Is Google PageRank Dead?

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A reply to a tweet by Matt Cuts, Google's head of webspam, stating there will not be a Google PageRank update by the end of 2014 along with the fact the PageRank was last updated almost 9 months ago has caused a lot of buzz in the webmasters arena.

The PageRank has been among the leading SEO factors over the past few years. Google has used the PageRank to rank websites in order of importance. Though it is no longer the only search engine ranking algorithm employed by Google, it was the first one to be used and is by far the most popular. The main purpose of PageRank is to analyze the quality of a website, enabling Google to display the best websites in its search results whenever a query is entered.

Now websites can have a PageRank of up to 10, though few sites manage to reach that mark. Unfortunately, not many realize this and deem this feature dead. One of the reasons behind this is the fact that anyone interested in checking out the PageRank of a website needs to install the Google Toolbar in Internet Explorer.

In addition, Google had made it difficult to check the PageRank over time even through its own toolbar. For one, there is no Google Toolbar in Google’s own browser Chrome. Furthermore, they also stopped offering the Toolbar for Firefox in 2011. Internet Explorer is the only browser on which the Google Toolbar can be installed and you can check the PageRank. However, the design of the new IE has removed all add-ons, so it is unlikely the Google Toolbar could be used on it.

Yet, the final nail in the coffin seems to be the fact that Google hasn’t updated its PageRank data since February. October is just around the corner and there is no indication from Google that the PageRank data will be updated before the end of the year. Moreover, Google has declined to comment on their inactivity. Earlier this year, Google had claimed that PageRank wasn’t going anywhere and will continue to be used without doing anything to prove that.

Keeping all these points in mind, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it seems Google has all but pulled the plug on PageRank. Otherwise, there is no reason why they have not updated the data in a long time. Until the February update, Google was refreshing the data every couple of months. There were four updates in 2012, each at a three-month interval. This is the longest that Google has gone without updating its PageRank data.

Webmasters and online marketers have no means of checking the accurate PageRank of a website. Some of them would have definitely have had a drop in PageRank since the last update. Similarly, some websites might have had a bump in PageRank during that period.

PageRank is important, not just for Google, but for SEO professionals and online marketers. Unless Google makes its intentions clear, it will become difficult for them to decide whether or not PageRank is well and truly dead. In the end, it may turn out to be a tactic used by Google. Only time will tell.