Despite already 10 years of existence, Pagerank continues to arouse interest and unleash the passions of webmasters and SEOs. In turn important criterion in the classification then put in the closet by his little brother the Trustrank, the Pagerank continues to be in the news … Deciphering the myths and realities around this algorithm …

History of Pagerank…
The first studies that led to Pagerank started in 1997 around a patent property of Stanford University then ceded to Google when it was created in 1998. This concerned a method of classification within a database and made it possible to develop the algorithm Pagerank whose name refers to one of the two founders of Google: Larry Page.

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This algorithm is based on a certain number of criteria making it possible to score the popularity of a site : inbound and outbound links, source of these links … It assesses the relevance of a page based on the number of pages that link to it, giving it a score of 1 to 10 visible in the Google Bar. The update of this note was made more or less regularly during Google Dances which have disappeared today, the update is now in near real time. However, the Pagerank update in the Google Bar when it’s not in real time and only acts at Google’s discretion several times a year.

This is why we are now talking about Pagerank displayed (in the Google Barre) and real Pagerank, the first indicates the score obtained at a time T during the last Google Barre update, while the second indicates the score taken into account in the classification algorithm.

If in his youth, the Pagerank was a fundamental criterion, in recent years it has become less and less important in the classification algorithm which contains more and more criteria which drown out the importance of the Pagerank history.

The arrival of trustrank also diminished the importance of it. Trustrank qualifies a certain number of reference sites in their field. Getting links from these sites is therefore considered more important. The quali becomes more important than the quanti. This evolution is due to the past abuses of certain sites running for links to artificially increase their popularity (link farm, multiplication of link exchanges without worrying about the field of activity …).

Myths and realities…
Since the Pagerank generates a lot of buzz, it is important to clarify what is effective and what is not:

myths :


  • The Pagerank is updated in real time: TRUE.
  • The links present in the flash animations are followed by the engines and therefore transmit Pagerank: TRUE.
  • Better to get a link from a site with low PR but having authority in the field of activity where our site is located than a link from a site with high PR without a coherent link with our activity: TRUE.

Myth or reality ?

  • The Pagerank is no longer useful: TRUE and FALSE. You should no longer pay attention to the green bar which indicates an Pagerank not updated, there is also no point in looking at the pagerank of a potential partner before making a link exchange if it is in a thematic related to our site… Think in terms of usefulness for your visitors and those of your partner rather than usefulness for referencing. Even if the Pagerank has lost much of its importance, lost in the multitude of indicators taken into account by the ranking algorithm, the popularity and the exchange of links still remain to work while having in mind the usefulness visitor and semantic consistency between partner sites. Linking to sites with good credibility (Trustrank) in your field is the key to success.

To conclude, if the creation of Pagerank by Google was one of the success factors of the engine in its beginnings, today it is part of a much more complex mechanism and is much less important. We will therefore always pay attention to it but it will not be the center of an SEO strategy.

Article written for Student Marketing.