Users of the Google Webmaster Tools may have noticed that the page rank information has disappeared in the latest release. As Susan Moskwa of Google explains on a support thread:

We’ve been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it’s the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true. We removed it because we felt it was silly to tell people not to think about it, but then to show them the data, implying that they should look at it.  🙂

Susan refers readers to more information that reveals that there are over 200 different “signals” that can affect how a site is crawled, indexed and ranked. In fact Google started discussing omitting PageRank from the tools in 2007 (who says the Internet moves fast?). PageRank was often over-emphasised by SEO professionals because it was a nice, easy number that could be presented to a client, so this move is a clear indication from Google that it really isn’t the key metric. For more information, have a look at a great post by Derek Powazek about SEO myths (thanks to TWIG for the link).