PageRank has been around for a while now. It's in the Google toolbar; it's in the Firefox browser toolbar; it's just there. Because it's there, we have a tendency not only as search engine optimizers but also as web surfers to believe that the PR is the end-all-be-all of page authority.
Let us be clear: it is not!
What exactly is PageRank? How important is Google PageRank? Basically Google rolled out this algorithm many, many years ago which at the time used link juice as a key indicator of an individual page's overall value. Generally speaking, Google interprets the links as votes. However; it doesn't just count votes like a typical election. Rather, Google takes into account the authority of the page that casts that vote and places different weight on different link sources.
The PageRank number that we see as users is the "toolbar" PageRank. Google also has an internal PageRank. This internal rank is updated far more frequently than the one that we see as the general public. Unfortunately, the toolbar PageRank is updated infrequently and sporadically For this reason, as a new page you may stay at a PageRank of 0 and not reflect the actual growing authority of the page.
PageRank is simply one of the many factors that you should take into account when determining the authority of a page in question. Having no relevance to a specific search query, it is a good tool for overall authenticity but a poor choice for determining relevance.
For a more complete picture of Google PageRank, watch SEOmoz's whiteboard Friday mini episode. For more information on how to optimize a business website, give the folks at Blue Archer a call.