In the ever changing realm of SEO, there are always a number of differing opinions: Links vs Content? Underscores vs Dashes? Are no follow tags valuable? One of the more controversial questions was always “what is the validity of Pagerank in determining ranks?”. Google has now come out with a definitive answer: it doesn’t matter.
Without going into too much detail, Pagerank was originally used as a determinate of how relevant a page was based on the number of inbound links. When Google was younger, inbound links were the primary method of determining quality, so the Pagerank was seen as an important measure.
As Google became more advanced (future Skynet anyone?), the shift went away form inbound links (which are easy to fake) towards having good site structure and quality content. As such, the value of Pagerank lessened as time went on. Amongst SEO experts, it is generally considered that Pagerank is more of a relic of past ages, rather than a legitimate measure of value.
Although Google has been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t focus on Pagerank, it was still included in the Webmaster Tools, sending mixed messages. Google has since changed this policy, and has removed the Pagerank tracking from Webmaster Tools.
Google’s Susan Moskwa has this to say:
“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.”
Although SEO has not always been acknowledged by Google, it’s good to see that the giant is making it easier for people to manage their online marketing.