The End of Google PageRank
[blockquote type="blockquote_line" align="left"]The first version of the PageRank technology was created while Larry and Sergey attended Stanford University, which owns a patent to PageRank. The PageRank patent expires in 2017. We hold a perpetual license to this patent. In October 2003, we extended our exclusivity period to this patent through 2011, at which point our license will become non-exclusive.[/blockquote]Despite many claims by SEO companies around the world that PageRank does not “work” anymore, we see Google employees mentioning it over and over again in articles, blogs and videos. Webmasters have been wondering about Google’s intentions around PageRank due to the fact that the last public update was back in April 2010. The usual trend of public updates was around four times per year. According to this document Google PageRank patent is in fact owned by Stanford University and it expires in 2017. In October 2003 the patent exclusivity was extended to 2011 and after that the license will become non-exclusive. How this affects the search engine algorithm and the ranking signals is yet to be seen, but many speculate that this is the end of PageRank in the shape and form we know today.
Chris says: “I don’t think Google’s ranking algorithm, at this point, is very relevant to their success or their position. Their main advantage, at this point, is their infrastructure. Brin and Page did not just develop a good ranking algorithm, but they also developed storage mechanisms for data recall, which is a significant portion of running a search engine. Supposing you gave some startup Google’s exact algorithm, they wouldn’t be able to use it because they lack the processing power Google has. That is a very big deal.”