Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable is pointing to some forum threads indicating that Google has released an update to PageRank in the Google Toolbar. Indeed, there are a bunch of webmasters on the Digital Point claiming their PageRank has changed. It was last updated in January.
PageRank is one of many signals (over 200, according to Google) that the search engine uses to determine rankings. The algorithm gets tweaked on a daily basis, and Google has put more emphasis on more personalized factors in recent times – things like location and social, not to mention alleged content quality.
Google has basically said that people worry about PageRank way too much. They even ditched it in Webmaster Tools n 2009. “We’ve been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it’s the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true,” said Google’s Susan Moskwa at the time.. “We removed it because we felt it was silly to tell people not to think about it, but then to show them the data, implying that they should look at it.”
Google PageRank Gets an Update, +1 Button Goes Worldwide
Though for some reason, they kept it around in the Google Toolbar. Some users just like to see it.
Something that might be a little more relevant to to 2011 is that Google announced today that the +1 button is rolling out globally. On the Webmaster Central Blog, product manager Kari Wilson writes:
Today, +1’s will start appearing on Google search pages globally. We’ll be starting off with sites like google.co.uk, google.de, google.jp and google.fr, then expanding quickly to most other Google search sites soon after.
We’ve partnered with a few more sites where you’ll see +1 buttons over the coming days.
Partners include The Telegraph, Last.fm, The Independent, and several others, though I’m willing to bet you’ll see them just about everywhere pretty soon.
It’s still largely unknown just how much these things are really getting clicked by users, but the buttons really offer nothing but benefits to publishers, as they provide a way for users to tell Google to rank this content higher.