R.I.P PageRank

So it seems we have official(ish) word on the future of Google PageRank. See the video below at the 20.30 spot. Google’s very own John Mueller states there ‘probably’ won’t be any more page rank updates in a Google hangout.

source: Search Engine Land

Exactly what is (or was) PageRank?

“PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.”

A once worshipped metric in the SEO world, PageRank is measured from 0 to 10. Since Google’s early days, their toolbar displayed the PageRank of any page. It is well known to be Google’s yardstick of quality. Link sellers sell links based on it. Site flippers sell sites based on it. Webmasters get bragging rights because of their high PageRank.

It is so easily faked and has become so infrequently updated over time.  Now it has finally happened, we guessed it here at Fat Joe HQ; PageRank is no more… at least toolbar PageRank that is.

What’s the difference between toolbar PageRank & ‘real’ PageRank?

Toolbar page rank is what Google shares with the public. Those green pixels you see in the Google toolbar? That’s the toolbar PageRank. It was updated so much less than real PageRank. We assume Google will still use PageRank internally.

Why have Google done this?

We suspect to stop people selling links and websites based on PageRank. Maybe to encourage SEOs to have less of a focus on link building and gaining PR, which causes so many spam problems for Google.

How to measure the quality of pages and sites without PageRank?

We haven’t used PageRank in years to measure the quality of sites. We know how easily PageRank can be gamed, and how infrequent it is updated. This is why we’ve always used DA (Domain Authority) from Moz as our main metric. The DA of a website can easily be found using the Moz Toolbar or checking pages with their link explorer OSE (Open Site Explorer). DA is measured between 0 and 100.

Majestic offer alternative metrics too if you are looking for an alternative to Moz. At Fat Joe HQ, we are really happy with DA as a quality metric, and feel that it is quite accurate and regularly updated.

We understand that some corporates and old school clients may STILL be obsessive over PageRank, but the SEO landscape is changing, and it’s time to educate bosses, clients and business owners.


PageRank, we’ve had some great memories, rest in peace.

Daniel Trick

Head of Content

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