Clearing the Misconceptions About PageRank (Part 1)

According to an abstract on Stanford’s Computer Science department posted years ago, PageRank was even mentioned in this paper. Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page, the researchers, shared that PageRank “brought order to the web”. Named after Larry Page, PageRank is Google Search’s algorithm that is used to rank web pages accordingly.

an arrow indicating an upward trend

Is PageRank still heading an upward trend?

However, does PageRank have any value in this day and age? In 2019, can we still consider PageRank important in the entire Google hierarchy? For this blog post, I will tackle all the prevalent questions, and bust some myths still lurking about PageRank.

  1. PageRank is an outdated metric, right?

  • To be honest, PageRank is already mentioned in a research paper made during the late 90s. Seriously, most of its citations were works during the 90s and yet PageRank is already a prominent during that time.
  • In 2016, PageRank said goodbye to the public eye. The last known update before that was still in 2013. For something introduced in 1999, PageRank is something outdated. There’s no better way to say it, but it’s really old.
  • However, PageRank is one of the pillars of Google. It was made to help users get relevant information and to avoid useless content during their web search. Up to this day, Google has doing a great job in giving us search results that are useful and functional.
  • Aside from that, PageRank has obviously changed, and it is not the same metric as we all grew up. They were changes in its algorithm and Google released major updates as posted on this article right here. An obvious move made to cope up with the changing digital landscape.
  • Most of all, there was document on USpto.gov that stated Google wanted to extent the patent given to PageRank. The date reflected was April 24, 2018. So, this would mean that PageRank is still here to stay. Obviously, it may not be visible to the public, but it is definitely still connected on how we search things online.
  1. Google is not posting updates about PageRank. So, it’s not probably implemented, right?

  • Just because something is not publicly updated, it does not mean it is gone FOREVER. Remember, there was no official word regarding the discontinuation or cancellation of PageRank.
  • Well, we just know that it bid goodbye to the public eye. For sure, something is brewing behind the scenes. Google just might surprise us with a major public update soon.
  • In case you forgot, Google’s Gary Illyes tweeted, “…we’re still using PageRank (and 100s of other signals) in ranking.”
  • Because Google does not disclose PageRank scores to the public, misconception about its discontinuation easily spread like wildfire.
  • Before, users have convenient access to the PageRank metric. You could see the scores of any web page you are visiting with the help of the Google Toolbar. However, this lead to the rampant use of spammy links. Thus, Google had to stop publicizing these scores because unpopular websites are milking reputable and top-rated sites.
  • Because of this unfortunate incident, Google gave the public an option to “nofollow”. With this tag, website admins can stop PageRank from taking these links into consideration when ranking pages in the future.