CMS Wire's Barb Mosher reported about a forum posting by a Google Employee explaining why PageRank has been dropped from the Google Webmaster Tools. Barb writes:
Do you constantly watch the Google toolbar in your browser to see if your Google PageRank has changed? Do you worry constantly about why your rank is less than that of a competitor? Well, there may not be any reason to worry any longer.
Google has dropped PageRank data from Webmaster Tools.
Google has for some time discussed that PageRank is a very small factor among many factors that they look at for placing a particular indexed page on a search results page. Dropping PageRank from the Webmaster Tools appears to be just one more step in moving PageRank away from everyone's attention.
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. 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. :-)
I have observed that indeed PageRank doesn't matter for placement on Google's search pages. I've seen CMSReport.com's front page ranked from as low as "3" to as high as "7" over the years. Although the page rank has varied over time, the placement of my web pages on the search pages have stayed about the same. Relevancy of the page to the search terms being used seems to have a much greater impact on how well your site ranks with the search engine. Additional details on why Google doesn't see PageRank as a good measurement for a site can be found on one of their Webmaster FAQ.
Although, Google and personal experience has convinced me PageRank is not that important, I'm still troubled when my PageRank drops or is lower than I think it should be. Why do I still worry about PageRank? I worry because publishers and marketers still love to use PageRank for promoting some sites over others. As long as there are buyers of ad space that use simple stats such as PageRank, the PageRank for my site is difficult to ignore.
If Google is right and PageRank doesn't really matter then I have a solution. Perhaps Google needs to give every site a page ranking of "10". Why not do that and please everyone? After all, PageRank doesn't matter...
Bryan Ruby is the owner and editor for CMS Report. He founded CMSReport.com in 2006 on the belief that information technologists, website owners, and web developers desired visiting sites where they could learn about content management systems without the sales pitch. Besides this site, you can follow Bryan at Google+ and Twitter.