The Evolution or Demise of PageRank?

This weekend I was discussing the future of PageRank with a colleague, Deana. We wondered if Google would again be updating PageRank in the near future, or perhaps they plan to make it an annual update?  Or, could it be that they have finally decided to knock PageRank on its head?  Google PageRankWe also surmised that perhaps PageRank would take on a different guise, using more metrics to ascertain the quality of a page. These metrics could include:

  • Content quality;
  • Backlink quality;
  • Age;
  • Brand;
  • Small device readiness;
  • Accessibility

(though at least one of these metrics are already utilised, and the last two may be just speculation on my behalf.).

I’d decide to compose a longer blog post on why I felt it was time it disappeared, and that website owners should focus their attention on content, rather than worrying about external factors such as PageRank that really offered no solid guidance on ranking a website, and aided in steering many site owners to engage in questionable tactics with regard to acquisition of links, and ultimately led to a negative outcome, i.e. sites being penalised for unnatural links.

No sooner had I begun to type the first few words of what I felt would be an ‘epic’ post about the demise of Pagerank, an article dropped down in my feed box from Search Engine Land about no more PageRank updates in 2013. The article stated that Niels Bosch had asked the Head of Google’s Webspam team, Matt Cutts, whether there would be another PageRank update before the end of the year. Matt responded “I would be surprised if that happened”.

So, will PageRank disappear for ever, or will it evolve into something that provides a more accurate measurement of a pages quality?   We’ll have to see what the new year and 2014 holds!