If you have been in the SEO industry for over 2 years as we have, then you most likely remember Google’s PageRank toolbar indicator and have a good understanding and knowledge of Google’s algorithms. This was a browser add on that enabled you to look at any webpage and get a score from Googles as to how much power, authority and trust that page had.
The idea is that when you are looking to acquire backlinks that you want to look for the highest PageRank pages to get a link from. The whole domain buying space centred around pricing up a specific domain based on its PageRank.
What Was Page Rank?
PageRank was a score from 1 to 10 with 10 being the most powerful. Only webpages such as Google, Youtube and Facebook have a PageRanks score of 10. This PageRank indicator also allowed you to view the pages for your own SEO projects to determine how much power they had from the links pointing to them.
The idea is that if you have links from pages that have a high PageRank then some of that PageRank or link juice would be passed to the page on your site where the link points to. This was based on the originating concept Google was based upon, which was called “BackRub”. Google’s original idea was based on scientific papers. A specific paper would be deemed more authoritative the more mentions the paper had from other scientific papers. Google just replaced scientific papers with webpages.
What Happened To PageRank
So Page Rank disappeared in 2016 didn’t it? Well kind of! Google stopped publicly showing their PageRank scores but Google still uses it as an internal metric.
How do we know? Well, Google announced publicly on Twitter that PR is still used internally as a ranking factor, it’s just that they don’t show it. It’s a real shame as we found it sadly exciting seeing how quickly you could build PageRank for your webpage.
These days PageRank has been replaced with metrics such as Moz’s Domain and Page Authority.
What Exactly Did It Do?
In short, the PR measure page quality and does mostly based on the links that link to it. If 10 low-value pages link to your page then it’s not going to increase your PR. The concept was derived from the scientific community where a scientific paper was more revered the higher number of times it was cited or referenced.
There are typically three specific things that Google will evaluate in order to issue a PageRank score. The first is the number of incoming links and their quality. Secondly how many external links out each page has and lastly the PageRank scores of each page.
So what was Google’s motive for removing its PageRank score from the public? The use of PR caused a lot more spam links to be produced in an effort to manipulate PR. Many services sprung up from people also selling links with varying degrees of PR.
This coupled with the fact that PR was only one part of the ranking algorithm, Google thought it best to retire its public use.