What Would Happen If Google Removed The Nominal PageRank?


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Gone are the days when I used to obsess with Google PageRank. Especially with the nomimal PageRank, which is the 0 to 10 scale we see on the various toolbars around the web. Why is that? Because as the name implies, the nomimal PageRank is just an indicator of how much trust Google has on a certain website. It doesn’t have a direct impact on your organic traffic, and certainly it doesn’t have a direct impact on your profits, which is the most important metric for any online entrepreneur. Even the real PageRank, which influences your search rankings, is only one out of hundreds of factors that Google’s algorithm takes into consideration.

That being said, I still find myself curious to check the nominal PageRank updates rolling out. I like to track the frequency of the updates, as well as the PR fluctuations on my and other people’s websites. Out of vanity, perhaps.

The last PageRank update happened early in April, and the next one was expected late in July/September, but so far nothing has happened.

Thinking about this issue, one questions came to my mind: What if Google completely removed the nominal PageRank? That is, what if all the toolbars stopped working, and no one would be able to see the indicator of how much trust (or how many backlinks) any website has?

What impacts would such a change have upon the webmaster/blogging/SEO industry?

Some people argued in the past that removing the nominal PageRank would kill the market for paid links. I don’t think so. As long as backlinks play a role in the search ranking algorithm, there will still be people buying them.

But without the PageRank the link buying process would change a bit. I believe that paid backlink analysis services would gain many more clients, as this would be the best way to evaluate the link authority of any website.

I think that more important than that, however, is the effect that such a change would have on the mind of most website owners. Probably most of them would realize (as most experienced webmasters do sooner or later) that it is better to worry about more tangible metrics like traffic and profits. As a result they would focus more on producing quality content.

Another interesting aspect the consider is the linking one. I believe that if the nominal PageRank was gone bloggers and website owners would become less paranoid about linking to external websites, feating to leak PageRank.

But what do you think? Would this change be positive or negative? What other aspects would be influenced?

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33 Responses to “What Would Happen If Google Removed The Nominal PageRank?”

  • Diving Safari

    In my case ,page rank is not a big factor to determine the importance of a site .After all not all internet user knows what page rank is,What really matter for me is the SERP, if your site place to number one spot then its like you’ve won a Million Dollars haha .To think that your SEO campaign worth out of millions of competitors all over the globe 😀

    If ever big G would removed its legendary pagerank ,one thing is for sure and that is no more SEO campaign :D!!!

  • Steve

    All websites will suffer from effect more or less. I think general people not related to SEO or internet marking will feel the change or effect. I agree the link builder, link buyer or sell will be in deep trouble.

  • Sasha

    Worrying about things like PageRank too much can really take away from the content people are producing. The content should be clear and informative first and foremost and then you can build upon that and try to direct more and more traffic to your site. PR is something to consider but not stress about

  • Farouk

    hmmm, i do believe that page rank has an effect on seo ranking however the effect is not that big,

    it might become harder to determine worthy pages because lots of people will start faking popularity and so deceive others

  • Elias

    I am not a big believer on page rank neither, i believe what it counts is the content.

  • MediaGrow

    This would effect many websites for sure, instead of links we would worry more on producing quality content. I don’t think Google will ever do this because Iam sure they will loose a lot of money from search engine and advertisers,


  • Kunal

    Well PR makes no difference to search rankings but still its one of the parameter which indicates the position of the website(overall standings).

  • Abhishek

    PR is just one stuff, keyword SERP will be most effective factor after PR closes. Traffic and alexa will still remain there 🙂

  • Melvin

    Well this is just my 2 cents. If the nominal pagerank would be removed, then probably webmasters and aspiring entrepreneurs would be more productive and make more headways. Just my 2 cents

    • Web Marketing Tips

      People who want to add quality content is still doing that and will do that.

      But there are few people who will keep adding garbage and will keep doing it.

  • Robert @ Techinfo-4u.com

    To be honest, I take pagerank into account quite a bit when I’m looking at blogs and sites, I know some people say it’s not important, bit if you look at it, all the better sites and blogs have a good pagerank at the end of the day and that’s the bottom story,

    and if you got rid of the pagerank, I’d probably find myself getting a lot fewer offers for adverts and paid links etc…

  • Web Marketing Tips

    These people will be most effected –

    People who are selling links on the basis of PR
    People who are selling websites on PR basis
    People who are selling blogpost on PR basis.

  • James Martell

    Dear Google, please remove the Google PageRank bar. It had it’s place in the past, maybe, but I’m focused on building quality content and backlinks. You take way too long for you to update it anyways.

    Google PageRank Toolbar – R.I.P.

  • Sarbjit Singh

    I think the only people impacted by the PR removal will be the so called “SEO Gurus”. They sell all sort of things to unaware people, promising an increase in their Page Rank.

    Wish, Google will do it sooner than later.

  • Asif

    I really don’t think that this is going to happen in near future. page rank from google play a very important role in my online business.
    If that’s out. I’ll have to start from scratch. But, I think I need to assume this and start designing new methods of earning.
    nice read.

    • Web Marketing Tips

      Do you sell links and website ?

  • Christian Guico

    Definitely removal of the nominal PR of any site or blog will impact most of the webmasters on the links selling industry. I’m not kinda focused on the PR cause most of my friends and prominent bloggers on the scene advice me on producing quality content and gaining readership to my blog.

  • Alex Dumitru

    I really don’t care about the pagerank and I would be happy for Google to remove it. 99% percent of the webmaster still rely on it, though it doesn’t matter “almost” at all.

    • Web Marketing Tips

      Google made this PAGE RANK in such manner that now all webmaster is caring about it.

      New webmaster started to learn SEO with PR only and hence this one is still surviving.

  • Angel

    I think that if google removes the visible pagerank, there will be a shift to what REALLY matters, visitors, rss reader, social influence etc.
    Just because someone has more links doesn’t mean that the content produced is better.

    Great post,

    • Web Marketing Tips

      Only SEO world knows about page rank and all for a normal and regular visitors this page rank is nothing.

  • Mani Viswanathan

    It would largely affect Advertisers. If PR is removed on what basis would they judge a site ? Alexa rank ? – (NOPE)

    Maybe Google will come with a new concept. As it is the PR update which was to happen in September seems like it’s never gonna happen.

    • Web Marketing Tips

      Yes for buying and selling links PR is the most important aspects.

      May be Google should add more new things to determind PR (for that they should also consider traffic as well.)

  • Stephanie – Home with the Kids

    PageRank hasn’t been a concern of mine for a long time. I occasionally notice an update and check mine, but I don’t think I hear about it every time. As others have already said here, there are more important factors to a website than what its PageRank is.

  • Keith Davis

    Hi Daniel
    All you say about traffic and profits is true but I still like to check that pagerank.
    As for linking out, I still link out to authority sites or blogs that I like – there has to be some give and take if we expect people to link to us.

  • patricia miranda

    the relevance of the pagerank for me is to know if what i write is relevant

  • Wilfred

    I agree that PR is not that significant and does not reflect the traffic a site gets. Since it is one of many variables, I find it is the easiest to determine.

    The bottom line is placement and traffic. Without that you are dead.
    but it is an interesting thought.

  • Egrove Systems

    Very interesting discussion, I too think, simply google remove the page rank how we can identify quality of the sites.

    • Web Marketing Tips

      Come on … to identify the quality most important thing is content.

      I simply read also those blogs which have PR 0 … so simply go for contents my dear.

  • Susanne Myers

    Interesting discussion. I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to page rank at this point. Yes, I still take a curious glance at how my own sites are doing whenever there’s an update, but that’s about it.

    As I come across websites that I may want to partner with or guest blog on, I will take a quick look at the bar just to make sure it is not grayed out for the homepage of the site. The actual page rank number for the site is less of a concern. With the pagerank toolbar gone it would take me a little longer to check if google is indexing and caching a site which is mainly what I use it for right now.

    I agree that backlink analysis would become popular, which would be a good thing. It’s pretty easy to do and you will quickly get a much better picture of how well you can expect a backlink to perform.

    I believe it would also change how most of us will build links in the long run with more of a focus on attracting links from other sites in our market place and niche that can drive qualified traffic in addition to building the link instead of the current focus on getting links from PR rich sites with little regard to the theme and topic of those sites.

  • Murlu

    I think, in a monetary standpoint, that people are going about it all wrong when they are looking at PR for buying links – it really comes down to one thing: conversion.

    If there was a website that had a PR of 0 but every person sent over to your website converted, wouldn’t that be better than one with PR9 that rarely did the same?

    Same goes for targeted traffic. You may pick up a link on a high PR page but the traffic may not be targeted or downright don’t care to click your links. Those little niche sites, on the other hand, can be amazing because it’s a highly passionate group of people that probably would care about what you have to say.

    As far as linking out goes, it is a shame to see people holding back because they don’t want to “leak pagerank” but at that point you have to ask if they would do it regardless. If your blog is pulling in the numbers, who cares if you link out – it’ll help you in the long run by networking with others, giving your community something additional to read and makes you a team player in blogging.

    idk, just my two cents

    • Daniel Scocco

      People don’t buy links for traffic or conversions, but to increase their search rankings and then get more traffic from Google for the targeted keywords.

      And in this case a PR9 will almost always be better than a PR3 for example (as long as both links are relevant to the topic of the site).

    • Mike

      Conversion rate depends a lot on incoming traffic. If you have a PR 0 but you’re at the top result then there’ no doubt about a change you could convert better than a PR 9 site which is at 4th or 5th position.

      Again, a link high PR site, although will not give you targeted traffic, but it sure helps a lot in ranking.

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