Although Google’s Matt Cuts recently implied that there wouldn’t be a PageRank update this year, it turns out that he wasn’t quite accurate.
After 10 months of inactivity, the Toolbar (public) PageRank has been updated, ostensibly as part of another update to the Google back-end. See what Matt Cutts has to say about PageRank here:
What Is PageRank?
PageRank, named after Google co-founder Larry Page, was (is) a complicated formula that Google uses to help determine how authoritative or credible a given page is. In its simplest form, it’s a measure of the pages that link to your page, and the flow of PageRank from one page to another used to be one of the carefully monitored (and frequently manipulated) SEO factors.
Does It Matter?
Well…Google has been telling us for some time that PageRank is going to fade away. And the changes in the way that pages are ranked has seemed to support this, with the beginning of what is probably a gradual move away from links (to some extent anyway) and toward more content.
The rise of “nofollow” links has probably been part of it, and the latest moves toward semantic indexing is probably going to put the nails more firmly into the coffin of PageRank.
That’s not to say it won’t signify at all. But Google’s private PageRank, and the public Toolbar PageRank, are quite different things. One is a closely guarded secret and the other is supposed to be no more than an indication of the possible “authority” of a page at some point in time.
It’s nice, but I think it stopped really mattering some time ago. And that’s not a bad thing either. There are more important factors to consider now than some nebulous concept of how important any given page is at the particular instant they updated it.