Many website owners use Google’s Webmaster Tools to organize and optimize their website and follow their statistics. When Google removed the tool “PageRank” from their Webmaster Tools at the end of last year, it caused a flurry of discussion on Twitter since many webmasters actively followed their PageRanking to give them an idea of how well their site was doing. Google’s Susan Moskwa commented “that they shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much” and so removed the tool to keep webmasters from doing so.
Many experts in the SEO field believe that removing PageRank was a very positive move that Google should take even further. “I personally would like to see Google remove the PageRank score from the Toolbar as well. Yes, the Toolbar shows page by page PageRank score, but we all know that Google shows out dated PageRank data in the Toolbar, plus it is often buggy.” Andy Beal of Marketing Pilgrim says the role of PageRank has been reduced to nothing more than a “comfort blanket for SEO Noobs.”
PageRank will probably never go away for good however. It is too much a part of Google’s basic brand now. Unlike other search engines, Google assigns a “PageRank” to your site as soon as it is added to their search results. The fluctuations in your site’s PageRank can be confusing but sometimes helpful. If your PageRank is green, regardless of the number, you know your site is doing well. Once your PageRank turns to red, something is wrong with your site. While this is a general assessment of your site’s strength, like taking your temperature, it can be a symptom to help diagnose when something is wrong. According to Susan Moskwa, PageRank is “just one of over 200 signals that can affect how your site is crawled, indexed, and ranked.” While webmasters shouldn’t be too obsessed with their PageRank, I still can understand how they can be slightly upset at the loss of PageRank from their Webmaster Tools.