Many online marketing, Search Engine Optimizers (SEO), and web developers have relied on Google Toolbar to assess a website’s credibility. Through Google’s helpful browser bar, users received a quick glance at the Google PageRank of a site. For those of you unfamiliar with PageRank, it is one of the key components to assessing how a site ranks in Google search engine results. PageRank is calculated using a complex algorithm that is held secret by Google, taking components such backlinks to the site, outbound links from within the site, keywords, and overall web presence into consideration. The result is a number between 1 and 10.
Google PageRank as a Website Credibility Tool
So why is PageRank so important? As sites try to increase traffic and focus on SEO, they will try to achieve more backlinks, or links from other sites back to their site. However, a link from a site with a PageRank of 8/10 is hundreds of times more valuable than a link from a site with a PageRank of 3/10. Therefore, online marketers and SEO-oriented employees used Google Toolbar to see if a directory, news website, blogging syndicate site, or any other backlink opportunity had a high enough PageRank.
Google Toolbar’s Declining Compatibility
Times are changing. Browsers are updating at least monthly and Google Chrome is statistically the most used Internet browser in the world. As a result, Google Toolbar has taken a backseat in Google Labs’ development cycle. The Toolbar is now only available for Firefox browsers 2.0 to 4.0 (I am currently running Firefox 8.0.1) and Internet Explorer (which users are moving away from). In fact, the Toolbar isn’t even available for their native Internet browser, Google Chrome.
Check a Website’s Google PageRank Using PRChecker
Luckily, there are third-party web applications like PRChecker available to provide a solution to PageRank hungry researchers. PRChecker acts similar to Google GoMo, as you only need to input the URL and the site will do the rest. The process is simple:
- Visit PRChecker.info
- Input the full URL of the site you are researching into the text field and click “Check PR”
- Input the captcha alphanumeric combination and click “Verify Now”
- Assess the site based on the PageRank that is given
It isn’t as streamlined as the Google Toolbar’s instant notification, but for those missing Google Toolbar’s PageRank functionality, this is a functional solution that will help make your SEO strategies more effective and efficient.