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Roughly a month after Google announced it would be completely shutting down the Google PageRank Toolbar, the service finally went dark over the weekend.

Now, those who have the PageRank toolbar installed will not be able to see the 1-to-10 rankings of sites they visit, making the toolbar officially useless. The move also cuts data from any third-party toolbar that tries to retrieve a PageRank score.

Of course, if you’ve been using the PageRank toolbar recently, you have been working from outdated data. Google hasn’t updated the public PageRank scores in years, so it makes sense to finally shut it down for good.

It must be noted that PageRank isn’t completely gone. It just isn’t available to the public anymore. Google will keep using the PageRank algorithm internally to help evaluate websites.

For more about the legacy of PageRank and the PageRank toolbar, I recommend reading Danny Sullivan’s RIP Google PageRank score: A retrospective on how it ruined the web.

There has been quite a bit of speculation ever since Matt Cutts publicly stated that Google wouldn’t be updating the PageRank meter in the Google Toolbar before the end of the year. PageRank has been assumed dead for a while, yet Google refuses to issue the death certificate by assuring us they currently have no plans to outright scrape the tool.

Search Engine Land reports that yesterday, Cutts finally explained what is going on and why there have been no updates while speaking at Pubcon. Google’s ability to update the toolbar is actually broken, and repairing the “pipeline” isn’t a major priority by any means. The search engine already feels that too many marketers are obsessing too much over PageRank, while Google doesn’t see it as very important.

But, Cutts did give some insight as to why Google has been hesitant to completely kill off PageRank or the toolbar. They have consistently maintained they intend to keep the meter around because consumers actually use the tool almost as much as marketers. However, at this point that data is nearly a year out of date, so suggesting consumers are the main motive for keeping PageRank around is disingenuous.

No, it turns out Google actually uses PageRank internally for ranking pages, and the meter has been consistently updated within the company during the entire period the public has been waiting for an update. It is also entirely possible Google likes keeping the toolbar around because Google wants the data users are constantly sending back to the search engine.

While the toolbar may be useful for the company internally, PageRank has reached the point where it needs to be updated or removed. Data from a year ago isn’t reliable enough to offer anyone much value, and most browsers have done away with installable toolbars anyways. If a repair isn’t a high enough priority for Google to get around to it at all this year, it probably isn’t worth leaving the toolbar lingering around forever.

It remains incredibly unclear what Google’s thoughts or plans are for PageRank, as Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, commented on Twitter yesterday that there won’t be any updates to PageRank or the toolbar anytime before 2014.

Neils Bosch asked the esteemed Google engineer whether there would be an update before next year, to which Cutts responded, “I would be surprised if that happened.”

According to Search Engine Land, it has been over 8 months since the last Google Toolbar PageRank update, back on February 4, 2013. Many have proclaimed the toolbar dead, but Cutts has personally defended the toolbar on a Webmaster chat within the past year, and said the toolbar won’t be going away.

However, as Cutts himself explained, Chrome doesn’t have a PageRank extension, Google dropped support for Firefox in 2011, and Internet Explorer 10 doesn’t support toolbar extensions. It seems clear there will be less and less of an audience for the toolbar, so its relevancy and use will likely taper off until it just kind of disappears.

It is always possible that Google might put out a surprise update next year, but don’t expect PageRank to be around forever.