Google Toolbar PageRank Fluctuations (Round 4)

Reports are now coming in that there may be another round of changes coming in on the PageRank displayed on the Google toolbar, loved or loathed by webmasters.

The first notification I received by email earlier today, hinting that at least one reader was seeing my own TBPR increasing. Thanks Dave, maybe you should send some of your Omega 3 Fish Oils To The Google Plex.

So I spent the day refreshing Digpagerank.

Why was I refreshing… well it appears that all the tools for monitoring PageRank across multiple data centers malfunctioned today.

Data Centers

I have seen further reports.

Courtney Tuttle mentioned in an earlier blogpost seeing his PageRank recover after taking action to remove paid links from his blog and filing a reinclusion request.

More Penalties & More Than A Month Of PageRank Updates

There are now multiple threads on the Izea/PayPerPost forum reporting members in the main are having a downgrade. Some actually didn’t receive an additional penalty in the 3rd round.

Round One was at the start of October when I first wrote about being defamed
Danny Sullivan was given confirmation that visible PageRank penalties were being applied and I explained why I don’t sell PageRank but still received a penalty.
Round Two was when many blog networks, Digg favorites and even major periodicals were hit with a pagerank penalty.
At that time Matt Cutts confirmed to Loren at Search Engine Journal that this was a penalty for paid links

Going forward, I expect that Google will be looking at additional sites that appear to be buying or selling PageRank.

Round Three saw many site regain their previous rankings, and was looked on as a complete update, though many sites remained with a penalty, some were not as harsh.
Darren Rowse reported that blog networks returned back to normal

As I explained more recently, Izea (PayPerPost) are not an SEO company, they are a marketing company providing marketing and public relations services to large corporations.
Just check their domains for canonical URLs for proof.

In that same article I discussed Izea’s new Argus platform, that should be launching in less than 24 hours, that may put an end for a need to use visible PageRank for rating the authority or influence of a blog.


I should link through to Dan Theis who earlier explained why PageRank isn’t dead.

Search Engine Guide has returned to a PR6 after removing their advertising links on the front page. (hattip Jill from High Rankings)

Update 2

More humour from Mike, but how do you decide whose responsibility it is to think about link condoms (they are ribbed of their pleasure).

We have a working PageRank data center tool, Oyoy that suggests I remain stable at the degraded PR4. Many thanks to John for pointing this out (he knows which sites Google really should give a penalty)

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


  1. says

    I’m no Nostradamus but I reckon visible PR will not be here Jan 1. In addition I will say that the next round of paid link/sponsored post/hell we just don’t like you (delete where applicable) penalties will be applied in January and these will be serious penalties – drops from the SERPs.

    We’ll wait and see. I must admit that my F5 button took a pounding earlier today when I hit Digpagerank after Court’s post and then I went off to do something more productive. Like watching my fingernails grow.

  2. says

    None of the tools I’ve been using to check PageRank are working at the moment, which is somewhat weird. I’ve seen some datacenters unreachable before, but never experienced that none of them are giving out any results.

    Smells like something big is cooking – Or at least it’s fun to speculate about it ;)

  3. says


    many of these pagerank tools are not working. I recall checking digpagerank while others were already off, so it might be temporary but I would not be surprised to hear that Google knocked them off.

    It seems it’s only the TBPR for you :evilgrin:

  4. says

    My toolbar is currently using — I didn’t see that one on any of the lists at Digpagerank — I wonder if they are blocking queries from Digpagerank or switching things up as to what datacenters resolve on purpose. I didn’t see a way to include an IP of our choice at Digpagerank to test it.

  5. says

    Andy (and everyone else)… just so you know, it is the tools that are not working, in the method they are using to poll for a particular datacenter’s PageRank, not the datacenters themselves. I can manually hit a specific datacenter to see what PR it has for a given URL, and have done so with the ones that DigPageRank shows and they are actually working fine (except for the ones showing “OFF”, which are just unreachable).

  6. says

    I’ve been dropped to a 2 from 3. What’s funny is that I don’t sell text links. Oh before I forget, your link to searchengineguide seems to be missing an “a”.

  7. says

    Yeah it has hit some of my sites as well.. I tot I escaped their deathblade earlier as one of my site maintained as PR4, but it was soon reduced to PR2…

    I wonder what are they doing?

  8. says

    My site seems to be holding on to its PR. Will have to wait and see. I guess all should follow the step taken by searchengineguide – Remove ad links from index page. Better still, I think its best not to have any outbound link from your home page.

  9. says

    Yeah I went to a 5 after round three, but have now dropped to a 3.

    Couldn’t care less anymore……

    On the plus side, more people are requesting private text links and reviews than before. Go figure Google :-)

  10. says

    I have four sites, all of them were PR 4 to start with. In round one, two of them went down to a PR 2, which I might have expected because I’m not actually using them–they do have some text but it’s only minimal. The two I use, including my blog, so far have remained stable. Now I’m worried though, despite the fact that I’ve never bought or sold a link in my life.

  11. says

    At least no one can say that the PR ride hasn’t been fun. For all the talk about it becoming an irrelevant statistic, people sure do enjoy talking about it – and more enjoy reading.

    I’d be fascinated to read an official release by Google on their intentions for PR to see where they eventually want to go with it. It seems that most of the information seeping out of the Googleplex has been excuses.

  12. says

    I’ve got to admit, I don’t think the PR downgrades has ever been a mainly manual process – I think it has been, and still is, an algorithmic process guided by human editing. But that’s just my 2c. :)

  13. says

    I was going to ask the designer of the search engine tools why he thought it was still working, and others were having problems. But since he’s a Googler now I didn’t want to put him an awkward position of me asking a question he probably can’t answer fully.

  14. websiteoptimizationsoftware says

    Yes, as mentioned above, I think it will be the tools themselves that retrieve the data where the error occured.

    I have noticed though that the PR updates are taking place more frequently now. I wonder if this is due to increased resource that Google has obtained. It must take huge processing power to monitor and update billions of sites.


  1. I’m Obsessing about my Page Rank!…

    I never paid one bit of attention to my page rank until I decided to monetize my blog. As I studied and read about how blogs are ranked through google and Alexa I began to realize the importance of page ranking. I was pleased that my Google…

  2. Google Updates Toolbar PageRank Scores Again…

    Google has updated the Toolbar PageRank score again over the weekend. Reports come from WebmasterWorld and a dozen different threads at DigitalPoint Forums. This seems to be a continuation of the paid link PageRank downgrades. Andy Beard documented som…