Google PageRank Value is an Abstraction

Until now, and probably for a long time, many people are obsessed with PageRank value as a basis for many things. I am not to say that PageRank is “pile of dung” (which Rowan Atkinson, better known as Mr Bean, used to describe his unflattering remarks for Porche cars), far from it. Google uses PageRank technology a system that Google describes as the heart of its software algorithm:

The heart of our software is PageRank™, a system for ranking web pages developed by our founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University. And while we have dozens of engineers working to improve every aspect of Google on a daily basis, PageRank continues to play a central role in many of our web search tools.

Berghausen, a Googler who is looking after some threads within Google Groups, has made it clear that Google PageRank values are only periodically updated, and a period is defined as a few months and more importantly, Google PageRank value is an abstraction from the true PageRank value.

Abstraction is the process of generalization by reducing the information content of a concept or an observable phenomenon, typically in order to retain only information which is relevant for a particular purpose.

The third item points out that even if PageRank values are recently updated, they aren’t going to show a full representation of the value. A 5.12837 or 5.99378 might show a PageRank value of 5 even if the difference between the two sites in terms of link popularity may be huge.

The question is that if this tool isn’t helpful enough to tell the real value of a web page, why is this continuously shown on toolbars or Open Directory listings? We may not need to wait for an answer to that question; we have a lot of other things to do that consider PageRank as a performance metric at all.