Once again the law unto themselves that are Google updated the toolbar PR which sparked another frenzy of webmaster and SEO professionals checking their websites and posting on forums as though it were Christmas morning.
“What PR did you get? I got a 4, I got a 6, I got a train set” etc, etc.
This particular update by Google was later than expected, which only served to heighten the media speculation on whether Google would abandon the toolbar PageRank altogether. However they haven’t and it has once again been updated.
This is unfortunate, because toolbar PR has one purpose and one purpose alone; link selling.
The toolbar PR isn’t an accurate portrayal of your actual PageRank, merely an outdated snapshot in time. Therefore, because it’s updated so infrequently it’s of little use in gauging a website’s true PageRank.
Even if the toolbar PR were accurate, it doesn’t have any bearing at all on your ability to rank for search terms, as the relevance of the links being aimed at your website isn’t a factor in calculating how green your bar becomes. Even if your bar was as green as Yoda, it wouldn’t matter if your site had irrelevant links and poor SEO.
So what use is the toolbar PR? It simply acts as a yardstick by which to gauge the power of a website when valuing links on said website. It doesn’t help you determine how relevant those links are or how much traffic a website may have.
For example, a link on a PR3 website that is relevant to your industry would be of far more use than an irrelevant link on a PR6 website. Yes, the PR6 link would help your bar to become greener, but it wouldn’t help your rankings as much as the relevant PR3 link.
In a nutshell, the toolbar PR is fun, it’s interesting to compare greenness with friends, but it’s of little practical value in the world of SEO.