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Where Did PageRank Go Wrong?

As many are already aware Google’s PageRank will be no more, for the public at least. After many years of being publicly displayed in Google’s Toolbar, PageRank will no longer be displayed. Why is Google getting rid of PageRank after all these years, where did PageRank go wrong?

It seems it can be traced back to the beginning, or at least when Google made these scores visible to the public. In 2000, Google released the Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer. This toolbar not only made it easy to conduct Google searches directly on Internet Explorer, it also allowed you to see the PageRank of any page you were viewing. But allowing for PageRank to be so easily viewed seemed to be a disaster for the web as a whole.

PageRank only makes up one factor of Google’s much larger search algorithm. There are many other ranking factors that are taken into consideration. But after making PageRank public many SEO’s began to obsess over that one metric thinking it was the end all be all of Google’s ranking. It was thought that a high PageRank would land you high on Google’s Search Results.

Because of this obsession with page rank, less than ideal ways of rising ones page rank began to emerge. Everything from link selling to link spamming began in response to PageRank. Google fought back against link selling and spamming with the NoFollow tags as a way to prevent links from passing along PageRank Credit.

When Google introduced the Chrome browser there was no longer a need for Google’s Toolbar, as users could simply search from the address bar. This ultimately led to the drop of the PageRank display score as well. The PageRank score on Firefox was also dropped in 2011, and PageRank scores reported through Google Search Console were dropped in 2009. PageRank has been slowly dying for some time now and removing in from Google Toolbar makes it official.

PageRank will continue to be a ranking factor in Google’s Search Algorithm but now only Google will know the score.

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