BeeDeeDubbleU - 7:51 am on Jul 16, 2011 (gmt 0)
Personally I think that a few years ago Google saw the damage that was caused by their providing the tool bar PageRank indicator. The concept of PageRank was (and still is) great and this is what made Google's results so much better than the rest back then. They did not anticipate its use as a currency in SEO when they let us have it.
When not manipulated it is still a valuable ranking tool and if it were invisible it would become so again. Could they be moving towards making it private?