10 Signs Google PageRank is Dead…to Non-Googlers

  • January 28th 2015
  • by Marvin Russell
10 Signs Google PageRank is Dead…to Non-Googlers

I keep seeing the same question posted over and over, “Is Google PageRank Dead?” My thoughts are yes and no. Yes, it’s dead to those outside of Google. No, it’s not dead to Googlers (people who work at Google). In other words, I still think Google uses PageRank as a part of their organic ranking algorithm. I just don’t think they will push PageRank out to the public anymore.

I did a little research and came up with 10 signs, from which we can safely assume Google PageRank is dead to non-Googlers. While researching this topic, one thing I noticed killing off Google PageRank for non-Googlers has been in the works for a while. For years Google has been throwing us hints, and slowly removing PageRank data from our grasps, until one day it was gone.

1. PageRank data removed from Webmaster Tools.

In 2009, Google removed PageRank data from Webmaster tools.  I know this happened nearly 5 years ago, but now we know it was a sign of what was yet to come. Maybe this will help us predict Google’s future a little better. After all, the best way to predict the future is to know the past. This was their explanation as to why they removed PageRank from Webmaster Tools:

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.

Susan Moskwa, Googler

2. Less updates over time.

Checkout this graph I whipped up. It shows the number of times Google updated PageRank for non-Googlers, since 2006. As you can see, Google has consistently released fewer PageRank updates over time.

Is PageRank Dead?

3. PageRank never was added to Chrome.

Thinking back, Google never did add a PageRank to their own browser, Chrome. In fact, the only way to see PageRank on Chrome is if you install an extension by a 3rd party developer. If it had a future you’d think they’d promote Google PageRank on their own browser. But they never have.

How to Convert 30% of Visitors into SEO Leads: Landing Page Science

4. Matt Cutts says he’d be surprised if PageRank was updated again.

On October 6, 2013 Niels Bosch tweeted a question to Matt Cutts, Head of Search Spam, asking if we should expect a PageRank update before 2014. Matt Cutts responded by saying, I would be surprised if that happened.

Previous to Matt Cutts’ response Google only updated PageRank once that year, on February 4, 2013.

5. PageRank was not updated for 10 straight months.

In 2013, Google didn’t update PageRank for 10 straight months. With respect to previous years, that was a pretty long drought. As I stated earlier, PageRank was updated on February 4th, and it was not updated again until December 6, 2013. Historically Google has updated PageRank three to four times per year. A 10 month delay was a sure sign that something was changing.

6. Matt Cutts says the PageRank “pipeline” is broke, and Google isn’t interested in fixing it.

On October 23, 2013, at Pubcon Matt Cutts stated that the PageRank “pipeline” is broke, and Google isn’t interested in fixing it. The pipeline is what Google used to send updated PageRank data to toolbars, for non-Googlers to see. Even though Google may update PageRank internally everyday, it only pushed data updates to non-Googlers, via toolbars, three to four times per year.

7. Matt Cutts says PageRank data is only updated to help searchers.

Matt Cutts, once said, “the reason why they (Google) still have it (PageRank) is not because SEOs use it but rather because searchers and users still use it to determine how “reputable” a website is.

Strong words. He sounds a bit reluctant to still address Google PageRank. It also sounds like he wished they would have stopped updating Google PageRank data much  sooner.

8. Googler John Mueller says Google will never update PageRank again on 1/22/14.

I wouldn’t use PageRank or links as a metric. We’ve last updated PageRank more than a year ago (as far as I recall) and have no plans to do further updates. Think about what you want users to do on your site, and consider an appropriate metric for that.

John Mueller, Googler

Well, John hasn’t been fired yet, so…

(See for yourself at minute 20:30)

9. PageRank has not been updated in 14 months (as of 1/28/15).

As we just stated, PageRank is normally updated a few times per year. However, the last update was well over a year ago, on December 6, 2013. This gives a strong indication that updates have stopped.

10. PageRank became leverage for spammers, and Google knows it.

If you’re an SEO pro you’ll understand this. How many times were you contacted by people offering PR4, PR5, or PR6 links? I got it every day. That was a spammer’s angle. Spammers sold links from web pages with high PR. The higher the PageRank, the more expensive.

I once had a colleague ask if we should entertain buying links from this company who had a great deal on PR5, PR7, blah, blah, blah links. Before I turned this horrible idea down we looked at the pages the spammer promised us links from. I was initially impressed with the high PageRanks. Then I searched the URLs in Google. Nothing Found! Those pages, with high PageRanks, were banned from Google, and still had awesome PageRank. WTF?

This exact problem was discussed in the video above, and that’s when Mueller’s now famous words, reassured us that we should not worry about PageRank anymore, and that Google would likely never update PageRank again. If PageRank was important, you’d think they would have solved this tiny and trivial task. Give banned pages a PR of 0. I’m not a developer but it seems simple enough.

Google created monsters when they created PageRank. They didn’t mean to, it just happened. Selling links with high PageRank became a cornerstone of link spam. In fact, Matt Cutts, Head of Google Spam, is tasked with mitigating spam on Google as much as possible. Half of his department was probably dedicated to the spammy repercussions of PageRank. Therefore, it was only natural that he lead this charge.

11. Bonus Update – Google Provides Confirmation

In March of 2016, it was reported that Google officially killed off Google PageRank for everyone outside of Google. In other words, PageRank data will no longer be available to the public. Internally, PageRank is still used in Google’s ranking algorithm.

Read more about Google officially killing off page rank to the public. (Added March 9, 2016)


Google PageRank is not dead to Googlers, but it is dead to us.  In all, I’m glad. Less spammy emails, fewer cheaters, and less confusion from the name “PageRank”. Fellow SEO professionals know what I mean by “confusion”. We have to constantly explain to clients the difference between PageRank, and your page’s ranking in search engines. It just got annoying. But it is ironic. Larry’s last name is “Page”, hence the term “PageRank”. I really hope you knew that.

If you still need some sense of how well you are doing in search engines, get your OMS Score from OptimizeMySite. Your score will tell you how optimized your pages are for search engines.


How to Convert 30% of Visitors into SEO Leads: Landing Page Science

  • Please do not buy and SEO package or product promoted on the basis of PageRank.

  • ozneilau

    Thanks Marvin, I have been paying more attention to Moz Page Authority and Domain Authority as indicators of web page and website authority. I assume these metrics are still alive and well?

    • Yes they are :) We just released OMS Score. You should check out http://OptimizeMySite.com

      • ozneilau

        Excellent, thanks! This is very useful to gauge how well search engine optimised a website is already and what improvements are still needed.

        • You are very welcome. More specifically it’s about landing page optimization. Enjoy :)

  • PA & DA, trust flow, citation flow, MOZ rank are more important metrics in 2015’s SEO efforts http://www.pinterest.com/beyond11/seo-tud%C3%A1s-seo-inf%C3%B3grafika/

    • Pawel Gontarek

      NO, they’re useless … Ii is very easy to make these factors “big” using ALN (Automatic Link Network)

      • What do you mean Pawel Gontarek…..??

  • alexleca

    It doesn’t matter what will happen to Google PageRank since
    we have software engines to calculate in real time Google Page Rank on the
    original Google algorithm. Here it is one:


    Give it a try!

  • Insightful article, thanks for sharing

  • Best part is that spammers aka self claimed SEO gurus, would not be able to sell links just on the basis of Page Rank and experienced folks will now have better opportunities in the market.

  • seyi obahiagbon

    So how come the top searches for highly competitive keywords still go to the top pagerankers (pr 4 to 10)

    A PR 0 page still gives you some good traffic if it comes from a high PR domain.

    I am addicted to a particular forum because of this. Anything i put there
    is sure to get good visibility if i update my thread regularly enough!

    • PageRank still works. it’s just not updated tot he public anymore. My guess is that it will become more and more meaningless each day, because as new sites grow and become more popular, they will never see an increase in PageRank.

      • William Kiel

        I think you’re right. I just read a piece where the blog looks at Matt Cutts stats and there are a bunch of cross dynamic ratings on his site that do not line up at all.

        Matt Cutts PR5 might be accurate to the last update done the public can still see, or it might be a PR6 if they still were. Don’t know but it is definitely not lining up with the DA81. He would normally be, if it were the olden days either a PR6 or a PR5 very close to a PR6.

        I doubt negative SEO attacks would work against Matt and if anyone is white listed or not having to use the disavow it would be him.

        But MOZ DA will have the same effect ultimately that PR did and cause people to try to get listed off those. I am getting this heavily already with the ads saying we will get you on high DA, versus high PR.

        Well, the DA is not so accurate either, when it factors in age, size, popularity and doesn’t factor in negative popularity stats. Matts Cutts blog again is a DA81 because its a 12 year old domain, with 500,000 page views a month.

        What MOZ does not seem to see in this though that of those 500,000 pageviews a month Matt Cutts has, he also has a 80 percent bounce rate and 55 second on site read time which are in the horrible range.

        Probably because Matt frequently writes completely outside the niche that makes his popularity. They don’t come to read Matt Cutts and what he had for breakfast, how many walks he takes, or what Halloween costume he made for.

        People come for made him on that topic, all those referring domains and back links he has. His name is not Matt Cutts that can write anything and get read. It is Matt Cutts Google. If there is nothing new and relevant, or at least relevant on his blog that has not already been read to death, it is bounce and run like hell.

        People should quit worrying so much about PR, DA, and just write the content that is their niche if they have one defined at all, that will either make them popular over time or it won’t. Even Matt is a perfect example of, if its not relevant, those numbers like PR and DA are an indicator and for now maybe a good indicator of ability to search engine rank, but they don’t what happens beyond this.


  • Very useful information you’ve shared to us. Thank you for your Effort.
    Keep it up.

  • Very useful, however I would like to see a 2015 page rank update. Other services have not perfected the scoring yet.

  • Well done Marvin, quite informative article and you jot down good points which one should assume when coming to conclusion that Google Page Rank is dead. So, the reliable metrics to know the worth of any website will be Majestic’s Trust Flow and Moz’s Domain and Page Authority, Alexa Rank, ahrefs for backlinks, analytics. But, the problem is why Google do this? It offers something to the developers or SEO people and when we are use to with that stuff, Google take it back – being that as Page Rank, Keyword Data, Google +1s and so on.

  • Priscilla Prisms

    Thank goodness one less hoop to jump through.

  • Thank you, this post is analyticsed clearly. And this post is very useful for whom to know about pagerank. My site http://topwalkingshoesformen.com has PR=0 :)

  • Exactly since 2013 google not updated page rank some of good sites like http://blogrope.com/ have 0 page ranking.

  • ajay

    Page rank not update recently but now page rank affect or not for our search engine ranking. My site http://packersmoversworld.in and PR is 0

  • Nivid

    How about link building. Is it necessary to check page rank of incoming link in this era.?

    bcz we are doing some backbuilding & most of the sites PR range from 4-8. Don’t know what would be the PR if Google updating the PR in coming years. Is this will hurt my site? currently http://www.nividtechindia.com has PR0.

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  • I have 9months old site called http://www.rangoutlet.com. I never show any google page rank to this site. if there is no page rank then how to check the score or rank on google? whats alternative?

  • Excellent article. After going through this article I think I should not worry about page rank now. I’ve my portfolio site http://freelancer-coder.com having many pages including blogs, services and portfolio. But still page rank is 0 but no problem, at least the strategy of not updating page rank will stop buying and selling SEO packages.

    • Kim Elimi

      good site

  • Kim Elimi

    Excellent article. thanks,

  • Page rank it was a old good times as more updates more sofiticated internet becomes i have more headakes.


  • if google don’t want to update the page rank then pr must be remove from all sites in order to provide equality, for those who started blogging after dec 2013. my site has pr n/a and it is established after 2013.

  • disqus_Fepg1x01IV
  • disqus_Fepg1x01IV
  • Leland Best

    I’ve always been a site builder that never really gave a junk about Page Rank. Guess I was doing o.k. all along not to do so!

    Great article, I’ll be sure to pass this around to all of my fellow marketers, associates and website builders (including Market Samurai folks) in an attempt to bury it (PR) for good!

  • so pagerank totally dead? why some toolbar still showing pagerank?

  • Lynn Serafinn

    Very interested int read this information, @russellbmw:disqus . I was wondering why I hadn’t seen my site move up from its PR3 in more than a year, even though I know my backlinks have increased significantly. I SO agree with you that Google should simply deal with blacklisted sites with a PR0 (or N/A). I also think PR was (at least notionally) a useful tool for content writers seeking to increase their profile via writing for high-ranking third-party sites. I have also used it as an analytic benchmark when working with my clients.

    Oddly, even though PR is dead, I still get loads of comments spam, albeit not so many emails trying to sell backlinks. I actually wish Google would revamp PR and bring it back, if they could keep those obnoxious spammers out of the mix.

    Lynn Serafinn

  • Mike Donovan

    It appears Google removed the page rank extension app as I had it installed. Noticing it was gone, I went to reinstall because I still like to see the last recorded PR of competitors and even many of my own sites online. But upon installation, it came up with a message that it was already installed (ugh!). So I went to research some more and found this page. Apparently Google removed the ability for Chrome to even be installed even when you still want it. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong about this but I couldn’t get it to work.

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  • 123 Internet Group – SEO Milto

    Our clients page rank has always been strong. Our website http://www.123internetdesigns.com has always had a PR of 3/10.

  • Karoly

    Thank you for the tipps Marvin.
    Now i try some of them thank you
    Best regards

  • عدنان ایوب

    Nice details to pagerank effecting web society.

  • pkurls

    in 2016 Google PageRank not imported we have software engines to calculate in real time Google Page Rank on the original Google algorithm
    you can visit = http://alexaview.com

  • Sukhjinder Singh Sohal

    Thanks for share this article for the google page ranking. My site http://catchcoupons.in and PR is 0

  • abdullah al mahamud

    This is thedevlinemy blog 2 years already gone but not get PR. I don’t know why. but i got daily good visitor from search. any expert can see the problem please.

    After reading the russell article i’m not worry about the PR. Thank you Russell

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  • Thank you Marvin Russell, you doing good job…. :)

  • Nice update for March this year! Glad to see pagerank deprecated it lets us get back to just focusing on creating quality content which should be goal in itself :)

    • Glad you noticed ;)

      • I felt guilty for even Googling it, made me feel better at least there was some recent news :D May it never be Googled again! (Except for people to reach this great article of course!) ;)

        • Thanks for commenting. I found a typo in the update. It’s now fixed.

  • Hi Marvin, I just recently started to blog at http://www.nitrouseo.com , and I was taught that to get good SE ranking is by getting a link from quality website, and I guess knowing a site PR , helps me in knowing of the benefit of getting a link from it, if PR is dead, what are the other ways to know if its good to reach out to a website to get link

  • What will happen to sites that already got their page rank prior to Google stopped updating it? Lets say if your site had PageRank 1 will it stay as 1 forever now?

    Because, I still see PageRank score on many sites.
    Our site http://www.investimmi.ca was launched in January 2016 and never got PageRank score, does it mean it will never get it now?

    And thank you for this informative article.

  • So, what is the best way to know how one ranks? Searching from one’s own computer, for example, skews results…

  • We can probably agree that quality backlinks are important and that page rank is a decent guage of the quality of backlinks in linkbuilding. Unfortunately my site is a 0 :( http://www.nextoronto.com

  • So, its now no more worth buy Pagerank site then? I hope I still can rank my keywords even without pagerank backlink for my Clove Cigarettes website

  • Sourav Adhikari

    Then what will be the new way to recognize a website.. How Google will rank a website on his first page.

  • nomark

    If you think the PR email spam will end because google no longer publishes it you are fooling yourself. It’ll die when the Nigerian scam dies. How long has that been going on? ;-)

  • So you’re telling me that I’ve been looking at outdated pageranks and hoping for my website to finally get a pagerank that it will never get. That’s sad.

  • so does it means google will never update PR ??

    • Internally and for there own purposes. We won’t see the updates.

  • Teak Furniture Malaysia

    How Google will rank a website on his first page?


  • heh heh heh! So this explains why not only my venerable blog but every major site I checked has a page rank of 0. :-D Here I thought I’d been caught in SOME kind of act. Hilarious!

  • So its now no more worth buy Pagerank site then? I hope I still can rank my keywords even without pagerank backlink for my bali ratih di bali ooh so bad, now i like MOZ

  • Rupesh Gupta

    so sir how to decide which website is important for off – page activities.
    i do off page activities like blogging , classified etc with high PR sites only.
    so what is now. any idea ??

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  • It’s interesting to read this article with awesome analysis & Great predictions upon the behavior of the major search engine like Google.

  • Is this really dead, because we know that Google PR was an important factor for the ranking in SERP?

  • Mayapur Voice

    You saved my time, Marvin, by bringing this news! I won’t have to bother any more to know why our PR never changes although Alexa rank is going up practically by every hour! Have a good day!

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  • henrikblunck

    Karma is a bitch. At one point I lost a PR3 due to a database error when my webhost had database issues. I never regained former grandeur – and never will. However, for those of us who also experienced losing Adsense – though never having clicked any of my own ads – it is similarly evident that the good days were when Google was interested in doing business with my domain. I will survive, but it was a bitter pill to swallow

  • Desislava

    Although Google killed PageRank, you can still see the last records for free – http://pr.eyedomain.com/

  • Thanks Marvin, for your time to write such useful article. I was very confused about Google Page rank before, but this article have helped me to understand more about it. I am trying hard to improve my website http://www.klfreelancedesigner.com page rank. If someone can help me out so please advice. Thanks.

  • Jenine Smith

    This was a very interesting post. Years ago, I had a blog on blogspot.com and I tried submitting it to Text-Link Ads, but they never approved my site because my PR rank was 0. Now that I’m about to start a website on another domain, I guess I don’t need to worry about it too much if Google plans on doing away with it. But, I wonder what Text Link Ads policy is now that Google is doing this. They said site owners had to have a PR of at least 2. However, I can assume that they may go by how much traffic your site gets. They also changed their name to Matomyseo.com.

  • Harunur Roshid

    Even PR is not updated for a long time,but page rank (PR) is very much alive and Google still counts dofollow links as a ranking metric. In fact, its still high priority on google search engine algorithm.

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  • Thanks for sharing Marvin, Google Pagerank is dead Yes so people can forget about it and focus on quality content rather than gaining back links by any means. I have written an article which also highlights Page rank is not important now

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