Contrary to popular belief, Pagerank is alive and well and will always be used as one of the most critical factors attributing to a domain's ability to rank. What most Seo practitioners don't understand is that there are two types of Pagerank. The propaganda being spouted everywhere that Pagerank is dead, is misleading on one hand, and true on the other. Let's find out why.
Toolbar Pagerank is Dead: Consider Toolbar Pagerank to be Google's official statement of what the current Pagerank of a domain is. Its called Toolbar Pagerank because you can check it with a tool used to check PR. Toolbar PR used to be updated 3 or 4 times a year, and it was a metric that was used by Seo practitioners to help them determine the potential of a domain's ability to rank.
The answer to riddle lies within the last sentence = “Used to help Seo Practitioners”. That's not what is happening any more. Toolbar PR has suffered the same fate as “keyword not shown” has in Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools. PR is still alive and well, but the front-end metrics that Google was once kind enough to share with us haven't been updated now since December 2013. (To digress for a moment, while we're on the subject of Pagerank, note the following branded anchor text link titled ‘Seo Worx‘ to cycle any inbound link juice/Pagerank back to the home page. To help the even spread of Pagerank throughout your site each & every inner page should contain contextual links to other pages.)
Only Toolbar Pagerank is Dead – Real Pagerank is Alive & Well
PR & Algorithm updates always happen in real time. When Toolbar PR used to be updated, and a domain went from a PR2 to a PR3, the sites real PR didn't update overnight, only the ToolBar Pagerank did. The site was most probably already a PR3 two months before the Toolbar PR update. A domain's real PR increases within a 48hr period of Google crawling its latest inbound links. These incremental increases are in ratio to the quality and volume of new inbound links.
Pagerank is still the most revealing & critical metric that governs a domain's ability to rank. But since 2013 Google have chosen not to update & share this information any more in an attempt to make their search results harder to manipulate. There are a lot of inexperienced Seo's losing money in domain auctions and also letting great domains pass them by because of outdated PR metrics. Some people are paying hundreds of dollars for domains with a Toolbar PR6 when in reality the domain is probably a PR0.
The opposite is also true whereby people are letting great domains slip by because they have a Toolbar PR0. A domain with a Toolbar PR0 could potentially be a healthy PR5 domain. If that domain has a Domain Authority of 47 (DA45), and a Trust Flow of 36 (TF35), then that domain is probably a healthy PR5, even though it has a Toolbar PR0. Lean more about Trust Flow & Citation Flow Here.
How to Calculate Pagerank Without Googles' Help
In 2016, all we can do is attempt to estimate a domain's real PR. Relying on the Toolbar PR metric that hasn't been updated since Dec 2013 isn't smart Seo. A simple way to estimate a domain's PR in 2016 is to use the following formula: PR = (DA + TF) / 20
For Example: DA35 + TF22 = 57 divided by 20 = PR2.35
This is a pretty good rough guide as to what the real PR of a domain is. However the more spam a domain has, the less accurate this formula is. If a domains DA is inflated by spam or 301's, then this formula breaks down badly.
For Example: DA72 (From Spam) + TF8 = 80 divided 20 = PR4 (Not Likely!)
The Pagerank Algorithm is Always Churning Away in the Background
Pagerank always has been and always will be an integral part of the Google algorithm but since 2013 they've decided it's smart business not to share it with the Seo community any more.