I had an idea for a website today, the value of which would be greatly enhanced if it were able to display the PageRank of pages that it linked to. I checked Google's API documentation and discovered two roadblocks: first, it doesn't include PageRank checking capabilities, and second, even if it did, it's currently limited to non-commercial use only. There are non-Google sites that will tell you the PageRank of a page, and algorithms for checking PageRank can be found online. But if you're getting PageRank measures from anywhere but an offical Google toolbar, your getting it from an unauthorized source, and your source of information could be cut off at any time. Why doesn't Google provide a public PageRank checking API, and how might they be convinced to do so?

Possible reasons why they don't:

  • It would be abused for search engine manipulation, which would reduce the value that Google is able to offer to it's customers.
  • They haven't figured out how to make enough money off of it to make it worth it.
  • They haven't gotten around to it.
  • They are too emotionally attached to their precious baby to see clearly that it would be beneficial to provide such an API.

How to/arguments to convince them to do it:

  • Write a petition.
  • They could charge for the service--for example, require a key with each request, maybe give away a certain number of queries per day, or not, and charge for the rest--perhaps charging based on the number of queries submitted.
  • The power of their PR0 penalty would be multiplied since not only would PR0 hurt people in Google, but it could trigger mass unlinking across many other sites that monitor the PageRank of sites that they link to. Thus, people would be more afraid to use "black hat" SEO practices, and awareness of their dangers would increase.

Any more ideas? Any hope?