Here are a few key comments to the questions I get asked a lot:
“PageRank is computed continuously; there are machines that take inputs to the PageRank algorithm at Google and compute the resulting PageRanks. So at any given time, a url in Google’s system has up-to-date PageRank as a result of running the computation with the inputs to the algorithm. From time-to-time, that internal PageRank value is exported so that it’s visible to Google Toolbar users.”
So – when you see your PR go up or down keep in mind that the new PR that you see is the PR that Google has been using for your site for some time already.
“By the time you see newer PageRanks in the toolbar, those values have already been incorporated in how we score/rank our search results. So while you may be happy to see that the Google Toolbar shows a little more PageRank for a given page, it’s not as if that causes a change in search results at that point. So you won’t see any search engine result page (SERP) changes as a result of this PageRank export–those changes have been gradually baking in since the last PageRank export.”
As above – Google’s been using your PR previously and so when you see a new one you shouldn’t expect any corresponding change in actual search engine rankings or traffic from Google.
This is all information we’ve talked about previously here at ProBlogger but it is worth saying again as the questions continue to get asked on these issues. It’s nice to see Matt talking about it also and confirming that there actually was a PR update (the first time I’ve seen anyone from Google confirm it as it’s happening).