Is PageRank a Thing of the Past?

Some search engine optimisation experts are wondering if PageRank is a thing of the past, and considering Google’s recent activities, they may be on to something. PageRank has been an integral part of SEO so the idea that it may no longer exist is big news.

What is PageRank?

PageRank is a number, between zero and 10, that Google assigns to websites. In essence, it tells people how important a page is. Google has stated that PageRanks are assigned by an algorithm that counts the number and importance of the links to a page. More important websites, with more and higher quality links, receive a higher PageRank.

The whole theory behind PageRank is that pages that have more links to them are more trustworthy and more important. Since SEO experts know that this is how PageRank works, one common SEO tactic is to build links to a website in an effort to increase its rankings and get it to appear higher on Google’s search engine results pages.

PageRank is also often used by SEO experts to evaluate the value of a page and decide if getting links on that page will help increase their own page’s rank.

Google updates PageRank numbers on a daily basis. So, as SEO experts work to increase their rankings, their pages are constantly reevaluated and assigned a number. But, public rankings, which are visible through the Google toolbar and browser plugins, are only updated once in a while. Marketers keep an eye out for these updates so they can evaluate their SEO strategies.

Is Google Doing away with PageRank?

So, what is the problem? Google hasn’t updated public rankings since the beginning of the year, which is unusual. This, among other things, has some experts speculating that PageRank will soon be a thing of the past. For example, Matt Cutts, the head of Webspam at Google, has mentioned that PageRank “started to go away a little bit” and that it may not be worth maintaining in the future.

When considering that Google’s Hummingbird update encourages businesses to create high-quality content and focus on doing what is best for Internet users, Google may be deciding that PageRank isn’t as important as it used to be. It is possible that Google doesn’t want marketers and SEO experts focusing too much on PageRank.

What Should You Do?

Since it is still unclear whether Google will stop using PageRank or not, it is hard to plan too far in advance as far as SEO strategies go. But, for now, you can benefit the most by creating excellent content, maintaining a relevant website and focusing on quality, not quantity of links.

We already know that the world of SEO is always changing. Google updates and algorithm changes lead to changes in strategy, and as experts find tactics that work they change their SEO campaigns to make them more effective.

More SEO developments and news about Google’s plans for PageRank will likely come in time, and right now, marketers will have to wait to see if PageRank will be discontinued and what kind of effect that change will have on SEO best practices.