BeeDeeDubbleU - 8:53 am on Jul 2, 2011 (gmt 0)
The most famous part of our ranking algorithm is PageRank, an algorithm developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who founded Google. PageRank is still in use today, but it is now a part of a much larger system.
Assuming that we all understand the difference between toolbar PR and actual PR I think it is too early to say that PR is of no consequence.
Google's algo (and Google) was founded on PR and the results we have been served for many years were largely dependent on PR. PR is one of the main reasons that Google is where it is today. Had it been removed from the algo there would have been a much more dramatic upheaval in the SERPs. I think its importance is being gradually turned down as they move to other factors but it probably still has a significant role to play.
Perhaps they are just trying to educate us away from it. ;)