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What Would Happen If Google Removed The Nominal PageRank?

Gone are the days when I used to obsess with Google PageRank. Especially with the nomimal PageRank, which is the 0 to 10 scale we see on the various toolbars around the web. Why is that? Because as the name implies, the nomimal PageRank is just an indicator of how much trust Google has on a certain website. It doesn’t have a direct impact on your organic traffic, and certainly it doesn’t have a direct impact on your profits, which is the most important metric for any online entrepreneur. Even the real PageRank, which influences your search rankings, is only one out of hundreds of factors that Google’s algorithm takes into consideration.

That being said, I still find myself curious to check the nominal PageRank updates rolling out. I like to track the frequency of the updates, as well as the PR fluctuations on my and other people’s websites. Out of vanity, perhaps.

The last PageRank update happened early in April, and the next one was expected late in July/September, but so far nothing has happened.

Thinking about this issue, one questions came to my mind: What if Google completely removed the nominal PageRank? That is, what if all the toolbars stopped working, and no one would be able to see the indicator of how much trust (or how many backlinks) any website has?

What impacts would such a change have upon the webmaster/blogging/SEO industry?

Some people argued in the past that removing the nominal PageRank would kill the market for paid links. I don’t think so. As long as backlinks play a role in the search ranking algorithm, there will still be people buying them.

But without the PageRank the link buying process would change a bit. I believe that paid backlink analysis services would gain many more clients, as this would be the best way to evaluate the link authority of any website.

I think that more important than that, however, is the effect that such a change would have on the mind of most website owners. Probably most of them would realize (as most experienced webmasters do sooner or later) that it is better to worry about more tangible metrics like traffic and profits. As a result they would focus more on producing quality content.

Another interesting aspect the consider is the linking one. I believe that if the nominal PageRank was gone bloggers and website owners would become less paranoid about linking to external websites, feating to leak PageRank.

But what do you think? Would this change be positive or negative? What other aspects would be influenced?

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