Despite once being the gold standard for assessing a site’s authority and optimization, Google announced this week it will be shutting down PageRank and all toolbars featuring the tool will no longer show a PageRank score.
The algorithm-based tool would assess web pages and rank them on a scale of one to ten based on numerous signals that Google uses to evaluate pages. It was an easy-to-understand way to quickly “score” a website and know if optimization, link building, or other marketing efforts were having a positive effect. However, the tool has not been updated in years.
Many webmasters have been holding onto hope that PageRank would get an algorithm update, but the company has been slowly moving away from it for some time. PageRank scores were never displayed inside Google Chrome, and the scored were dropped from Google Search Console in 2009. The Google Open Directory website, which showed PageRank metrics, was also shut down in 2010.
The last bastion of the PageRank score was the IE Google toolbar, which continued to show scores up until now.
Google has confirmed it will not be updating the tool for the public, but it will continue to be used by Google internally.
The move signals a big shift away from Google’s old way of doing things, but in practical terms it will change very little. Since PageRank hadn’t been updated since 2013, SEOs and webmasters have learned to rely on other tools and methods of assessing their marketing efforts.