Google Removing Page Rank Scores From Public View In The Coming Weeks

Google has finally decided to do away with enabling the public to view the Page Rank score. The feature that was introduced by Google to establish itself as a smarter search engine, during its initial years, was meant to be restricted only to research papers, press releases and technology pages. However, the trend proved so beneficial for the technology giant that the company soon applied the feature to all search results. But thankfully, the access has now been withdrawn at least for the general public, which is being welcomed as a good move by most people who have had to deal with its affects.

How It All Started

It all started in the year 2000, with Google releasing the first version of the Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer. This not only allowed users to easily search Google directly from within Internet Explorer, but also permitted them to view the page rank score of any page they opened by enabling the PageRank meter.  The Page rank meter used color coding to specify the importance of a page in terms of rankings across Google search results. Users could also view the numeric score for the page on a scale of 0 to 10, by making their mouse hover over the meter. The company later released another version of this toolbar for the Firefox Explorer.

Google Page Rank

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A majority of people using Google Toolbar never enabled the Page Rank meter, primarily because they were not aware of its functionality or significance. In fact, Google had added this feature as an incentive for web users to help them understand the quality of the webpage they were viewing. But many people also believe that it helped the company to monitor what the users were viewing apart from what Google offered. However, the Page Rank Meter was extensively used SEO’s, the professionals whose job it was to improve the numeric score of their company website across search engine rankings.

How SEO’s Benefited From Page Rank Meter

The Google Toolbar was nothing less than a boon for most SEO professionals as it helped them learn about the exact ranking of their webpages in Google results. However, for SEO’s who solely relied on page rank to understand the position of their website, were led into a terrible trap that proved disastrous not only for their careers but also for their organization’s website. This is because Google always treated Page Rank as only one aspect of its search algorithm, the system used for accessing the importance of a webpage.  The search engine considers several other factors before making it a part of the top search results.

Despite that Page Rank became the one metric around which most SEO’s devised their optimization strategies. It also led to the emergence of the link-selling economy as webmasters were convinced that larger number of links ensured better ranking for a web page. Even though, Google tried to curb the trend and even fight it off legally, the boom in the link-selling business did not slow down. However, with the launching of the Chrome Browser, which came without a Google Toolbar, initiated the decline of the obsession that SEO’s and webmasters had developed for Page Rank.

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How Will The Discontinuation Page Rank Effect Websites

Contrary to what most people believe, Page Rank has not been completely eliminated as it still plays a vital role in determining the quality of web pages. Therefore, the websites using organic SEO methodologies including links are least likely to feel the effects of this change. It will help shift the focus from numeric rank scores to quality and encourage the use of other tools and strategies for webpage optimization.

However, websites that relied on unethical means such as link selling for boosting page rank scores at a rapid pace do not have any reference targets to match up to. It will also prevent any third parties offering link spam services from pulling up rank scores at their convenience and improving the ranking by placing links in all types of content.

One of the biggest benefits that the withdrawal of the public access to page rank score is that it will significantly reduce the trend of annoying emails with pitches to buy links and ‘link farms’, flooding user inboxes. It will also encourage the creation of good quality and user friendly sites while ensuring that the playing field is level for a fair competition between online ventures.

Most importantly this move will help restore the importance of democratically generated links for webpage optimization. Irrespective of the fact that this tool has been misused for long, it is a significant aspect of the search algorithm and hence cannot be done away with completely. However, the trend of blindly buying, selling and even dropping links will surely suffer a setback. So even though it took Google around a decade and a half to make the decision, it is sure going to usher in an era of web peace sans the pressure.

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