO CHROME.

Google never did add a PageRank to their own browser, Chrome. In fact, the only way to see PageRank on Chrome is if you install an extension by a 3rd party developer. If it had a future you’d think they’d promote Google PageRank on their own browser. But they never have.

4. MATT CUTTS SAYS HE’D BE SURPRISED IF PAGERANK WAS UPDATED AGAIN.

On October 6, 2013 Niels Bosch tweeted a question to Matt Cutts, Head of Search Spam, asking if we should expect a PageRank update before 2014. Matt Cutts responded by saying:

“I would be surprised if that happened.”

Previous to Matt Cutts’ response Google only updated PageRank once that year.

5. PAGERANK WAS NOT UPDATED FOR 10 STRAIGHT MONTHS.

In 2013, Google didn’t update PageRank for 10 straight months. With respect to previous years, that was a pretty long drought. Historically Google has updated PageRank three to four times per year. A 10 month delay was a sure sign that something was changing.

6. MATT CUTTS SAYS THE PAGERANK “PIPELINE” IS BROKE, AND GOOGLE ISN’T INTERESTED IN FIXING IT.

On October 23, 2013, at Pubcon Matt Cutts stated that the PageRank “pipeline” is broke, and Google isn’t interested in fixing it. The pipeline is what Google used to send updated PageRank data to toolbars, for non-Googlers to see. Even though Google may update PageRank internally everyday, it only pushed data updates to non-Googlers, via toolbars, three to four times per year.

7. MATT CUTTS SAYS PAGERANK DATA IS ONLY UPDATED TO HELP SEARCHERS.

Matt Cutts, once said,

“the reason why they (Google) still have it (PageRank) is not because SEOs use it but rather because searchers and users still use it to determine how “reputable” a website is.”

Strong words. He sounds a bit reluctant to still address Google PageRank. It also sounds like he wished they would have stopped updating Google PageRank data much  sooner.

8. GOOGLER JOHN MUELLER SAYS GOOGLE WILL NEVER UPDATE PAGERANK AGAIN. 

“I wouldn’t use PageRank or links as a metric. We’ve last updated PageRank more than a year ago (as far as I recall) and have no plans to do further updates. Think about what you want users to do on your site, and consider an appropriate metric for that.

John Mueller, Googler”

9. PAGERANK HAS NOT BEEN UPDATED IN 14 MONTHS (AS OF 1/28/15).

As we just stated, PageRank is normally updated a few times per year. However, the last update was well over a year ago, on December 6, 2013. This gives a strong indication that updates have stopped.

10. PAGERANK BECAME LEVERAGE FOR SPAMMERS, AND GOOGLE KNOWS IT.

If you’re an SEO pro you’ll understand that Google PageRank became a spamming tool that advertisers used to lure people. How many times were you contacted by people offering PR4, PR5, or PR6 links? Or marketers selling backlinks from High PR (PR6 - PR9) on Fiver or in other black hat markets. That was a spammer’s angle. Spammers sold links from web pages with high PR. The higher the PageRank, the more expensive. suddenly, selling links with high PageRank became a cornerstone of link spam.

This exact problem was discussed in the video above, and that’s when Mueller’s now famous words, reassured us that we should not worry about PageRank anymore, and that Google would likely never update PageRank again.  

CONCLUSION

Google PageRank is not dead to Googlers, but it is dead to the rest of us.  and it´s a good think. Less spammy emails, fewer cheaters, and less confusion from the name “PageRank”. Now, we can finally concentrate on quality rather than dirty black hat tricks. 

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