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Why PageRank shouldn’t be forgotten in 2019

Though the last official public PageRank update occurred in December 2013 and officially removed by Google from its browser, Gary Illyes, a Googler, confirmed in 2017 that PageRank is a ranking signal and is still used by Google behind the scenes. Even though Google doesn’t formally use PageRank in the general public, PageRank still exists as one of the metrics that impacts the website’s rankings. The reason that PageRank died out was that SEO went too far. There was a huge wave of link farms and link spam in which SEOs try to game the PageRank system by bolstering their PageRank score, resulting in unethical practices. In response, Google cracked down on SEOs who tried to game the system and began taking apart PageRank. If PageRank were to come back, the author mentioned several ways to improve on it. For example, it would be beneficial to build quality backlinks, which means to keep the link profile clean since not all links may pass PageRank. Another example was to tell users where the links will lead by utilizing proper anchor text to help users navigate the content and aid the SEO.

It’s amazing to see how networks and network equilibrium can be applied to create PageRank. Though it is not officially used by Google out in the public, we can see the applications of networks and network equilibrium to create an optimization system that can boost the rankings of the websites. Although Google didn’t see the foresee the dire consequences of PageRank back when the company first patented it, we should still remember one of the best web page optimization systems that started it all.


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October 2019