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This is part 1 of the discussion, and it is locked. Part 2, the active
thread, is here: [webmasterworld.com...]
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Toolbar PageRank numbers can be 3 months out of date or more.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]
In fact, I sometimes believe that Google takes them too seriously. While members here have interesting and valid points, and often make them well, it is easy to forget that the membership is not a representative sample of webmasters at large - far from it. And we have no mandate to speak on their behalf, though many (including me!) attempt see things from their POV.
It seems to me that Google sees users first (quite right), and 'seo-knowledgeable webmasters' second - missing out the 'seo-naive' webmasters in between.
On one level that's just great - but taking a step back, we do end up in strange places - like having a webmaster tool that everybody (here) knows has virtually no value, but most want to keep in the absence of anything better. Even though we all know that it is frequently used to mislead and scam those 'seo-naive' webmasters'.
It's not good. Really!
< continued here: [webmasterworld.com...] >
[edited by: tedster at 7:56 pm (utc) on Aug. 14, 2007]