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PageRank always grey
PageRank always grey - doesn't show any rankings

 1:24 pm on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

I installed Google Toolbar for the first time a few days ago. The other features work but the PageRank always displays grey, no matter what site I am on. It simply doesn't work. Google's FAQs state a problem with proxy web servers, but I am not behind one. Help!

Windows 98
IE 6



 1:27 pm on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

hmmm... reset (default) your Internet Explorer privacy & advance options.

That's a guess - don't have a clue beyond that.


 2:06 pm on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hello Wanda,

Welcome to WebmasterWorld.

> The other features work ...
If you are at www.google.com, click on "Page Info" in the toolbar and choose "Cashed Snapshot of Page" or "Backward Links". Does that work OK?


 3:00 pm on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks...but no luck. I tried reseting (default) my Internet Explorer privacy & advance options - no effect.

Yes, cache and backward links work.


 4:18 pm on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Completely left of the toolbar is the Google logo. Click on it and choose "About Google Toolbar..." to check the version. The latest version (as far as I know) is 1.1.70-deleon/en

What is your version?

What is the OS of your PC?


 7:05 pm on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've had the tool bar installed for several months, no problem.
Yesterday I began to get the same problem as Wanda...every site=greyed out.
It righted itself this morning, but at this moment every site greyed again.

From google.com, checking backlinks gives: "cache:http://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 - did not match any documents."

and checking cached snapshot of page gives: "cache:http://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 - did not match any documents."

Uninstalled/re-installed v1.1.70...no change.
Using XP Pro with IE6.
Don't know if it's relevent, but my isp is NTL cable.


 9:51 pm on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

My Google Toolbar is version 1.1.70/deleon. I have uninstalled and reinstalled without improvement. Running Windows 98. IE 6. SBC/Yahoo DSL.


 2:32 am on Mar 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Have you checked to ensure that Advanced Features are enabled?


 3:05 pm on Mar 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes,thanks, advanced features are enabled on the Google Toolbar options.


 10:46 am on Mar 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

the toolbar does behave very spooky sometimes! But it tends to correct itself. Try going to some pages with high PR. Sometimes worked for me.


 11:32 am on Mar 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hello Wanda, you could try the trick to see the new PR during the Google dance by adding a line in the HOSTS file. This trick might work in your case as well.

Close all Internet Explorer windows.

add the following line at the end of your TCP/IP hosts file: toolbarqueries.google.com

Depending on the Windows version the file could be in:

For windows98 only the file hosts.sam might exist. Save a copy of this sample file in the same directory (c:\windows?) as "hosts" and add the line above in this new file.

Now restart Internet Explorer.

Hope this helps. If not, you can also try other datacenters:



 11:18 am on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've got the same problem, but only when my firewall is active. Maybe you're using a firewall?


 11:38 am on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Joost, can you tell me what happens with the 'Category' icon between PageRank and 'Page Info' for a page in Google Directory (like www.webmasterworld.com) if you activate the firewall. Does this also turn grey?


 11:47 am on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just some observations to throw into the mix...

My toolbar has also mysteriously stopped showing PageRank, and also stopped offering categories. However, the PC my collegue in the office is using IS showing PageRank and displaying the category button... Hmmm.

This happened to me towards the end of last month as well. Its' not to do with IP Address, as everyone in the office is behind a NAT router on one single IP (using BT Openworld).
If I change IP address (by taking the laptop I'm working on home - using NTL Home incidently workshy), then it *might* start displaying PR again. But as soon as I come back to the office - zap, it's gone again.

Switching my hosts to use a different datacentre for toolbarqueries doesn't work either.

Possibilities I've narrowed it down to include:
1) I'm unlucky enough to keep hitting a datacentre wich has stopped handing out PR (maybe due to the impending update)?
2) I'm jinxed
3) Something more sinister....?



 4:17 pm on Apr 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Same thing here. :-(

I've tried shutting down the firewall, reinstalling the bar, but nothing has worked.

Does anyone have any guidance as to what to do?



 4:27 pm on Apr 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Persistance seems to be a good thing.

I'm wondering if it's something to do with a single, or group of, data centres.

I've kept better track of my browsing behaviour recently, and have found that:

* On opening a browser, sometimes the toolbar does not show pagerank
* If I surf around straight away using this browser, it still does not show pagerank
* Sometimes the toolbar will show pagerank on opening a browser (like it is now for instance)
* If, on the instances where I don't have any pagerank shown, I wait for a while, and then surf using the same browser instance, pagerank will magically start showing.

This therefore leads me to believe that:
* Some data centres do not show pagerank
* My browser gets the IP address of one of these datacentres, and due to the TTL of www.google.com, it caches this for a period of time (is it 5 minutes?)
* When I continue browsing, eventually the cached IP Address for www.google.com expires and I obtain a new one, for a different data centre. (If I'm lucky) this then causes pagerank to start showing again.

Therefore, I need an IP address of a data centre which shows pagerank, and to enter this into my hosts file under toolbarqueries.google.com

When I get some time I'll do some further experimenting....



 5:10 pm on Apr 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just did a: ping toolbarqueries.google.com
from the DOS command line and saw the IP address is

Notice the 104 at the end. This used to be 100 or 101 and recently sporadic a 99. Starting from March 13 [dance.kunden-efactory.de] the log of efactory started showing 104s.

With this IP address I have no problems to see the PageRank.


 5:18 pm on Apr 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Try this:

1. Uninstall the toolbar
2. Close all browser windows
3. Delete cookies on your system
4. Reboot your computer
5. Then reinstall the toolbar.


 5:21 pm on Apr 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

from the DOS command line and saw the IP address is

Last time I had no pagerank this was showing .99

And thanks for the suggestion Marcia, however it didn't work for me. :( I tried this 5 times (yes!), and nothing.

The toolbar worked intermittently, both before, and after the reinstall attempts.



 5:40 pm on Apr 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the input - I appreciate it.

Mine is showing And yes, I have tried that (message #18) as well. Maybe not 5 times, but several.

Still no results. PageRank does not work at all.



 8:26 am on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Mine (from Australia) shows and PR works for me.

- Ash


 3:52 pm on Apr 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

First ever post - hope somebody can help.

I have had the google toolbar installed for a number of months with no problem. But for the last few weeks page rank bar has been greyed out. I have tried uninstalling and all the other suggestions below to no avail.

Is there another way of checking page rank apart from the toolbar as I am just fed up trying now?


 3:57 pm on Apr 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

toolbarqueries.google.com has a number of IP addresses:

toolbarqueries.google.com has address
toolbarqueries.google.com has address
toolbarqueries.google.com has address
toolbarqueries.google.com has address
toolbarqueries.google.com has address

I suspect that when it doesn't work you happen to be hitting a lame server, which is then cached for a while. When you reboot or the cache expires you may well get a different address and all will be well again.


 7:20 pm on Apr 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

OK! Finally, I got the toolbar to work. It used to work and then it suddenly stopped. I have tried everything (including reinstalling, firewall tweaking, IPís, etc.) I could possibly think of to get it to show PR, not nothing happened.

Yesterday, I uninstalled the toolbar, but Google DLLís were not deleted for some reason. I restarted and deleted them manually. Then, I set the firewall not to load at startup, cleared cache, restarted (no firewall), and reinstalled the toolbar. Then, turned the firewall on, restated, and it is working again!

I am running Win ME and actually donít know if what I have done actually got the PR to work on the toolbar or it was something else.

Good luck!


 7:34 pm on Apr 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have noticed that your behavior effects whether the PageRank will display or not.

Be sure, before jumping to conclusions, that you have your toolbar open before clicking any SERP in Google. I sometimes get into this trap, because I hate seeing that toolbar. Sometimes I am visiting a page, then I display the toolbar to check its PR. But, that method is flawed. I have to go back and search for the page in Google, with the toolbar open for PageRank to be displayed.

PageRank will sometimes not be displayed if you enter the URL direcly into your address field in your browser.

Worth noting, in case this was the cause of your problem.


 11:14 pm on Apr 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I've always attributed it to a particular data center being busy or grumpy. This kind of erratic behavior happens a lot to me during Google updates, so I figured it was just not returning the data my toolbar was requesting.


 8:50 pm on May 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Here's how I got my grayed out PageRank monitor green again:

I too was unable to use Google's PageRank feature, as it was grayed out for quite some time. Google did respond to my questions, but ultimately were unable to help. I do operate behind a firewall, and they said PageRank doesn't work well with systems behind proxy's or firewalls (however it used to work behind the firewall).

I'm using Windows 98 IE6.

1) I recently purchased a anti-popup, anti-spamming, and anti-datamining software package. I loaded the software, and quarantined ALL the datamining programs under separate directories (accept Alexa & Google) (I was surprised at how much legitimate sounding datamining stuff was in my system).

2) deleted ALL cookies (I do not accept cookies now either)
3) downloaded updates from microsoft
4) re-installed the google toolbar with my firewall up

The PageRank indicator is now functioning. I'm not sure if all these steps are necessary - but that's what worked for me.

Also - somebody asked if there is another PageRank service out there. In addition to the Google toolbar, I use the Alexa.com toolbar - and in fact prefer Alexa's numerical page rank indicator to the graphic google uses.


 1:29 am on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have had some of the problems that everyone has descibed and I am under the impression that deleting cookies and uninstalling and reinstalling the tool bar is a complete waste of time. :)

It was that some sites were grey - then all sites - and now its just the Google search result pages! The home page of Google shows pages rank but none of the SERPs.

I use ZoneAlarm and the privacy settings can get in the way, however, I have left them off.

My humble opinion is that Google is maybe not giving all the needed resources for PR requests - some times during heavy traffic your PR on the tool bar may go away.

Then if it has never worked or stoppped working for days at a time then DNR something!

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