So despite claims of ditching the little green pixel bar, Google has once again updated their Tool Bar PageRank (TBPR) about an hour ago, at 8 p.m. on December 30, 2009. I noticed the change immediately when I was doing a little WordStream brand searching and saw in the SERPs that we'd jumped from a PR5 to a robust PR6. The change literally took place before my eyes. One minute we were PR5, then next search: BOOM! PR6. Totally geeky, I know, but my heart skipped a beat. The actual SEO for Firefox Toolbar has yet to update though. It's still reading PR5, but I'm sure that will change by tomorrow. I'm also seeing changes across many of my sites, all for the better, which is a nice way to kick off 2010.
By my count, this is the sixth and final update for 2009, with the last PageRank update occurring on October 29, 2009. Note that in 2008, there were a total of five TBPR updates, with one occurring on the night before New Year's Eve, similar to this update. With this latest PageRank update, we've trumped last year's updates meaning Google is updating PR more frequently. So one can only come to the conclusion that "rumors of its demise are greatly exaggerated."
For reference, Google PageRank is a link analysis algorithm (named after Larry Page, co-founder of Google), which Google uses to assign a numerical weighting to measure the authority, value or importance of a webpage. Nobody outside of Google knows the actual PageRank of a document.
Toolbar PageRank, on the hand, is the green pixel bar that displays on your toolbar and something Google says is "for entertainment purposes only." Sure, Toolbar PageRank may be a suspect metric, but it's all we've got to go on because Google's not giving us a peak at real PageRank. Personally, I feel TBPR offers a decent way to evaluate the link health of a website. But that's just me.
Either way, I'd be very curious to know if anybody else seen evidence of this latest PageRank update?