turbocharged - 11:55 pm on Aug 25, 2013 (gmt 0)
Turbocharged, I think you're confused about what "hypocritical" means.
I'm quite correct in the context of Google telling people that buying and selling links is bad, but it's okay for Google to keep publishing the monetary metric that these link sales are based upon.
As for toolbar PR, it may be imperfect (and outdated), but it's an example of the "transparency" that site owners and SEOs are always demanding of Google.
When was the last toolbar export? I think it was around six months ago. This is not being transparent. Old data serves no purpose. And during this time a lot of dropped domains have changed hands, sneaky 301 redirects have been installed and other techniques have been used to scam link buyers out of money. I will concede that old data may be better than no data for some, but for a search engine that preaches webmasters should provide fresh and compelling content it is another example of hypocrisy.
Also, as Google's algorithms continue to become more sophisticated (with PR playing less of a role in rankings), there may be some value for Google in keeping SEOs distracted by PageRank.
Agreed. As noted in my previous post, a toolbar export can create a buzz and change the topic of discussion in the webmaster community. When Google gets caught with their hands in the cookie jar, or handing those cookies over to the Feds, a quick toolbar export may provide them some cover.