The idea of mister G was really simple: better is your site and more people will link it spontaneously. But who is linking to me spontaneously? It 's a very uncertain possibility and I can not afford to base my business on a such uncertain fact. Therefore, it has started to spam blogs with comments that always had a link in it and the most wealthy people have started to buy links. The original idea began to lose sense because webmasters have begun to influence the SERP. Google reacted by penalizing sites where he saw the wrongful acts even if, in the end, Google gave less importance to this parameter. Lately, pagerank has a very low influence classifications and results have become even worse. Of this fact, users are complaining for years.
And that's why the pagerank value disappears from the view. For several weeks Toolbar works as before, but it shows a PR 0 for all the websites. Google has officially announced that the pagerank still exists and is still part of the parameters that influence the positions in the SERPs, but is no longer visible. In other words, the users don't know which sites have a low or high PR. As time passes the historical traces of the values will be lost, although it will be always possible to guess the value of a site. From this point of view probably in a couple of months Google will begin to increase the importance of pagerank in the ranking, hoping to recover the search quality and trust which, at the moment, is a little bit lost, through its own users.
And what the webmaster will do? It's not easy to assume but I have an idea about it. All those who, like me, believe in the enhancement of the importance of the pagerank, will reopen the hunt for links, even more ruthless that it was before. This hunt has dropped significantly in the last 2-3 years and many webmasters focused on the internal work on their pages. But now we'll come back in search of links much more intensely; for the fact that we don't know the value we will get, we will need to obtain the largest possible number of links.
The quantity will become more important than quality for the simple reason that the last one has become unknown. And there will be attempts to reconstruct the value with which Google operates, by simulating the calculations that lead to it. To perform these simulations it's necessary to have the data on the millions of sites and perform the processing that will last for days. Who will manage to achieve this, definitely won't give the results of the research for free but will try to earn a good money for their work. At the end, those with a pocket full of money will take advantage.