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What you say makes sense, but it appeared to me from the last update that it was accessing the www.google set of data. I haven't noticed any changes in PR on the sites I have looked at yet. Hopefully what you described is what is happening - if that is the case we all should be seeing stuff very soon.
Also, I thought someone in here described the exact process by which it communicated. If that person is still around I would be interested in knowing. Someone else was having a problem with the toolbar and I was curious if it worked with standard port 80 requests.
How else would they have to assign a rank pages within a site?
If all they relied upon was inbound links, the mass majority of the pages on the internet would have zero page rank. I read a memo by a search engine last fall that said less than 1% of the pages on the net are inbound linked. If all PageRank relied upon was external links, they could only classify 1% of the pages on the net.
So, they have to supplement it with links within the site and inherit PageRank down into the site. Now you see why I always talk about insite links being so important. If you have a page that has high pr value, link it to as many pages in your site as you feel safe doing so. That linked page inherits the parents page rank (money for nothing).
This should not be happening. It should be gray. Other people have noticed this as well. This has never happened before to me. Google does not even know about these pages - there are no links to them - therefore there should be no PageRank.
For example - I just posted the following:
It has a PageRank of 2. The main site has a PR of 3 (no making fun of my PageRank - it should be better after the update). Where is Google getting this? It is not linked to anything. I just uploaded it while writing this. This would not have shown up like this last week.
It is not assigning the same PR, which would lend some credence to your theory - as I think if it was a bug that the PR would be the same.
I hope this is not the case, because the ToolBar is a great indicator as to whether a page is in Google. All you have to do is glance at the ToolBar and if it has any PR - it is in Google. If your theory is correct, then this would no longer be the case.
This happened just a couple days ago. I do not understand why Google would do this, but your theory seems to be pretty good. I hope it is wrong, as this will only add confusion about PageRank. What good is a PageRank if no one can find your page?
Then delete the browser cache on each computer and also the cookies on each computer and try again.
You get a 37-year Google cookie when the "phone home" PageRank feature on the toolbar is active, if you don't already have a Google cookie.
If you delete your cookies and cache, everything should be equal on the two computers, assuming that each appears to be coming from the same IP number from Google's perspective. If the IP is even slightly different, they might be load balancing by steering each to a different index -- the old one and the new one, in this case, since they're currently between indexes.
If the cookies are gone, the cache is gone, the IP numbers are the same, and the two PR values are still different -- then I don't know what's going on.
It's worked that way since day one of the toolbar. NFFC sent me a frantic message that the moderators forum had page rank within 10mins of installing the thing on the first day it was released. It confirms that PageRank is a site wide figure. There are ways to use that to your advantange. If you'd feed links from external sites to the page. Then make sure Google indexed the links, and then not allow Google to index it (404), it would retain the sites pr value. That was fine until Google quit doing the "this page hasn't been indexed" thing. You'll also notice, they quit doing most of the "it only appears in links pointing to this page" thing.
The toolbar works perfectly and it appears this is an awakening about pr for many people. I thought it was widely known that pr was for the most part, a domain wide number.
Whatever is going off with the Google Toolbar at present the PageRank numbers some people are seeing for brand new pages are just bits of green, it is not a measure of the pages PageRank. I personally think the toolbar is simply broke, otherwise every new page from sites listed in Google would show PageRank and this is not the case.
I have a brand new site that was indexed by google from 5-25 thru 5-30 (about 65 pages). There are three types of pages now on that site that have NO external links pointing to them (index page is in ODP)
1. 2 internal site links -page is in www2
2. 1 internal site link -page is also in www2
3. not in www2 at all (can have 1 or 2 internal site links)
Case 1 gives a page rank of 2
Case 2 AND 3 have a page rank of 1
So the logical conclusion (at least for the simplest case, here) is that there is some inheritance (case 3) AND there is a case for the number of internal site links (case 1 and 2 differences)
If there are no pages pointing to you (not all will show up in Google), this is a bug in the toolbar. What good is have PageRank X if Google does not have your page and can not show it in results.
Others have noticed that pages are showing up with PageRanks that are not possible for Google to know about. There are two theories on this right now:
1) It is a bug. (It did not use to happen this way - this just started happening in the last few days)
2) Google is guessing at PR until it does its next update.
I can load a /cgi-bin/ perl script on that site and get a page rank of 0, so the guess theory sounds better than the inheritance right now.
1) It is inaccurate
2) You can not tell by glancing at the toolbar if a page is in Google. This was one of its best features.
Hopefully it is a bug and they will fix it, or at least give users the ability to turn the "guessing feature" off. If that is what it is.
The purpose of the PR toy on the toolbar is NOT to give anyone an accurate picture of the PageRank of that page.
The purpose of the PR toy on the toolbar is simply to justify the fact that your browser phones home to Google with your link data and your unique Google cookie ID.
While Google is building the world's best marketing database, they must be getting a kick out us as we count pixels.
Folks used to wonder how many angels could fit on the head of a pin. Now they count how many logarithmic multiples are implied by whether the pixels in a tiny section of the screen are green or gray.
You only need the index page of a site to be listed in google for all pages below this to inherit the ranking (just slightly less) exception being url's with ?
This is an error, notice that no other pages carry the directory listing other than the one the directory points to.
I don't think we need to read anything into this other than an error in google's toolbar.