Just a couple months ago MattCutts said he would be surprised to see an update to Google Toolbar PageRank by the end of this year. Despite him having said that, here we are in December and Google just updated their Toolbar PageRank values this morning.
It’s always a big deal in the SEO community with Google releases this kind of update because PageRank is the most clearly visible metric available to determine the value of a website based on how many quality links are pointing to it. This December 2013 update is of particular importance because no one saw it coming.
The last update to Toolbar PageRank was back in February and support for it has been dropped on many browsers. This lead many in the SEO industry to speculate that Google was phasing it out. Today’s update indicates that Toolbar PageRank is still very much alive, at least for now.
Since PageRank is only one of many factors taken into account by Google’s search algorithm it’s important not to obsess over it too much. However, Google continuing to update it shows it still has value in measuring the amount and overall quality of links pointing to your site.
You can hear Matt Cutts explain a bit more about PageRank and how Google goes about updating it in this video.