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Google seemed to have made the small, yet significant, change today of disabling the toolbar PageRank display available on the Google toolbar, and incorporating it into SEO plugins, such as SEOQuake and SEOBook. Users were reporting that all sites were being reported as "unranked".
It eventually emerged that Google had made a change, but only to the URL that these toolbars needed to access Pagerank data, as pointed out by Dave Naylor.
Reactions to the changes have been mixed. Many seemed relieved at first to be rid of toolbar PageRank, which ranks billions of pages on a rather vague scale of 1 to 10, and is constantly "out of date" due to intermittent updates (the last confirmed update was on June 27th).
However, the fact is that by now most SEOs and online marketers HAVE noticed their PageRank toolbar is blank. Twitter has been set alight, with several messages every minute over the past few hours mentioning #pagerank, and this is surely not the only blog post to go live today covering the topic.
There are alternatives, of course - the SEOMoz toolset includes their own MozRank system, for example - but in spite of its shortcomings, the attention showed to the PageRank toolbar today shows that we still can't resist checking it to get a glimpse of how Google might view (or, at least, have recently viewed) our site(s) in relation to the competition.
[In other news, those concerned about PageRank might want to brush up on their spelling.]
What do you think? Is PageRank actually indicative of how Google see your site(s)? Or is it too rough and too dated? Should we pay any attention to that little green bar, or just delete it from our toolsets?