How Often Does Google Update My PageRank Value?

[This is part of the The Blogger’s Essential Guide to Search Engine Optimization Series.]

A natural question that many people have once they become familiar and acquainted with Google’s PageRank system is how often it is actually updated.

The quick answer is simply this: No one really knows.

But what we do know is that it’s typically updated a few times a year. In fact, Google even states specifically this in their webmaster system FAQ:

We only update the PageRank displayed in Google Toolbar a few times a year; this is our respectful hint for you to worry less about PageRank, which is just one of over 200 signals that can affect how your site is crawled, indexed and ranked.

I bolded the most important consideration in this statement – that Google updates the systems and tools that can visibly report your PageRank value every few months (3 to 4 months on average it seems) but internally they are continually updating your PR value to return search queries.

In other words your PR is dynamic and constantly shifting – in fact, the “real” value is most likely a decimal value like 3.358 or 7.158 and Google just rounds it up or down for the “pseudo PageRank” value.

That means that even if you start a new blog and stay at a PR0 for quite some time until the next visible refresh doesn’t mean you’re not ranking well in search or getting any organic search visits.

In fact, I know this for a fact as I’ve seen my organic returns systematically increase over the last 10 months like clockwork, even though I held a Google PageRank of 0 for most of that time (until the most recent update).

Here’s a look at when Google has visibly updated their PR for sites and blogs (via Toolbar, etc):

2012:

  • February 6th, 2012

2011:

  • November 7th, 2011
  • August, 2011
  • June 27th, 2011
  • Jan 20th, 2011

2010:

  • April 3rd, 2010

2009:

  • December 30th, 2009
  • October 30th, 2009
  • June 25th, 2009
  • May 27th, 2009
  • April 1st, 2009

2008:

  • December 31st, 2008
  • September 26th, 2008
  • July 25th, 2008
  • April 30th, 2008
  • February 29th, 2008

2007:

  • December 12th 2007
  • October 28th 2007
  • April 30th 2007
  • January 25th 2007
  • January 10th, 2007

2006:

  • September 28th, 2006
  • July 30th, 2006
  • April 4th, 2006
  • April 7th, 2006
  • February 18th, 2006
  • May 27th, 2006
  • January 30th, 2006
  • January 4th, 2006

See any patterns? Perhaps a few but it’s really anyone’s best guess.

Final Considerations:

Also, make sure that you completely ignore any website that tells you that you that they can adequately and accurately “guess” your real PageRank value – these statements are bogus and not worth a second thought.

Finally, it’s worth remembering that PageRank is just one of 200+ signals (factors) that Google considers in its search engine ranking for your blog – it can be tempting to put too much weight on it like many other things. Google counsels webmasters and bloggers to hold this perspective strongly in their minds:

PageRank is an easy metric to focus on, but just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s useful for you as a site owner. If you’re looking for metrics, we’d encourage you to check out Analytics, think about conversion rates, ROI (return on investment), relevancy, or other metrics that actually correlate to meaningful gains for your website or business.

Right? Your time is far better spent creating amazing blog content, focusing on your community, and optimizing your blog’s low performing pages, top performing pages, and even your hosting, code and WordPress Theme!

[This is part of the The Blogger’s Essential Guide to Search Engine Optimization Series.]

Published by

John

Hacker. Human.