Ding, Dong the –
— Twittersphere all a-flutter over (exaggerated) rumors of Google Toolbar Pagerank‘s demise.
Alas no. What happened is Google changed the URL where it stored Toolbar Pagerank, so most 3rd party tools aren’t displaying it.
Google itself has been trying to kill Google Toolbar Pagerank since 2007, but like a zombie, Toolbar Pagerank keeps lurching around the web, a macabre and thin caricature of actual, true, living Pagerank which is never revealed.
Toolbar Pagerank haunts us. Yes, I’ve actually looked at a Pagerank checking tool within the last month to get a sense of Hubpages vs. Squidoo Pagerank and see which of my lenses or hubs rank (I’ve got a fair number of toolbar Pagerank 4 to 6 lenses on Squidoo, so far none on HP, but so what)?
Here’s why it’s silly that I checked:
Google Toolbar Pagerank and the ACTUAL Pagerank Google uses to rank pages are not the same.
Toolbar Pagerank is updated every few weeks (or months). It is not stored in the same place as the Pagerank that Google uses to calculate search results, which is recalculated far more frequently. This is to prevent gaming the system, so that SEOers can’t reverse-engineer Pagerank and discover exactly what factors Google uses to order search results. (Source: “Why You Shouldn’t Rely on Toolbar Pagerank“)
Intersting tidbits about Pagerank from SEO-theory:
Matt Cutts stated that Real Pagerank is calculated several times a day, and it’s not just a (logarithmic) scale of 1 to 10. it’s got a lot more degrees to it. This suggests that it may not be 100% the same algorithm as Toolbar Pagerank. Matt Cutts says: “…At Google you’ve got full access to the raw values, so I rarely look at the truncated histograms of stuff.”
And by the way, it’s not called Pagerank as in “the rank of a webpage.” It’s named after Larry Page, CEO of Google, who co-pioneered the original algorithm (here it is, from 1998). But of course, Pagerank is nothing like it was 13 years ago, any more than the web is.
More recently, Google has talked about 200+ ranking factors used to determine the order of search results. That 200+ ranking factors was stated several years before we had heard of Google Panda, and (see link above) those factors are constantly being tweaked/changed. In the past two years, social media data has entered the equation, for example.