When I attended Pubcon Las Vegas in October, Matt Cutts explained that the main reason for not having seen a recent PageRank update was due to the broken toolbar pipeline which pushes PageRank data from Google’s servers. He went on to explain further, saying that there were no immediate plans to fix it before the year turns to 2014, which was a major bummer to all webmasters in ear shot.
Well, it appears that Christmas has come early for many webmasters as Twitter has been buzzing with reports from webmasters that their PageRank was updated early in the morning on December 6th, 2013. This would mark the the first time PageRank has been updated since February of 2013.
Who Saw the Change?
From the reports given, it appears that the majority of new sites that were created after February of 2013 are starting out with a PR1-PR2. Websites that were already a PR4-PR6 did not see much change in PR score adjustment.
“We looked at hundreds of sites and 90% dropped,” says Dave Naylor of Bronco. “We’ve not seen many gain PageRank in big leaps this time. We saw PR6s drop to PR1s, but not many PR1s rise to a PR6. My gut feeling is that Page Rank is from when the Google PageRank system broke, so it’s not new PageRank; it’s second hand PageRank from September-ish”
Why It’s Strange
No matter the reason behind the unexpected PageRank update, the fact is that the timing is very strange for Google to be doing such a thing. With only a few weeks until Christmas, updating the PageRank will absolutely impact those that have links from sites with high PR scores which have just seen a drop due to this update. Time will tell the type of impact this will have on shopping and sales numbers, but it’s odd that Google picked this exact moment to update its PageRank data.
Did you see a rise or drop in your website’s PR score? Let me know in the comment section below.