Penalty Confirmed – But I Don’t Sell PageRank

 

Danny Sullivan has managed to get some feedback from someone at Google confirming there are visible PageRank penalties being applied, as much as a -2 on what is displayed on the Google Toolbar.

This is my follow on from my post yesterday:- Dancing With The Gevil – Defamed By Google?

Fair enough, for those people who have been caught selling links primarily for boosting search engine results.

The funny thing is I have seen so many blogs today that are selling Text Links who have not received a penalty, yet lots of sites that write high quality paid reviews penalized.
I am referring to the PR6+ sites with 10 or more text links in the sidebar that are totally off topic.

As per my previous article, I don’t believe this should cover editorial links that are given during a review that is a form of consultancy. I have always made that clear that that is the purpose of my reviews.

It really does seem I am being penalized based upon the Payment processor and market-place I display most prominently, PayPerPost, though I have seen a few sites that display other Paid Post badges also hit heavily.
The most prominent PayPerPost writers seem to have been hit the hardest.

I Don’t Sell PageRank

Here is the description of the service I offer on my profile on Sponsored Reviews

Blog Search Engine Performance, WordPress, Niche Marketing, Affiliate Marketing Tips and Social Media with Original Opinion and Loads of Attitude

50% of revenue from reviews is donated towards WordPress plugin development adding additional exposure.

I look on reviews as a form of consultancy.

You are paying for my time, not just for link equity or buzz.

My reviews are typically 2000 – 3000 words and I strive to highlight both good features and flaws constructively and offer suggestions for improvements.

My readership is not mass market, but contains many thought leaders and influencers.

I talk about tools and strategies to help with creation of various types of niche websites, social media, social networks, blogging and WordPress. I can easily review a site not just based on content, but also from an SEO perspective.

If you actually follow the link, there is no mention of PageRank anywhere on the page. They do mention link popularity, but the number of links a site has is also a traffic indicator, possibly more accurate than Alexa.

Here is my profile on ReviewMe – you might notice it is quite similar

50% of revenue from reviews is donated towards WordPress plugin development adding additional exposure.

I look on reviews as a form of consultancy, you are paying for my time, not for link equity or buzz.
My reviews are typically 2000 – 3000 words and I strive to highlight both good features and flaws constructively and offer suggestions for improvements.

My readership is not mass market, but contains many thought leaders and influencers.

I talk about tools and strategies to help with creation of various types of niche websites, social media, social networks blogging and WordPress.

I can easily review a site not just based on content, but also from an SEO perspective.

Again, no mention of PageRank, just Alexa, Technorati (which is an indication of links) and RSS subscribers.

Lets take a look at PayPerPost Direct

To find me within the directory, you would have to filter on a price range of $100 – 200, no direct link to the profile

I am considered by many to be an expert on:-

* Blog Search Engine Performance
* Search Engine Optimization
* WordPress
* Niche Marketing
* Affiliate Marketing Tips
* Social Media
* Blogging Community

If you are looking for good, detailed, solid information and are not looking to be spoon fed, you are going to love what I write.

My primary blog is in many ways a community project with the content provoking stimulating discussions.

Average Tack: 5 / 5 Google Page Rank: 5 Alexa Score: 17797

I should really log in and get that PageRank updated, because it currently gives a value different to what is displayed on Google’s toolbar. I don’t think it actually is different in real terms as far as the ranking of my own content, although who knows, I might actually be a PR6 now that has been downgraded, and my readers seem to like my content.

I did use a more sales like appraoch with some HTML that I grabbed from my Blogcatalog profile – with PayPerPost Direct any initial contact is just that, an initial enquiry and they have a built in message system. The first message I send to any enquiry always ensures that they accept a neutral review, as in they have no editorial control, and to ensure they understand that any and all links will be editorial, with my own choice of anchor text. On more than one of the reviews I have even pulled out a keyword research tool to get a good idea of what to use in the post title, and to some extent topics to discuss and link text.

Tack is something that is important, it is based around advertiser feedback

I Reject Reviews – Lots Of Them

ReviewMe 33% (2/6) Accepted
Sponsored Reviews 80% (4/5) Accepted
PayPerPost 37.5% (3/8) Accepted

Total 47.3% (9/19) Accepted

That doesn’t cover all the offers I pass over within the various directories, or the people who have approached me directly. The direct offers I generally ignor totally or refuse politely, depending on product. There is one ebook I still have to take a look at to see if I am going to write a full review. That will be free even though a paid review was offered. Why? It has an affiliate program, if it is any good, I will earn more as an affiliate over the long term.

Editorial Control

Google representatives have stated many times that paid directories are OK, as long as they are not selling PageRank specifically, and there is some editorial control over the process.

I Don’t Sell Advertising

Any advertising you might find on this blog is affiliate marketing, and where I remember, that is blocked and nofollowed.

PageRank = INFLUENCE

It seems as I suggested in my previous article that Google have singled out anyone, or any collective group or company who gives a hint in their promotional material that they are selling links based upon PageRank.
Selling links based upon even a similar term, such as listing the number of links to your site does not seem to currently be a problem, and this might be a slow but manual process.

If you mention PageRank as an indication of how “pretty” you are to advertisers, you are going to be treated like a prostitute.

As I also mentioned in my previous article, PageRank can also be looked on as a measure of influence that can never be assessed just by looking at a pure number of established links, or a traffic rating from Alexa.

Whilst I would love for PayPerPost to move away from displaying PageRank, influence makes a huge difference, but even then they will need additional metrics for traffic, not Alexa, but their own system coming in approximately 1 month.

Adam Lasnik

Adam Lasnik from Google commented on the Sphinn story for Danny’s post.

I totally understand and support tough-but-fair evaluation of our methods, but at the end of day, I’d hope the majority of folks here would agree with our goals of aiming for a more leval playing field on the web as well as a greater surfacing of quality content.

It doesn’t seem like they are trying to level the playing field to me. From my evaluation they have been on one hand quite surgical in which sites to take out, and on the other hand have not paid any attention to the quantity and quality of the content.

Here are 2 quotes from Adam from April when interviewed by Eric Enge

Two, taking a step back, our goal is not to catch one hundred percent of paid links. It’s to try to address the egregious behavior of buying and selling the links that focus on the passing of PageRank. That type of behavior is a lot more readily identifiable then I think people give us credit for.

That’s one of those things where typically you know it when you see it. As I mentioned, our interest isn’t in finding and taking care of a hundred percent of links that may or may not pass PageRank. But, as you point out relevance is definitely important and useful, and if you previously bought or sold a link without Nofollow, this is not the end of the world. We are looking for larger and more significant patterns.

As I pointed out on Sphinn, I have over 1800 pages indexed, and of those over 1500 are showing in the /* supposedly primary index.
That actually compares very well with many PR6 optimized sites, and better than most.

Among those pages are 9 pages from which I linked to clients who hired me to review their service or website. Those reviews typically took between 4 and 10+ hours to perform and write the content, to receive between $35 and $130 in my pocket, pre tax.

Obi Wan would certainly, at this time be saying “Adam, these are not the paid links you are meant to be looking for, move along”

Maybe Google have identified PayPerPost as a bigger long-term threat not only to their search index, but also to their monetization of the web, than what was currently only about links that were easy to identify, such as those in the sidebar.

Rather than trying to tackle the mass of 50,000 PayPerPost bloggers, they are highlighting the most prolific or prominent bloggers using the service. Sure they have also hit the Stanford Daily very hard, but that is just one very visible site.

Shoemoney has been saying “Don’t Make Google Look Stupid

I honestly don’t think PayPerPost currently are making Google look stupid, but the danger for Google is allowing them to grow.

Some more great discussion on this from Rob and Meg, and thanks to Snoskred for the support – Hmm legal fees paid by Nigeria maybe? ;)

One point raised in the comments of my last post by Tomaz was about the Review My Post links, part of the PayPerPost affiliate program. With close to 400 clicks in the last 10 months, and 3 conversions, it is not ideal, as so few people who click through qualify for PayPerPost. If everyone who filled in the application form was accepted, it would be worth $0.75 per click which isn’t shabby, and hell as far as I care the link can be nofollow – it is just a great way to help someone make some immediate cash – maybe PPP will improve the conversions.
Anyway short term, I am going to remove the button for Review My Posts – that is the only minor concession I am going to make.

I don’t sell PageRank.

 

Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more. Follow

Comments

  1. says

    I am quite confused. David Airey comments that he has read that Google are dropping the whole process of page ranking. If this is true, why go through all this? If this is not, then it is being done selectively and Andy’s conclusion seems to be correct. Why isnt Google responding?

  2. says

    It would be interesting to see if there is any correlation (or at least a sign of it) between those blogs that were penalized those that were not and whether or not these blogs were displaying AdSense ads.

    I know in the past Google insisted it has nothing to do with your ranking, but I just cannot get out of my mind the saying “follow the money”…….

  3. says

    Very interesting, Andy.

    I would have to agree that a well written, researched, paid post should not bring down the wrath of the mighty Google. RL journalists get paid, and the majority of the money comes from advertisers. So at least 1/3 of the content of a RL media outlet is actually paid for content. The actual news stories are not chosen for the news worthiness either. They are chosen to attract viewers and increase a shows popularity.

    I think that paid text links ARE selling page rank, and frankly I find the methods used to sell these ads a little shady. Most services offer very little info about the sites where your link will appear, providing only page rank and Alexa ranking as a means of deciding which links to purchase. Most do not even provide the URL of the prospective page. How can you tell if a s site is relative by it’s PR alone?

    TLA and the like are merely cashing in on the backlink frenzy and desperation of the Webmaster/Blogger.

    I am very curious as the the methods that Google is using to derive the PR on the sites that have been affected. Is it a manual, personalized method or a result of a new cog in their mighty algorithmic machine. I would suspect it is a new bit of algorithmic decision making. If it is not, and Google is hand picking sites to penalize, then I will have to retract my latest ‘Google Whiners Rant’. :)

    If it is an algorithm, then I wonder how they are detecting the practice of selling links. Are they looking at linking patterns, page source code, or some other mysterious data?

    This is an intriguing turn of events and it’ll be interesting to see how the story develops. Maybe next they can clamp down on Splogs, and made for AdSense landing pages with no original content. That would clear up the search results a lot quicker than penalizing paid-per-post blog entries.

  4. says

    I’m totally with you on this one. A review is a completely different kettle of fish to a purchased link and you rightly point out that you don’t mention pagerank anywhere.

    However, ask the people who purchased the review if they’d pay the same for an article without the link then the answer would probably be no. There lies the problem. What constitutes a paid link?

  5. says

    Hi Andy
    Remember me? The one who made your snowflakes plugin to pink flowers?

    I got smacked but it won’t kill me. Six of my blogs lose their rankings, including those that I hardly write paid posts. I guess Google pick up the whole bunch of my blogs which I linked on the sidebar and decide I am a good target since I am the top earner on PPP and my blog rules #1 for the keyword make money. I am slowly losing that #1 position but ah well, I am not relying on Adsense (which dropped 40% since I was smacked). I sold all 10 links on TLA and selling more links on Linkworth. It is a price (losing the rank) I have to pay I guess.

    In fact, I notice I was one of the earliest to be hit by Google, after JohnChow. I suppose that’s something to be proud of, eh?

    Thanks for the enlightening post.

    • says

      Lilian I was aware of what happened to your sites as I do keep an eye on a lot of things that are happening, I even pop by the PPP message boards occasionally, though I am very quiet there.

      At the end of the day if people can’t feed their family with Adsense, they are going to feed them any way that is legal.

      In the past Google has hit legitimate site owners heavily, so the site owners have turned to more automated methods.

      We end up going full circle with people more interested in building authority sites, and now the cycle might be kicked off again by Google themselves again.

      • says

        Hey man… I know we have had are various shares of debates but I did want to come on over here and tell you that I do support you and have always felt like you do a very wonderful job with your reviews. I don’t think this is going to impact your business to much as it seems that you don’t depend on Google as much as others do. Carry on and continue doing what you do best!

        Take care man,

        Garry

  6. says

    Hi Andy,

    As you probably know there’s an alternative theory going around, one recently mentioned by Shoemoney too, that is based not on whether you sell links or sell pagerank in any way. Instead it is whether whatever it is that you do makes Google look stupid, unfair, or inempt. Perhaps your usual insightful and thorough analysis has made some google engineers feel a bit too uncomfortable lately given that you have important eyeballs here. How’s that for a conspiracy theory.

    Keep up the great work, we won’t stop reading just because pagerank goes down :)

  7. says

    I believe you. Your blog is so high profile that i’m sure google read this entry. Either way, as long as we don’t intentionally buy or sell links, I think we are fine.

  8. says

    Andy, I think the penalty may have more to do with the sites you are “sponsoring” by not nofollowing your comment tags. Other prominent bloggers have reinstituted nofollow in their comments following unsatisfactory ranking issues.

    I love blogs without nofollow – but Google sees things differently.

    • says

      Over the months I provided all the information people needed to ensure they limited the amount of juice that might flow out of one specific post before the juice had time to benefit other pages.
      Juice is meant to flow, and you can channel it around, and I do that actively.

      This is a manual penalty, it is nothing to do with Nofollow on comments, and this blog has had nofollow removed on comments since it was launched.

      I am sure if I added nofollow back, I would be able to benefot more from recursive calculations, but then I wouldn’t necessarily receive as many great comments, or links.

      It is possible and even quite likely that the only hit I have received is in the TBPR that is displayed.

      I can imagine other blogs adding nofollow back to their comments, especially those with little conviction as to why they were doing it, or those who though they would gain major SEO benefit from doing it.
      There are major benefits, but if your content doesn’t stimulate conversation – real meaty conversation, it then becomes a potential liability you either live with, or switch off.

  9. says

    the whole problem about this whole scenario is google trying to be methodical in providing relevant content, when in fact content on the net never has any method. People might find the info they are looking for in the most uncanny of places many a times from advertising and paid reviews that you and msot other bloggers do.

    Another hting that boggles me is the blatant hypocracy on part of google.. They can have sponsored results but bloggers and websties can’t place text links. What pisses me off even more is their “nannying” on what is and what isn’t relevant content. Why can’t they develop their searches better to leave away links that don’t end up in relvant results… In the sens if I am searching for a forum to sell text links, and the crawlers land on your site and see a link to text link ads instead.. why can’t they devise an algortihm to figure out if its a forum marketplace… just an example really ..

    google shouldn’t use its expertise and might to dictate terms on individuals..

  10. says

    You should write shorter articles..:D

    Anyway what’s the difference between PPP and ReviewMe?
    I thought they do the same services.

  11. says

    Andy, you hit the nail on the head near the end of the post when you surmise that Google sees PPP as a threat. This action is about competition, not delivering the best search engine results to the user. In fact, as you’ve shown, your SERPs have been unaffected, and this appears to be a toolbar-only action. In effect, Google is saying “We like your content, but you don’t get to use our Pagerank for advertising”.

    It has nothing to do with whether or not you sell links. It has everything to do with the fact that you are an influencer in the community, and if by hitting you they scare 100 advertisers and 1000 bloggers off from paid-review services, that’s 100 advertisers and 1000 bloggers that might go back to Adwords.

    As Vlad said, follow the money.

  12. says

    It is my impression that Google is currently generating a lot of ill will amongst prominent / highly visible bloggers, by targeting them specifically for “paid” links and reviews, even though they are clearly not the ones raking in the big dough…

    Did it occur to Google that these bloggers may be “prominent” and influential for a reason? If readers trust the bloggers and value their opinions, these manual adjustments may well backfire on Google.

  13. says

    Since you aren’t selling PageRank, Andy, why not update your profiles on the paid review sites to say PR 0? Even if you aren’t selling PageRank from your site, they are.

    I ain’t sayin’ it’s right for Google to do what they appear to have done, BTW.

    • says

      Dan, the services pull the data using APIs, nothing is entered manually, and PayPerPost are moving to their own metrics, but nothing will really replace PageRank as a measure of influence.

      When talking about influence I am not referring to Google Juice in any way. I promote my audience as being “influencers”… just like yourself. My content is not the typical short articles aimed at newer bloggers.

      Google are using PageRank in their directory, other charts also use PageRank such as the top 25 blogger, top make money blogs and the Adage Power 150.

      My rankings have just taken a hit on all of those ranking charts, and that does have an effect on “proof” I might have available for a product launch – if there is no proof there is no launch as Jeff Walker says.

      I don’t think the number of links to a particular site is a good alternative though the metrics are related.

  14. says

    Preaching to the choir on influence, Andy – if I get a link or a mention here, it’s worth more link juice elsewhere than I can possibly get from your site.

    So now the real question – have you lost any actual rankings or traffic, or did they just knock some green pixels off the toolbar?

  15. Doug Heil says

    There may be more things wrong with what you are doing than you think. At least wrong according to Google. You are using that silly blogrush stuff that redirects links to any type of blog there is out there. I clicked on a few, and they are awful stuff. How do you know your penalty isn’t for linking to bad neighborhoods? How do you know what you are actually penalized for? I’d say it’s for more than one thing IMO.

    Also; why this industry thinks all of these pay per review or pay per post, or pay per anything stuff would be a good way “long term” to do well in Google, is beyond me. We have been warning about this link stuff for about three years now. It seems the SEO industry is a few years behind as everyone seems surprised about what Google is “finally” doing. I saw this coming a long time ago as it’s really just common sense stuff.

  16. says

    I agree with the sentiments of your post. I feel that since I don’t have the Google PageRank toolbar installed, I can’t possibly “game” Google.

    I think that since you don’t mention you sell PR anywhere, and you do reject reviews that are irrelevant, you are innocent. Too bad I’m not in charge.

  17. says

    Andy, I’ve got to say, I find your reasoning daft. All you’re saying is that your interpretation differs from Google’s clearly stated and different interpretation.

    I figured you were more intelligent than this, so what’s with the strategy here? Are you simply trying to gain some kind of blogger sympathy vote as a viral marketing plan?

    I seriously don’t get it – you sell paid editorial links, you got your hand slapped, end of story, surely?

  18. says

    Platinax, that comment of yours comes from the guy who sells links at the top right of his site to bunch of people (one of them being to text link ads (another penalized site). That is called kicking a guy that lies on the ground after the guy gets beaten up by another guy whose girlfriend you were sleeping with. In other words, give me a freakin break.

    By the way Andy,
    The link in my username was done just for you.

  19. says

    Don’t worry about PageRank. Sometimes I’ll stumble onto a blog that’s really good, and will be surprised to find a low PR. Keep up the good work;)

  20. says

    No, Mert. If I were to ever believe Platinax had a penalty, I’d change to correct it.

    As for the ads on the right – they’ve been there for 3 years – long before the paid link arguments really developed.

    However, you can be assured that I will be taking action, and applying a nofollow to all of the links this week, simply because I have no intention of waving a red flag to Google.

  21. says

    Andy, this is really concerning me. I have five text link ads (for which I make very little money, because they all bought one-year ads when I was new and my link price was very low), and I also have text ads I’ve sold through LinkWorth. Am I going to be penalized by Google for that? Should I not have those ads clearly labelled as “ad partners” or “sponsors”?

    Sponsored Reviews-I started getting MORE of my bids approved once I added my Page Rank to the titles of my blogs. But should I take that out to preserve that rank? This is so confusing.

  22. says

    Andy,

    I wrote a post about this too… although mine wasn’t quite as nice as yours.

    http://onemansgoal.com/166/googles-warning-dont-sell-text-links/

    I think it is ridiculous that the “internet police” won’t let us monetize our sites in ANY way that we feel necessary. Adsense isn’t what it used to be, and it definitely won’t make you millions unless you throw content out the window and start writing Adsense optimized posts. I say to hell with that, I write for my readers.

  23. says

    Yours is one of the few that i noticed does not have paid links and got the drop.. but most of the others are receiving it because of this that matt cutts had previously talked about on his blog..

    Please change all your “feature links” “sponsored links” to something else like “cool sites” or “resources” on your paid links and give those links a rel=”nofollow”..Something i learnt from matt cutts, while this may not be truth but it what he had mention before the massacre of dropping pageranks…
    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/text-links-and-pagerank/

  24. says

    But the GOd hath spoken (all hail they that are “never” wrong) in the form of Matt Cutts (Who is perfect and all his ways are… oh you get the picture) who demanded we all snap to attention and rel nofollow these things.

    I think the only way we as bloggers can over come these strong arm tactics is to say “big fat ones to ya” we walk by a different code and if you hurt us we will know you are vile… (G)evil and that will make us martyrs.

    If the traffic loss is going to be hard then we need to form verticals that can be used to replace that. If it is the marks out of ten that matters so much then we can use a group effort to brute force the numbers (SETI@HOME has been doing that for ages). We have the original formula available and I published some theoretical work on the subject too.

  25. says

    I think google just tries to scare the seo community. The problem is that they can not penalize everyone because it would worsen their search results. Thus they have to threat everyone, but it will not work. I ask myself if PR will remain to be important. If you get the same amount of users to your site and keep the same position in the serps …. the value for links from your site must be unchanged too.

  26. says

    There hundreds of penalties of Page Rank around the Net. But there are no any upgrade.. Damn Google, I have blogs with the age of more than 5 months and still with page rank 0.

  27. says

    this is really unfair to the SEO COMMUNITY.

    what would they or feel if they are one of us. what would they do if they’re on our shoes.

  28. says

    the blog today at bridge solution is specifically about goooogle vs microsoft and the crushing of entrepreneurship by them both. Both corporations see themsleves as eventually being the central clearing house for all dfata on the planet that can be monetised. warren bufft, who is not doing too poorly financially, had a dream as a child–a road conencts everything in the universe instantly, but there’s a tollbooth, price, only 5 cents. but buffet owned the tollbooth. this is the vision og gooogle, and the guy who pals with buffet the4se days…bill gates.
    the guys who can hustle need to..and learn to work together.
    i’ve gotten number 1 rankings on gooogle for terms relating to clients, and then banned from adsense for the loyalty of those cleints’ fans thinking that a 5% ad click on one blog would help run the nfp operation…one client out of 12, one blog out of 200, and adsense gone. why? google had no answer, just, “policy”.

  29. says

    I am concerned about this whole issue as well. I don’t have any paid advertising on my site and I’m losing ranking daily. I was in the top 10K websites/blogs and creeping back up again. My Blog Reactions are not being updated. Period. The links that were placed there today (known as Blog Reactions) some are from weeks ago. What is up with that?

  30. says

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that instead of going after all 50,000 pay per post members they have singled out a few of the most prominent and made an example of them for the masses. The punishment you have endured is enough for me to reconsider my paid review participation in the future. The result however is compliance with Google’s wishes, but we all did not suffer equally in getting there.

    Blogging to make a living is competitive with many niches becoming more and more saturated all the time. No where is this more true than in the field of metablogging. If one site is “beat down” with a tarnished reputation and lowered visible metrics, then in fact Google is playing a role in deciding which blogs in a given field will be successful.

  31. says

    Truly a shame when Google takes one of the most thoughtful blogs in the industry suchas this one and effectively slanders it based upon an haphazard application of arbitrary criteria.

    If Google wants to shutdown the PageRank economy the answer is simple: stop displaying PageRank and making it easier to commercialize links.

    Their war against paid reviews is nonsensical. When a movie star is on TV promoting a product they are not only paid, they stake their reputation on it. Ultimately, it is all about reputation. If you provide links to sleazy sites for money, ultimately market forces will work against you in one way or another. We don’t need Google to effectively issue a “tsk-tsk” in their toolbar as some kind of custodian of Internet morality. Frankly, this is one shining aspect of why monopolistic scenarios are dangerous.

    I’m wondering if I’ve been subject to this a bit on http://www.smoblog.com as well — while I don’t sell links there at all I was on board the Technorati favorites train. Toolbar has never moved off of a PR0 even though I see values much higher than that in Webmaster Tools. I’ve assumed it was a fluke until now… If you decide to delve into this all further with more resaerch let me know and I’ll share my screenies from Webmaster Tools.

  32. says

    Andy a few of my sites took a hit last week too … and two took a hit about three months ago. As a result two of my PR5 sites are now PR4 and some that had PR4 and PR3 also dropped.

    I’ve been reading a lot of posts about these drops and as I read yours a thought occurred to me. Many of use who do work for PPP are listed on Payperposts “Meet our Bloggers” pages. Either as highlighted blogs on the page or within the rotating header on that page. At least two of my blogs are listed on PPP prominently.

    You’ve got to wonder if that’s partly how Google decided who would lose rank.

    I’ve barely done any marketplace ops in the last THREE months. I mostly do PPP direct, Sponsored Reviews and ReviewMe posts now and only on a few of my many blogs.

  33. says

    I think social networking itself makes Google look stupid. Yes, they have a stranglehold over traditional search. But as far as social networking and blog search goes, they are bombing.
    Once the leaders in social networks start becoming stable and their algorithms get better, Google may still claim their dominance over traditional search, but they are destined to take the same position as Microsoft is in for search when it comes to social media.
    Their algorithms can’t account for the jump of links a blog can get daily through social media and they start popping blogs.
    But that’s just my two cents.

    • says

      Tricia, I think you might have forgotten to add a link when you commented ;)

      I will email you the comment notification I received

      Your comments are always most welcome and never spam

  34. says

    The ways of the Big G are mysterious indeed, but I’m adding my vote for the BlogRush hyposthesis… When it launched, I did wonder if there’d be some sort of backlash. The “bad neighbourhood” clause did surely apply, before the recent massive exorcism of splogs, but still I’m not seeing a whole lot of what I’d call “bona fide quality” in the links served up by that widget. Not, like, you know, Andy Beard type quality… ;)

  35. says

    Perhaps i missed something but can you tell me if your stats were the same or also dropped.

    Because i see no reason to care for toolbar pagerank if you don’t review to give a good toolbar pagerank link.

    Toolbar pagerank is totally unreliable. Why even look at it?
    Toolbar pagerank is dead and that is reality for some time now.

  36. says

    Our site was hit – every page dropped by 1 pagerank point – except for one single page – it’s pagerank stayed at 4

    I did a quick backlinks check and found it had a pagerank 5 backlink

    So it’s not as straightforward as Google hitting out at people selling links

    My take on this is that Google have once again tightened up on the value they place on the backlinks to sites and blogs

    At this rate Google will force all non-authority sites off the net – very few sites and blogs can earn, or afford to buy pagerank 6 and higher backlinks to individual pages – and I think that is what the benchmark will be before long

  37. says

    Sorry people but if you aren’t capable to to make the difference between toolbar pagerank and internal pagerank …

    If – like i read- the toolbar pagerank drops don’t affect stats there is clearly no relation between toolbar pagerank and reality for rankings.

    So why do you even look at toolbar pagerank?

    This is getting ridicilious.

    • says

      Pascal, just because you realise it is meaningless and not a direct relation to the real value Google places on the content of a website doesn’t mean that is the impression of the general public or the less SEO savvy bloggers.

      Pagerank is used in lots of web based metrics just like the easily games Alexa and Technorati numbers, even RSS subscriber numbers can be gamed and are gamed frequently in all manner of ways.

      PR is also used in advertising, not just advertising that passes pagerank.

      It is all about public perception, though I have also noticed some problems in SERPs as mentioned in a later article.

  38. says

    If you keep linkbaiting with this pagerank bullshit people indeed will be confused and still think toolbar pagerank is important.

    If Alexa and Technorati still want to use toolbar pagerank as an indication then that’s their problem. You don’t get much credit when using such things for the calculation of the lists in my eyes.

    I read everywere about pagerank these days.
    Everybody keeps pushing it, merely for some link baiting. More and more people watch the green bar.
    Google had to do only 1 thing to combat abuse of toolbar PR: turn off the toolbar pagerank button/bar.
    Instead they choose to update it again and in a few months they are hunting again for toolbar pagerank sellers.
    Sorry Google, this was a very wrong decission.

    Cut the crap.
    No more toolbar pagerank please.

    • says

      I would be quite happy if they switched it off totally and I am not exactly saying nice things to encourage trust in PageRank.

      Alexa and Technorati are not the ones using PR for ratings, but other people are.

      Here is an example on a highly respected site

      http://adage.com/power150/

      This is how Google describe PageRank to the general public in their own words.

      Wondering whether a new website is worth your time? Use the Toolbar’s PageRankâ„¢ display to tell you how Google assesses the importance of the page you’re viewing.

      This current update makes that statement a lie, this is nothing to do with search results.

  39. says

    Yes like adage there are also a few overhere.
    I don’t mind these rankings but i don’t use my blog alot and don’t really care what happens with it.

    That quote is indeed someway controversial for Google.
    But what can i say about it?
    If they lack to clear up some things, perhaps because they want the SEO community to keep talking about non-issues, then that’s their problem. Not mine.

    Forget the toolbar pagerank, if Google doesn’t turn it off turn it off yourself.

    It’s just that with all those discussions about toolbar pagerank start. People discuss it, other people start blogging about it and at the end of the whole story the majority believes toolbar pagerank is important.

    No it isn’t! :-)

  40. says

    Oh, Andy, I am so sorry this happened to you. I think there is an inverse relationship between how influential you are in the blogosphere and the drop in page rank.

    I have linked to your blog on Advertising for Success. It went from 4 to 2 to 3. I am also adding a link to you from CoolAdzine, which is holding at 4.

    I am banning Google and have a banner if you want it:
    http://cooladz.com/ban_google.jpg

    God bless.

  41. Make Money With Adsense says

    thts wht called gutsy here…

    apart from fearing to someone do some gutsy stuff.

    anyways Page Rank is dead at an age of 2000 :D

    Cheers Andy

  42. says

    Hey Andy. Your article is very good. If anything Adam Lasnik’s comments do not emphasise what the page rank is all about. Page rank is run by google. But i have noticed something strange. A majority of sites with high PR’s and given authority in SERPS by google, in fact run adsense adds. And the ones that don’t are penalised. I think it shouldn’t matter if you run yahoo ads or adsense adds, if you have a strong site it should rank well and have a good page rank from google.

  43. says

    It seems like bloggers just can’t win in the Google pagerank game. No links, you lose, sell links you lose. Get too popular, and it’s even more likely you’ll end up losing.

    Sometimes it’s too frustrating to even bother to figure out.

    -Rob

  44. says

    What happpend in the time since you have posted first? did google believe you and ranke you back? Did they answer at all?

    The best wishes from germany!

    Carl

  45. Games 247 says

    Google wacked my site, gave a -3 Page Rank Penalty, dumped my site at around 80th place and for what, because I bought some links to make it rank higher? Because I sold a couple of links to grow revenue? Well that is advertising Google like you do remember, why else would I do it? I rank good in Yahoo and Msn. All the large corporate sites buy links, hell I even saw some on African blogs for car insurance when their business operates in another continent!. No matter what Google does, anyone with half a brain will always want to be on page 1, no one wants to be on page 88! To give some comparison, another site I have spent no time getting links for gets about 5 page views a day, the one I spend time getting links for gets about 2000 per day, you tell me which is the better strategy?

    I can show you now about 100 sites that buy links, yet still rank on the first page and have their page rank intact. Google presumes everyone has to know how they operate, yet they constantly move the goal posts. Now I am supposed to figure out which bit is wrong – which bit they don’t like.

  46. ustillup says

    To be honest, page rank penalties appear so random. Some site have been thriving for years on the juice of paid links. Other sites have been thriving on selling these links. Every now and then, however, some sites seem to get spanked for what appears to be selling links (to pass page rank). I'm done trying to figure it out. If I've learnt anything from the search engines, I've learnt that some things just can't be figured out.

Trackbacks

  1. The darkest side of Google….

    Google’s power and influence are nothing short of epic. It’s [[tag:Page Rank]] is used as a measure of the value of a site and the value of adverts thereon. It attracts more searches than all the……

  2. Yes, Google has “cutted” my PageRank too!…

    Like a lot of other weblogs this “Web Development Blog” has lost today 2 points in PageRank (went from 5 to 3). A week ago I had the idea that this blog will get a PR6 based on the information I got via the Google webmaster tools. After rea…

  3. [...] By Google报道了24号开始PR下降的著名网站信息以及相关网站对PR事件的回复;Penalty Confirmed – But I Don’t Sell PageRank一文申明了他对PR被降低的回复——他们卖的是广告,不是PRï¼›Real or Fake [...]

  4. A Kick to the Nuts For Google?…

    Here was I about to blog about adding youtube videos to the fact-o-page but I think in all honesty this post should go to Vlad.

    Googlebot Just Got The Boot from vlads site. After what some bloggers……