Lets Search Google Algorithm

Posted On : June 26th, 2015   By : Dillip Kumar Mohanty   To : Google Algorithm


Really…. Oh.. that is my dream! In fact, this is the dream of every SEO companies all over the world.

It is like the holy grail of SEO industry.

But the truth is; even we are not close enough to pin out the factors or ranking signals. The search algorithm is the heart of the billion dollar company Google. Their effort to keep it secret is much much more than our effort to get a fair idea about it.

Is Google Still Using PageRank in Ranking Pages in SERP?

In free times, just like any SEO, I try to search for ideas about Google search algorithm. While doing the same today, I found that for the query “Google Algorithm”, Google produced an answer box for it.

Google Algorithm Search

Well, as we all know Google prefers Wikipedia information for answer box for most of the queries, this time also it does the same.

But the data there really made me curious. As you see, it states that Google is using PageRank algorithm to rank websites.

I couldn’t believe it. Is it 2015?

PageRank algorithm was the base on which Google started its business. Basically it involves around calculating links and their qualitative values to find out the PR of a page that is pointed to by all those links. These links are counted as votes for a particular page. But as marketers all around the globe have manipulated this approach, Google started to bring changes in its search algorithm by adding more & more factors apart from PR only approach to rank pages in its SERP.

Even they are constantly declaring that PR is no more playing a big part in ranking. They have even stopped updating Google Toolbar PR since 2013. Present Google search algorithm includes more than 200 factors and 10000 of variables to rank sites in search result.

So, if that is true, then why Google is still showing the PageRank Algorithm in answer box for the query “Google Algorithm”. Even the same answer box is provided by Google for queries “Google search algorithm” & “Google search engine algorithm”. The screenshot added below.

Google Search Algorithm Search

Why it is happening?

As per our understanding, Google provides answer box results for queries for which exact information is available in web. But in this case, it is not the updated data.

When I had a look at that Wiki page to dig out more, I found that actually for this search it is redirected to this page.

Wikipedia Google Page Rank Page

But this couldn’t be used as an excuse. If the data is not updated, it shouldn’t be placed inside answer box.

What is Google’s stand on PageRank?

PR is not an important part of their algorithm. We all know. They are saying the same thing in different platforms, in hangouts. So, what exactly the value of PR now? When I tried to find out a clear statement from Google itself, I found this interesting piece from their official page https://support.google.com/toolbar/answer/79837?hl=en.

Google Toolbar Page Rank Help Page

So, still PR playing crucial role in ranking? Google should clear its stand on this.

Dillip Kumar Mohanty


  1. Jim says:

    I don’t know what you’re thinking, but Google has never said they stopped using PageRank (PR) in their algorithm. They always have and always will. It was/is at the core of their algorithm. So I am very surprised that you seem surprised by this discovery.

    It is true that PageRank carries MUCH less weight in the overall algorithm than it once did which is why Google say’s not to focus on it. They dialed back it’s weight. Not only that, but they are looking at many more ranking signals now than they once did so it its weight in the overall ranking algorithm has been even further diluted.

    Other than reducing the weight it carries in the algo, Google has stopped publishing PR updates for the Toolbar to use. Many (seemingly like yourself) mistook this to mean that PR was no longer used as a ranking factor. But this Google Toolbar PageRank was never used to rank pages. It was only used by the Google Toolbar. It was always out of date/inaccurate even the very day that they published a Toolbar PR update. Its purpose in the toolbar was simply to give you a rough idea of the relative strength of a page.

    When Google wanted to publish an update to the Toolbar PR, they would take a snapshot of their index (indexed URLs and associated “actual” PageRank (a very long precision real number, not an integer) which we NEVER get to see and is actually used to rank pages) weeks or months before a Toolbar PR update was actually published, and run a program against the snapshot to logarithmically scale the “actual” PR to an integer 0-10 Toolbar PageRank. The results would be a list of old URLs and a Toolbar PR 0-10 that would then get published and ONLY used by their toolbar to display the now out of date PR for a page. It was toolbar PR that they stopped updating.

    The “actual” PageRank is still being calculated and stored in their index and used as a ranking factor. This “actual” PageRank is constantly updated every time they crawl and index a page that links to the URL in question. It’s this “actual” PageRank that you will never see but that gets used as a ranking signal.

    • Dear Jim,
      Thank you for your effort to bring a brief history about PR process in your comment. That kind of stuff is really helpful for other visitors to our blog.

      But I’m afraid you misunderstood my point. I never said that they stopped using PR as a ranking signal. My exact statement is “Even they are constantly declaring that PR is no more playing a big part in ranking.”

      ……PR is no more playing a big part in ranking…………….

      If this statement is true, then why they still show PageRank algorithm in answer box when their present algo is much more complex with lots of factors & signals.

      Next, if PR is not playing the major role now then why its importance is still validated in their site. I’ve added that screenshot in my post.

      They are just misleading us with inaccurate data in answer box. Also they just forget to update their own statement. That’s all. That is my point.

      Hope you understand my point.

  2. James says:

    It’s a good article. But you missed one point here. The fact that Google stopped updating PageRank in Toolbar doesn’t mean that Google stopped using PageRank (or just the term PageRank for that matter).

    Google never declared that PageRank is no more playing a big part in ranking. You misunderstood what PageRank is. PR is NOT a ranking signal…it’s a number that represents dozens of other ranking signals. We don’t know exactly what those ranking signals are but we (did) know that all of them represented by PageRank.

    Google (may) still use the term PageRank (disregarding signals that affect it), it’s just that they decided not to tell us our PageRank.

  3. Barnettt says:

    Of course it is a part of the ranking signals. It always been, it always will. I don’t think they forgot to update their definitions, because PR is a core in the Google’s algorithm. Are back-links a ranking signal? The answer of this question is the answer to the question “Is PR ranking signal”, as all the links are evaluated by the PR algo itself. Yes, PR may be not as powerful as before as separate, pure metric, but it’s responsible for evaluating the strength of dozen other ranking signals, thus making him important enough.

    You don’t have to believe everything Google says about that, they said once Guest blogging is dead, while it’s still very much alive. Google stated social signals are not a ranking signal once… they lied. They told us a lot of lies over the time, so you don’t need to be surprised when you discover the truth.

    • Hi Barnettt,
      I know PR algo is still there.They are using it internally for whatever reason they want to. That is not my point of discussion in the article. Even I’m not much interested any more with this. I’ve mentioned an article by Neil Patel in one of replies. Please check that. Even do you think getting a good bunch of backlinks from high PR sites will affect a site’s ranking for competitive keywords. I don’t think so. For small sites, it may be working but it is not purely for PR but other inherent aspects of such sites.

  4. I think you need to put in a source for this: “they are constantly declaring that PR is no more playing a big part in ranking.”

    Google declares on multiple pages that Pagerank is still a big part of the algorithm and ranking websites. SEOs often post about how “Toolbar” Pagerank is dead but Pagerank is not dead. Can you link to anywhere Google says Pagerank isn’t used to back up your statement?

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