This article will guide you through the importance of the toolbar, and its accuracy at reporting PageRank. I will also discuss the feature about it that most people, including many SEOs are not aware of. If you have an existing site, use this as a reference to ensure that you are using the toolbar properly. I am going to review the key 5 areas.
The toolbar is not accurate, and it has limitations.
If you visit a page that is not in the index, but Google has a very similar page indexed that is very close to yours, then the toolbar will estimate its PageRank.
Also, Google represents PageRank through the toolbar, but since the nature of
PageRank is linear (a multiplier) and the toolbar is not, there are limitations.
Note: Please read “A few more words on PageRank” in my Google Best SEO
Practices – Part 4 article to find out more about this subject.
The information the toolbar displays is outdated.
There is a big difference between toolbar PageRank and actual PageRank. The data you see in the toolbar is 4 to 6 months old. Google tracks and assigns PageRank in real-time, but does not update the toolbar in the same fashion. There are multiple tools that estimate future PR, but they are just that, estimates. Keep this in mind.
Best SEO features: highlighting & backlinks.
You can highlight all instances of the search term on the page returned from your search. This helps you see how many times your competitors use these keywords on their pages, so you can adjust your SEO campaign accordingly. Also, the backlinks feature displays all the pages that link to yours, which Google counts towards your PageRank. Like I said above, remember this is outdated information.
The toolbar’s most hidden feature: indexing.
Ever wondered how can Google index pages with no links to them? Well, here is how it’s done: if you are browsing the web with the toolbar installed, (I am not saying just visible or enabled), Google is recording every page you visit and simultaneously checking to see if the address to it is in the index or not. So what if its not? It will be indexed on the next schedule. If you don’t want a page to get indexed yet, the make sure you don’t have the toolbar installed in your browser while getting it ready.
Demystifying the “pagerank dependency”.
PageRank is only one of the 100+ algo components of Google, and it is overrated.
Don’t rely solely on the toolbar to determine your link partners. You want links from related pages with high traffic, not high PageRank alone. And my final advice: Make sure you have at least 2 browsers, one with the toolbar (if you need it) and one without (to visit your “not-ready” pages).
By Dedicated SEO Consultant: Jose Nunez