Skip to main content

RIP Google PageRank score: A retrospective on how it ruined the web

RIP Google PageRank score: A retrospective on how it ruined the web

In 2000, Google released a toolbar that had a PageRank meter available for anyone to check the rank of a page on a scale of 0 to 10. This was removed in 2016, and this article critiques the PageRank system and the market of link-selling that it created. Because people were able to view the rankings of the pages that they visit, they actively tried to raise their rank so that their webpages would have more visibility when people used the Google search engine. Naturally, a market emerged as people were “selling” links and boosting certain pages’ PageRank scores. Instead of pages being ranked by the democratic nature of the web, people were buying their scores. People also spammed links just to raise the scores of certain webpages. Although I do not think making the PageRank score public was a smart move, I do not think hiding it from the beginning would have prevented the market from emerging. The nature of the system would have pushed people to take advantage of it, and I believe these side effects were inevitable. In the end, regardless of the public or private nature of PageRanks, Google’s services are unmatched, and I believe that if there was a better, more “fair” search algorithm, Google would have already achieved it. Who knows what Google actually factors into its algorithm?

This connects directly to the page ranks that we talked about in class. Google is doing what we did on our Homework 4 on a massive scale, allowing for webpages to be ranked by how many links it has to others and how credible those websites are. Although no one but Google knows what factors go into their search algorithm and how they determine hub and authority scores, it is their way of determining how to rank their webpages when people use their search engine. Ranking pages and determining in what order webpages show up when the google search engine is used is an essential part of Google’s services and intuitively it seems like an objective way to function. Although it can be taken advantage of, as of now, it seems like Google is somehow managing its services very well.


Leave a Reply

Blogging Calendar

October 2017
« Sep   Nov »