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When Google Disabled Public PageRank

Something that I never knew existed before this class was the concept of PageRank, and while I certainly used the Internet before 2013 I was not aware Google made PageRank public before then. PageRank, the same concept as we have been learning in class, was once visible on the page, usually on the top bar of the screen. This version of PageRank served the same general purpose of helping rank websites, but was displayed to the public as a general score from 1 to 10, which was generally affected by the magnitude of links it led out to and links that led to the site. Now, PageRank is kept internal, and according to the author, the SEO economy, which is search engine optimization, has not felt much of an impact by removing the number. Google has since found other newer alternative algorithms to PageRank.

In class, we have been learning about PageRank and how it is distributed from Chapter 14. It is interesting to see that it no longer the major algorithm used anymore by Google. The concept of what pages are considered relevant by the number of links pointing to the source, and can be furthered by saying links with more importance should give more rank to those it links out to. PageRank, defined as a sort of fluid that flows through nodes and their edges, was once the major source of defining what sites are important by Google. With how PageRank was displayed, from 1 to 10, and seeing how we now calculate basic PageRank through direct endorsement, the rank of the nodes that provide that link, etc., and all ranks add up to 1 (or some consistent value), the 1 to 10 scale was likely slightly misleading and existed to simplify the concept of PageRank- I doubt there were only 10 pages, even considering the amount of pages with no ingoing or outgoing links.  I wonder, what is now the dominant algorithm, and how does it differ?


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October 2017