Toolbar PR is not just a harmless toy or an entertainment.
Toolbar PageRank numbers can be 3 months out of date or more. Some "PR Updates" have been buggy enough to seriously misrepresent a page's real PR. But despite these openly discussed flaws, the toolbar "report" affects the web culture in many ways - and most of them are negative.
Matt Cutts has blogged that PR Updates are considered pretty much a non-event around Google. But when that "non-event" is also buggy (because Google sees it as unimportant?), then some advertisers will not pay fair value to a website for hosting their ads. That's not entertaining at all, and it's no longer a non-event.
In our previous threads about reporting paid links [webmasterworld.com] and the rel="nofollow" attribute [webmasterworld.com], members expressed their frustration with the way Google's green pixels have distorted the natural balances of the web.
Enough is enough. Can't the folks in Mountain View see that this situation is nowhere near honorable or "entertaining"? Since it seems that up-to-date and accurate PageRank reporting is an extremely unlikely step for Google to take, I think the time has come for them to stop reporting ANY green fairy dust at all. Keep it as part of the secret sauce, sure, but stop teasing the public at large with funny numbers.
As I see it, PR (PageRank) = PR (Public Relations), and that's the main reason that Google keeps Toolbar PR report around. Branding. Image. Mindshare.
What do you think? Could you live without TBPR (Toolbar PageRank)? Would not seeing it help the web as a whole, or hurt it?
[edited by: tedster at 7:57 pm (utc) on Aug. 14, 2007]