PageRank Tool Bar Updated

Spreading good news for some and bad news for others, Google has recently updated its PageRank Toolbar. A lot of buzz has been going around social media sites about the update with people either proudly announcing their sites improvements since the last update or sadly reporting their declines with emoticon frowny faces and confusion.

For those of you less familiar with the term, PageRank is a link analysis algorithm Google uses to rank the importance of a particular page.  A hyperlink to a page increases the importance of that page.  Basically, the more links back to your site, the better for business.  Kind of like a popularity contest for links.  Google updates its PageRank Toolbar about 3-4 times a year.  The toolbar is only updated a few times a year because Google wants webmasters to spend less time worrying about their PageRank and more time working on providing accessibility and good content.

Google’s Matt Cutts mentioned the tendency to focus too much on PageRank in the Google video announcement:

“A lot of people, if you show them just the PageRank and update it every day, they’re just going to focus on that. So we didn’t want that kind of obsession or backlink obsession to take hold where people would only pay attention to the PageRank in the toolbar.”

Cutts also identified causes of a page rank drop: “…the question of ‘how can I identify the causes of a PageRank drop’ – well, if the only PageRank that you had, for example, was from one very reputable link, and that site stopped linking to you, that could lead to a drop in PageRank.”