Google ToolBar PageRank Sometimes Hand Edited

by Boca Raton SEO Guy 8. September 2010 07:12

According to a Google WebMaster video by Matt Cutts the Google ToolBar PageRank can be hand edited.

At about 1:00 minute into the video Matt mentions that they have safety checks in place for the toolbar pagerank where they can hand edit the value that gets pushed live out to all of the installed toolbars.

This is important because if PageRank can be manipulated by a Google Engineer then what is to say that a Google Engineer cannot be "coaxed" if you will into doing a "friend" a favor? I am not saying that this has happened or will happen but all things aside human nature has led to some interesting things in the past.

What's your take?


See Video and transcript below.

Video Transcript:

Matt Cutts: Today's question comes from Made, in London who wants to know: "On what basis are you increasing the PR for each page rank update?"

It's a good question, and let's talk about page rank updates in general. So, just as a review, page rank is Google's opinion about how reputable a page is. It's something that is typically computed continuously. We have a bank of machines that's always looking at new links that we discovered are in the crawl continuously updating.

So we have very fine-grained notions of page rank within Google. Outside of Google, page rank is truncated to ten levels that are visible in the Google toolbar. And we typically say, take our opinion about the page rank or the reputation of each page. And every sort of few months, typically it's about four times a year-so about every three months, we more or less have a chron job.

So like April 1st, you know, three months later, you might see a page rank update, and we'll just go ahead and push that live. We have a few safety checks in place, so we say like "OH! Did we expect the page rank of to be 7 or 8 and then suddenly dropped to 2..."

If those sorts of things happen, then we might get an email and check into it. But for the most part the process runs with very little human intervention. People don't really need to oversee things.

So, we do still reserve the right, because it is our opinion of the reputation of a page that...For example, if a page is selling links that pass page rank, then we might lower the toolbar page rank.

But, for the most part, a lot of this stuff can now run automatically, and the updates pretty much happen like clockwork. So, again page rank is our opinion of the reputation of the page.

It includes not only the links to your page, but how important those links are. And then we do that by having a massive amount of computation that sort of says, across the entire web, try to figure out which pages are the most reputable, and then that typically comes out every 3 or 4 months.

So that's kind of a, a rough idea. It is still our opinion, but we also do a lot of the work by machinery. And that machinery on the, on the whole tends to work very well and things just flow out naturally from there.



That's All For Now,
The Boca Raton SEO Guy


9/8/2010 10:09:29 AM #

Andy @ FirstFound

Strange that he mentions April 1st? More Matt Cutts misdirection?

Andy @ FirstFound | Reply

9/8/2010 10:41:30 PM #


Pingback from

Google ToolBar PageRank Sometimes Hand Edited | Bring traffic To Your Website | Reply

9/8/2010 11:50:55 PM #


Pingback from

Google ToolBar PageRank Sometimes Hand Edited | Search Engine Optimization and Link Building Blog | Reply

9/13/2010 1:52:33 AM #


Pingback from

Google ToolBar PageRank Sometimes Hand Edited | Webmasters feeds | Reply

6/27/2011 7:48:44 PM #


8 reasons I don't care about PageRank

Tweet Google rolled out their latest Toolbar PageRank update today. Yawn. I said it was stupid last year. I’ll say it again this year. PageRank is 50% meaningless, 25% misleading, 20% useless and 5% worth tracking. It has slightly more impact than Google +1. Here’s why I wouldn’t use it to measure page value if my life depended on it: Toolbar PageRank is not an accurate reflection of true PageRank. I wrote about this last year (see above). There’s even evidence that Google hand-edits toolbar PageRank. Think about that—somewhere in Mountain View, someone’s tweaking the little number you see in the Google toolbar. By hand. How accurate is that gonna be? It updates every six months. But Google updates true PageRank continuously. Yeah, I know I want to base major marketing decisions on data that might be 180+ days out of date. (that’s sarcasm) It’s also not the whole picture. Toolbar PageRank may reflect a site’s authority, if your authority hasn’t changed in 180 days, and if 100% of your authority is derived from links. But: It ignores visibility. Yay! Your homepage has a 6 PageRank! High fives! Too bad every product page on your site has a 0. Site visibility matters, and PageRank doesn’t provide much insight there. It ignores relevance. You might have an 8 PageRank, according to the almighty toolbar. If you never use the phrases people use to find your products, though, you’re still not going to get found. It ignores traffic. Which is kind of important. Toolbar PageRank appears to reduce otherwise intelligent marketers to babbling idiots. I’ve seen folks spend thousands of dollars per month on links or advertising on a site simply because ‘the site has a great PageRank’. I’ve also seen people buy sites based on toolbar PageRank. Not smart. It’s one metric. Even if toolbar PageRank had value, it’s just one metric. It’s one tiny piece of a far larger dataset that impacts your rankings, your site’s performance and your business success. Don’t use PageRank to guide your strategy. It’s a huge mistake. If you’re a search nerd like me, have fun learning the formula. Use your knowledge to impress your friends. Then learn to do real SEO, and real marketing: Look at the whole picture. Other stuff The path to marketing nirvana: The peeve, and the rush 10 kick-ass features in Google Analytics v5 Ian’s angriest posts The ultimate marketer tease...

Conversation Marketing | Reply

6/27/2011 11:31:35 PM #


Pingback from

8 reasons I don’t care about PageRank | | Reply

6/28/2011 7:03:13 AM #


Pingback from

8 reasons I don’t care about PageRank - SEO & Internet Marketing Tips | Reply

7/28/2011 12:47:40 PM #


Pingback from

8 reasons I don’t care about (toolbar) PageRank — Internet Marketing News | Reply

Add comment

(Will show your Gravatar icon)
(This field has been disabled)
  • Comment
  • Preview



1121 South Military Trail
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442


this blog powered by a sleep deprived father of twins
Created by SEO Boca Raton


Business Directory for Boca Raton, Florida  Marketing / SEO

Boca Raton SEO Blog - Blogged

Boca Raton SEO Blog at Blogged

Follow SEO Boca Raton on Twitter

The SEO Boca Raton FaceBook Page

seomoz marketplace