PageRank not working on third-party plugins and toolbars
You may have noticed over the course of the last week that Google PageRank metrics have been unavailable through toolbars and third-party plug-ins. The international SEO community has been awash with comments, complaints and speculation on what exactly happened with some suggesting that PageRank was no more.
That would be an interesting scenario in online marketing – although no longer a crucial metric for SEO, PageRank is still relied upon as a barometer for authority on the web. Without PageRank (and similar metrics from third parties) SEO professionals, online marketing professionals and novices would probably struggle to measure authority and quality.
Anyway, that’s all hypothetical as PageRank hasn’t disappeared – Google has just changed the lookup URL, which third-party tools rely on to present PageRank.
PageRank is still available – third parties just need to catch up
Already, we have seen instances where third parties have adapted to Google’s change – PageRank on Google Chrome (from Hrishikesh Kale) is working. Other commonly used plug-ins on different browsers including Search Status for Firefox, have not yet adapted to the changes.
The clamour around an absence of PageRank as a metric for evaluating websites demonstrates how much online marketers and SEOs rely on it. What would the industry look like if there was no PageRank? Would link building practices be more naturally aligned to relevance as the core element of sourcing links? It’s more likely we would see attempts to ‘game’ Google’s guidelines by referring back to historical data on PageRank, and relying on other metrics such as Alexa and SEOmoz Rank.
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