Google’s failure to publish updated Toolbar PageRank scores since January is doing a disservice to the new blogs that have been launched during the last 7-9 months.
Regardless of Google attempts to minimize the misuse of this tool by sites selling links, it remains a highly scrutinized number. Having a Toolbar PageRank of zero makes it more challenging for new blogs to establish credibility, gain readers, compel readers to leave comments, and recruit guest post authors.
Given that this blog, Internet Marketing Remarks, is one of the new blogs that lacks the credibility provided by the little green gauge showing PageRank in toolbars, I definitely am biased in regard to this issue.
I sort of doubt that many of Google’s shareholders share my opinion that Google has an obligation to update Toolbar PageRank. Frankly, I would have a tough time making a persuasive case to them that updating this metric that does not produce any revenue should be obligatory. Further, as pointed out in an article by Barry Schwartz, there are many that want PageRank to be deleted from toolbars. Google has recently diminished the importance of Toolbar PageRank by removing the gauge from the current version of their toolbar.
I had to go back to 2007 to find a positive quote about Toolbar PageRank from a “Googler”:
“PageRank is an important signal and remains one of many effective measures of quality, but admittedly it’s often viewed and used/abused in ways that run contrary to the interests of searchers and webmasters. Still, a lot of folks find the PR information useful; it provides a great incentive to try out our toolbar and explore its other features as well.”
Does the fact that this blog does not have the benefit of a Toolbar PageRank score severely damage this blog and/or other new blogs? Absolutely not. Anyone that is interested in doing more that just a cursory glance at a Toolbar has lots of other tools to use to evaluate a site, including SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer, Alexa and other tools.
Thus, maybe if I had an audience with the powers that be at Google, I would attempt to cajole them into updating Toolbar PageRank at least one more time before it is retired so that this blog could have the credibility of a Toolbar PageRank score. Ultimately though, I find it hard to make a good case for Google having a responsibility to update Toolbar PageRank