Toolbar PageRank Gone?

UPDATE: I communicated with Matt Cutts about this post, and here is a portion of what he said in response:

“PageRank option for IE toolbar is available under Toolbar Options (click on wrench icon on right) -> Privacy -> Enhanced features.
You can Turn ON/OFF PageRank by checking/unchecking “Use PageRank to see Google’s view of the importance of a page” option.”

So this means that the current page of instructions on how to enable PageRank in the toolbar is inaccurate. I have asked him when this will be updated and will let you know when I get a response.

Original Post

I was working on an article this morning and wanted to get a screen shot of the Google Toolbar showing PageRank. I normally use Chrome, so I don’t use the Google Toolbar, and the Chrome extension I was using did not show a nice little green bar which is what I wanted for my post. The first thing I did is I opened up Internet Explorer and went to the page to install the Google Toolbar. The install went as expected. So far, so good.

However, I began fishing around in the options menu to find out where to click the box to enable the PageRank meter. I couldn’t find it. Next up, I went to the Google Support Forums to see what I was doing wrong. Here is their page on how to enable the PageRank meter:. The screen shot shows where the checkbox is to enable the feature resides:

Great, but I would have to been blind to miss it, so I went back to the Tools screen in the fresh toolbar install I had just done in my copy of IE. Here is how that looked:

I also originally saw some third party tools failing to properly report PageRank at all, and reported that in the original November 3rd edition of this post, but I now see that other tools still report it (and you will see people commenting on that below). In Chrome for example, the PageRank Status plugin from is working just fine. In all honesty, I use PageRank so little that it took me a while to figure that out!

Still, it’s interesting that the new installs of the traditional toolbar, even for IE, has lost the option of showing PageRank. Google has long wanted publishers to focus on alternatives to PageRank. How long before we see a Google published PageRank dropped altogether?


  1. Alan Bleiweiss says

    I’ve been wanting that “feature” to disappear for years. To this day so many site owners and even SEOs get stuck on it. “My PageRank is a 7, so how come my competitor is ranking higher than me, even though their PageRank is only a 5?”

    Seriously. Any shiny objects that Google can directly eliminate would greatly help everyone involved.

  2. says

    I have to agree with Alan… the sooner it’s gone, the better. I don’t use the toolbar, Eric, but if you didn’t already notice, the Quirk SearchStatus PR indicator is still working.

    I wouldn’t be at surprised if you’re right, that Google is just using this as a means to wean folks off the PR-teat.

  3. says

    Interesting observation, Eric. Personally, I want Pagerank to remain in place. There are very few “free” metrics that show the quality of a site at first glance. Sure, Pagerank is flawed, but what else are you going to rely on? Alexa rank? Compete stats that have a history of being wrong? When you’re doing outreach, you need all the metrics you can get, right?

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