Oh my Page rank ! Oh my pagerank is gone?!

Last week Google�s backlinks update came with a load of surprises for the search engine marketing world. First of all was the missing cache, a query through the search engine�s application programming interface (API) that returns if a web page is indexed or not, would return an error for a few hours. Then depending on the data center queried new rankings and total number of backlinks would appear�until then only a glitch and a regular update. Finally looking more closely at the famous Google toolbar: No more Pagerank! Browsing multiple websites, looking through the Google API, all grey bars, no more page rank information displayed.

It�s been a few days now that Pagerank is gone for the public and there is no indication whether or not it would be back anytime soon. Of course search engine Google has never disclosed the real page rank value of a page and according to Larry Page, co-founder of the and �creator� of the hilltop ranking system from which the page rank was born, it would be impossible to reduce so complicated calculations to a number from 0 to 10.
Back a few month ago, in December 2004, Google clearly indicated once again that the Pagerank value displayed through it toolbar was for information purpose only and some quietly started to develop theories based on a future �Non-pagerank� internet world.

A quick look at the toolbar�s homepage (http://toolbar.google.com/) and one may notice that the image does not advertise anymore the page rank but only new feature such as wordtranslator, Spellcheck and the controversy feature Autolinks. The only way to get the information so far is to look into the directory (which is an import on DMOZ, the open directory project).

Of course it is more than unlikely that Google would just forget about Pagerank since it is the core of its ranking system. The impact on the search engine marketing world could be heavy of consequences though.
Many text link brokerage businesses are making a living of selling text based advertisement on high (or not that high actually) page rank web pages. Fast smart move from those brokers, they temporarily (eventually permanently) remove any reference related to PR from their own websites and advertisements online. Google is known for chasing such businesses that somehow would bias rankings if well used. It is perfectly understandable since such ads are sold independently from direct traffic provided and very often aren�t even displayed on theme related pages. Different criteria are probably to come in this industry if ever the situation would remain permanently as is. This would not be a bad measure in our opinion, search engines result pages should be an objective combination of content relevancy and overall website quality and visibility.

If this �no more PR to the public� persists, this could eventually change the game of SEO also. Anyway as per some Google representative�s reply to an email the page rank disclosed in their toolbar would always be a few months old and is updated very infrequently (every 90-110 days) for security purpose. If this is to push SEO�s, link brokers, and websites proposing advertising page to play a fair game of theme related, visible advertisement it is probably for the good of all that the PR would be gone forever. If ever this is another Google marketing strategy to have a load of online discussions focused on them �we�d say that once again they succeeded, we are all wondering!
Objectively if MSN would send out its own version of the pagerank now, it would definitely not be without consequences for Google.

2 Responses to “Oh my Page rank ! Oh my pagerank is gone?!”

  1. SEO Consultant Says:

    Google markets itself through the developers

  2. SEO Consultant Says:

    Seems like the incident is over, pagerank is back and GoogleGuy explained in a post on webmasterworld that it was just a glitch…hard to believe but this is the explanation.

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