It's a term you'll still hear kicked around in certain Search Engine Marketing circles. Try not to listen.
What's the deal? Well, PageRank is a tool. The device is a basically a link analysis algorithm that assigns a value to each set of hyperlinked documents on a web page, then measures its relative importance. In fact, let's allow the experts who created the tool -- Google -- to explain:
"PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at considerably more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; for example, it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important." Using these and other factors, Google provides its views on pages' relative importance."
OK, so there's a barebones definition. But what does PageRank really mean, in the "Why should I care" sense? The reality is, PageRank isn't the end-all, be-all in the realm of SEO. Like we said, it's a tool. But it doesn't replace the entire tool box.
Beyond PageRank, there are a ton of important elements that factor into your website's ranking, include quality content and keywords. As a tool, PageRank doesn't really get into keyword specifics, meaning one site can be ranked higher than another in the SERPs but have a lower PageRank than its counterpart.
Lastly, clinging to PageRank has just fallen out of fashion. With so many other factors and elements at play, businesses and website enthusiasts simply have to look at the bigger picture.
Turns out painting a bigger picture is one of our specialties.