Here’s an update that nobody saw coming.
Last Friday, news broke that Google updated their PageRank Toolbar. The update, which is the first update released in more than 10 months, wasn’t something that was planned by Google or expected by its users, especially since Matt Cutts himself said there wouldn’t be an update before 2014:
@NielsBoschh I would be surprised if that happened.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) October 6, 2013
PageRank Lives On
The last time Google updated the PageRank toolbar was the first time they updated it this year, way back in February 4 of this year. Before that, Google updated PageRank every three months, with updates in November 2012 and August 2012 preceding the last update.
When news broke of the PageRank Toolbar update, the entire online industry got to talking very quickly. The PageRank Toolbar is the most visible indicator of Google’s link data changes, albeit an unreliable one because the information is often outdated. With this new update, you can check your updated PageRank as well before the year ends and get a picture of where your online marketing campaigns stand.
Another reason that the update caused a buzz is because Google implied that PageRank will go away soon. This is in the video Cutts did recently, where he was explaining why PageRank hasn’t changed in awhile. The update indicates that PageRank will live on, at least for the next few months until the next update (or an announcement that says otherwise).
PageRank Update as a Side Note
After the news broke of the update, Matt Cutts tweeted a confirmation, explaining the circumstances of the PageRank Toolbar update:
A rare PageRank update: http://t.co/qMKGOd1UlP Team was fixing a different backend service and did a PR update along the way.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) December 6, 2013
From his tweet, you can see that the update was almost an afterthought – merely a side note that they needed to get done as a consequence of another update they were working on. It’s important to note that the information may not be as updated as you think, with speculations flying that this isn’t entirely new data, but a refresh of the data from September.
What This Means for Websites
According to reports from webmasters and discussions from forums, many new websites from February now have PR1 or PR2 ratings. Older websites within the PR4-PR6 range weren’t so lucky, with no improvements and many drops taking place. These drops may partly explain these websites’ negative movement on the SERPs.
The good news for our partners is that we’ve managed to maintain and even improve your campaign rankings overall. You may see some movement in your PageRank, or you may see that we’ve maintained your PageRank, but you have to remember that PageRank is only one of the hundreds of factors Google looks at when ranking your site on their SERPs. Having a well-rounded online marketing strategy is still the most effective way to maintain your rankings and to keep hitting your conversion goals, and you will see how we’ve accomplished this in your monthly reports.
Talk to your account manager today if you see your PageRank has changed to learn the status of your campaigns. If you’re not yet our partner, remember to sign up for free to gain access to our full suite of solutions. Keep checking back for more updates!