Why Google does not remove the PageRank feature in the Google Toolbar (and how to judge web pages)

For several years, the publicly displayed Google PageRank hasn’t been a good indicator of the quality of a website. In a video on Youtube, Google’s Matt Cutts answers why Google doesn’t remove the Pagerank feature from its toolbar.

Although the displayed PageRank has very little value, the PageRank number is still displayed in Google’s toolbar in MS Internet Explorer because some searchers still use it to determine the quality of a website.

That does not mean that the PageRank number is an indicator of the quality of a website. Google’s own web browser Chrome does not have a PageRank display and Matt Cutts says that ‘the writing is on the wall’ for the PageRank numbers in toolbars.

Why you shouldn’t use PageRank numbers when building links

Many webmasters only want to get backlinks from pages with a particular PageRank. While you can use this method, it is usually a waste of time and it makes link building more difficult than it really is.

If a website has an overall high-quality then it does not matter if the page with the link to your website has a low Google PageRank:

  • If a high-quality website adds a new page, the new page will have an initial PageRank of zero. Nevertheless, the page can still be very good.
  • A page that has a PageRank of zero today can have a high PageRank tomorrow.

If only pages with a high PageRank had a chance, it wouldn’t be possible to get new pages in Google’s results page. Experience shows that new pages appear in Google’s results every day.

In addition, the PageRank that Google publicly displays is not the actual PageRank that Google uses in its algorithm, and the PageRank value can be manipulated.

How to judge the quality of a website

If PageRank is not a good indicator of the quality of a website, which metrics can you use? What is a good website and from which web pages should you get links?

Actually, you do not need special metrics to judge the quality of a web page. When you find a web page that could link to your site, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the linking page look good to the average web surfer?
  • Does the page have interesting content?
  • Is the content somewhat related to my website?
  • Does it make sense if the web page links to your site?

If you can answer all questions with “yes,” then you should try to get a backlink from that page. It doesn’t matter if that page has a low PageRank.

Google tries to imitate common sense with its algorithm. If you use common sense to build your links and follow the tips above, you make sure that the backlinks to your website will count in all future updates of Google’s algorithm.

There are other metrics that you can use

When you find a good website while surfing the web, use the ‘Add link to link manager‘ bookmarklet that you get with SEOprofiler and you will get a lot of information about the website:

link metrics

The link manager in SEOprofiler helps you to manage your backlinks as efficiently as possible. Details on how to work with the backlink manager can be found here.

If you don’t have an SEOprofiler account yet, you can try SEOprofiler now for $1. This offer is available once per customer:

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