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If you haven’t notice, Google had recently updated their Toolbar PageRank.
How This Works?
Google has an internal database for the PageRank of websites. However, this data is not provided realtime and visible to the public. What Google does is that they would usually update the toolbar PageRank every 3 months or so; therefore on every of such update, you will get to see for the first time the latest PageRank of your site.
The last toolbar PageRank update was done in Feb 2013, if by their usual practice of a 3-monthly update, this has been long overdue. Google surprised webmasters on 6th Dec when they pushed out an update, especially when Matt Cutts had announced that there won’t be an update in 2013. Apparently, the team at Google had been fixing a different backend service and did an update along the way.
How This Affects Us?
In a way, the update does not change anything. It was a mere update on the Toolbar PageRank so that it reflects the latest PageRank of your website as of 6 Dec. (Recall that the PageRank is internal and updated frequently within Google, they just didn’t tell you as often what the change was. So it wouldn’t make any difference in terms of your rankings with this update because any changes would have been made when your PageRank changed unbeknownst to you.)
However, it’s always fun to check out all my sites and see what Google thinks about the website. The PageRank measures the authority of a website. A higher score relates to higher authority in Google’s opinion. So if you have been doing some serious work on your site, it’s a simple way to check out if what you’ve done resonates with Google’s policies (although this method is overly-simplified).
Shall We Go Crazy About Pushing Our PageRank For Rankings?
Yes and No. PageRank is only one of the 200 ranking factors that Google uses to rank a webpage. Hence, while a higher PageRank helps with your rankings, I wouldn’t spend all my efforts just monitoring and pushing my PageRank up. There are also other very important metrics such as the quality of your backlinks, content, user experience etc.