Skip to main content

The History of the Infleunce of PageRanks

In 2016, Google decided to remove the visibility of PageRank on web browsers. Although web users cannot see PageRank scores anymore, PageRank is still an essential part of Google’s algorithm for sorting websites. What is the effect of superficially removing the number from the web browser? We must first take a look at the history of how people perceive PageRank. In 2000, Google released the first version of its Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer. On the toolbar, users could see the PageRank of a page. The PageRank scores ranged from 0 to 10. Google explained that PageRank score was “Google’s view of the importance of this page.” The purpose of displaying PageRank was to allow users to understand the quality of the pages they were viewing. Moreover, Google could see which pages users were more interested in. However, the disadvantages of PageRank visibility emerged from those doing search engine optimization (SEO).
While Google based their ranks on a multitude of factors, these SEOs focused solely on PageRank. As we learned in class, the PageRank of a page depends on the number of links and connections that direct to that page. The greater the number of connections a page has, the greater the power of the page. According to our lecture on PageRank, pages should also strive to get endorsements from pages with high PageRank scores. Therefore, a page that has links from pages with very high PageRank scores will have a greater PageRank score. Consequently, in order to improve their PageRank score, people started to buy links for their page. Networks, such as SearchKing, were heavily involved in selling links to people who wanted a better PageRank score. As a result, users could not determine the quality of the sites they were using. To halt link selling, Google began to penalize sites that bought links by lowering their PageRank score or removing them entirely from Google. Unfortunately, link selling continued in underground markets, where Google could not find them. As a result of the exponential growth of links, link spamming emerged. People who wanted to increase their PageRank scores would spam blogs and forums with their links. In 2005, Google implemented the nofollow tag, which prevented links from passing along PageRank credit. Nonetheless, link spamming still continued.
It was not until the launching of the Google Chrome browser that the hunt for a higher PageRank score waned. The reason was that Google removed Google Toolbar from Chrome. Consequently, the PageRank score was not blatantly visible. Furthermore, Google began to slack in updating PageRank scores for Internet Explorer users. In 2013, Google took 10 months to update PageRank scores, and they have never been updated after that. Additionally, Google decided to remove PageRank scores from Google Search Console. Consequently, very few people could see an accurate PageRank score for their pages. Finally, Google decided to remove the visibility of PageRank scores completely in 2016. I think removing the PageRank visibility was a great idea. Without the fervent link buying, users can once again trust in the quality of the pages they are viewing.
Even though PageRank has disappeared from view on browsers, Google is still highly dependent on PageRank. The difference is that people cannot see their page’s PageRank score anymore. Thus, they must depend on third parties to conjecture the authority of their pages. Consequently, link buying and spamming have reduced significantly; however, they are still present today.



Leave a Reply

Blogging Calendar

October 2017
« Sep   Nov »