Sometime in the next couple weeks, Google will remove its Toolbar PageRank. Currently, users can see any webpage’s PageRank score, Google’s rating of the importance of a given webpage. If a user clicks on the PageRank button while browsing a website, it will reveal a number between 0 and 10, revealing Google’s rating of that particular webpage.
Beginning in 2000, after Google released its first toolbar, companies and website owners became obsessed with this ranking. Everyone wanted to boost their own scores and become more relevant. As a result, people began to drop links anywhere they could. This led to an entire new market: link selling. People could now buying links in order to improve their PageRank score. Google began to penalize link sellers by lowering their PageRank score or even removing them from Google altogether. Link sellers began to go underground in order to escape Google’s wrath, but when one link seller was caught, another would replace it.
Although Google is cracking down on link sellers and now removing the PageRank score from the public, the author of this article speculates that little will change. Unless Google were to drastically change the way webpages are scored, link selling is here to stay.