Ok, all of you out there (and you know who you are) who have been sitting up on your high horses proclaiming that everyone else is stupid for getting upset about the PR changes – STOP IT! You are the ones who aren't getting it. When it comes right down to it, people, it's not about the little green bar. It's all about CONTROL. That's what has everyone upset, whether or not they really know it.
No one likes to feel like a puppet on a string. Google is the puppeteer (or Googateer) and webmasters are the puppets. At any given moment, the Googateer can yank on any string, controlling the movements of the puppets. One minute the Googateer is telling the puppets to simply label sponsored links with the words "Sponsored Ads" or something similar. The next minute that's not enough for the old Googateer, so he yanks on another string to punish the bad puppets for not using nofollows, despite the fact that the Googateer himself changed the rules midstream.
It's not about what the Toolbar shows for PR. We know TBPR is a bunch of hooey. But we also know that this is probably just a warning shot, and if webmasters fail to do exactly as told, the next shot may very well be deadly – despite the fact that some of those caught up in this first volley did nothing wrong.
Again, it's not about what the Toolbar shows for PR. It IS about CONTROL. It wouldn't matter if we never saw PR again. The Googateer would find some other way to yank the strings of the puppets. Lowering the PR is merely a SIGN, people. It's a sign that Google can punish the puppets at any given time, for any reason, on any whim; even those in compliance with Google's current rules aren't safe.
So get off your high horse and quit bellyaching that SEOs shouldn't be worried about PR. Think for a moment, would you? It's not the actual PR that anyone is really worried about. It's the loss of control. It's the random punishment. It's the FEAR that at any time, anyone, and I do mean ANYONE (YES EVEN YOU!) could fall victim to the Googateer's latest whim. So the next time you feel like acting superior because you know better than to worry about little green pixels, stop for a moment to wonder what that tugging feeling at the back of your neck is. That's the pesky, controlling, Googateer pulling your strings.
The question we should all keep asking is…HOW DO WE CUT THE STRINGS?