Why No PageRank Update? The “Pipeline” Is Broke & Google Isn’t Interested In Fixing It

google-toolbar-pagerankWe already knew Google wasn’t likely to update the PageRank meter in the Google Toolbar this year. The head of Google’s web spam team, Matt Cutts, reiterated today that this will stay the case and explained why. Google’s ability to update the toolbar is broken, and it’s not a priority to fix it.

Speaking at Pubcon today, Cutts explained that the “pipeline” to send PageRank updates to the toolbar is broken. Google, feeling that too many people obsess over PageRank, doesn’t see it as important to fix that. Cutts said this probably won’t happen by the end of the year. It repeats his message from earlier this month.

That would mean that the PageRank meter, which is designed to help consumers using the Google Toolbar to understand the quality of a web page, is headed toward having data that’s a year out of date. It was last updated in February of this year.

Cutts also stressed that PageRank is constantly updated for its internal use for ranking pages. It’s just that the outside world doesn’t know about how things have changed in a prompt and consistent manner.

Why Not Kill The PageRank Meter?

So why does Google keep supporting the PageRank meter? That’s the big mystery. Google clearly….

  • Doesn’t think consumers need the latest data
  • Thinks publishers obsess over the data too much

Given this, why not pull the meter? Earlier this year, Google said it was that consumers still find it useful. If so, maybe they’d find it more useful if the data was accurate.

Of course, anyone using the toolbar also sends Google back data about what they’re viewing. So maybe Google keeps the meter going because it wants that viewing data.

But really, enough is enough. Just kill it already, if it’s not going to kept fresh.