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Why don’t you turn off the PageRank feature in the Google Toolbar?

Why don’t you turn off the PageRank feature in the Google Toolbar? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

We have a question today from Danielroofer. The question comes from Surrey in the UK. And Daniel Roofer wants to know, why don’t you switch off the PageRank Toolbar future? It is widely used by link sellers as a link grading system. Why do you continue to display PageRank publicly? It appears to have little relevance, except to spammers. It’s a good question. We get this one from time to time. And my rough answer is, there are a lot of SEOs and people in search who look at the PageRank toolbar, but there are a ton of regular users as well. You would be really surprised at how many regular people have the Google toolbar and use PageRank as a way to figure about, OK, how reputable is something? I know it seems kind of strange, but it also seems strange that nofollow is only a single digit percentage of links on the web. We get into our tunnel vision and we sort of say, oh well, no one else uses the PageRank toolbar. But the fact is a lot of people do. Now one interesting twist is Chrome doesn’t really have a PageRank toolbar filter feature built in. And Internet Explorer 10, as I understand it, doesn’t allow toolbars or add-ins, or as Microsoft calls it, it provides an add-in free experience. So if IE 10 becomes more popular, eventually it might be the case that the Google toolbar is not as commonly used. And in that case, it might be such that over time, maybe the PageRank feature is not used by as many people. And so maybe it’ll go away on its own or eventually we’ll reach the point where we say, OK, maintaining this is not worth the amount of work. So a lot of people do use it. And I believe we’ll continue to support those people while they continue to use the Google toolbar. But it looks like the writing is on the wall with Internet Explorer 10 that things like the Google toolbar won’t be allowed any more on Windows, so we’ll see how that makes things develop in the future.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


Original video: