Pagerank. It’s a little green bar that can mean the difference between your site earning thousands of pounds a month and nothing. Well, that has been the story up until now. An entire link buying industry has sprung up around the little green graphic.
Google was “supposed” to update the pagerank of all the sites in mid July. Now, 3 months later and there is still no sign of this happening. Pagerank is not being updated.
Further research has led me to conclude that Pagerank as we know it is dead. Google has constantly stated that it doesn’t rank websites according to pagerank (it’s a very common misconception that higher pagerank automatically means higher rankings), and Matt Cutts, an engineer at Google, has said that pagerank is not a big deal in Google and exporting the data to the toolbar is seen as a none event.
There’s no official word from Google as of yet on the status of Pagerank and it’s future, so it might not be officially dead, but they’ve never taken this long to update the toolbar before.
Still, pagerank had it’s uses. You could gauge the level of popularity of a website if it had a high PR and determine whether it was worth getting those valuable backlinks. Now that PR is dead (but certainly not forgotten) it leaves webmasters and internet marketers to rely on other sources, namely Alexa and Compete.
Both of these sites try and estimate the level of traffic to a site and quite frankly, both of them do a rubbish job. They take their sample data from users that have installed their toolbar. This means that if a site gets 100,000 visitors a month but none of them have the toolbar, and another site gets 1,000 visitors a month and 10% of them have the toolbar installed, the latter website would be ranked higher.
So what are we left with now to determine the value of a link or advertising on a website? It’s very difficult. Say what you want about Pagerank, but it was an exceptionally useful tool for determining the cost of a link or advertising.