Probably not, but that isn’t stopping people from talking about it. This post by Ted Ulle (tedster), administrator for Webmaster World – Proposed: Google Should Stop Displaying Toolbar PR? has sparked nearly 200 responses. The opinions are all over the board, and even Google’s Adam Lasnik has chimed in.
“PageRank is an important signal and remains one of many effective measures of quality, but admittedly it’s often viewed and used/abused in ways that run contrary to the interests of searchers and webmasters. Still, a lot of folks find the PR information useful; it provides a great incentive to try out our toolbar and explore its other features as well.”
That last statement is the reason why Google won’t be dropping the toolbar anytime soon. Part of Google’s success has come from its ability to gather data from many sources, and the toolbar is an important one. There’s no way the Big G will risk losing this resource. If they take away the PageRank, a lot of people will be opting out.
Ironically as an SEO, I’ve never been obsessed by the little green bar. Of course I understand the importance of PageRank, heck, that’s what the search engine was made for! But I’ve always believed that SEO is the most effective when you balance linking, content building, and on page optimization.
I think PageRank should stay in the toolbar. People love graphs, and they like to know what’s popular. It doesn’t matter what us SEOs think, it matters what the every day person searching Google wants!