PageRank Update – Beware Of Link Exchange Offers

For the last few days there has been a lot of discussion on places such as Digital Point about a Toolbar PageRank Update that is happening. Barry reported yesterday about links being updated in webmaster tools, but the pagerank fluctuations are quite strange.

Lots of people are reporting strange fluctuations, and PageRank 7 seems to be appearing and disappearing for many sites that really don’t deserve it.

I wouldn’t have written anything at all, but then I received a message asking for a link exchange with a PR7 site, and knowing what was happening on Digital Point, I thought I would spend 20 seconds investigating

Yahoo seems to report ~60 backlinks for a PR7

That is possible but so unlikely based on the actual link profile.

Just beware of people looking to benefit from whatever bug is in the current changes.

I must admit I have never been much of a fan of link exchanges anyway, or blogrolls

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  1. says

    Since digpagerank seems to be down at the moment, I’ve been using iwebtool’s pr checker. There’s a lot of fluctuation. Am I out of sync or is this update a little early?

    • says

      On one of the previous times out was the only site that seemed to work for a while. The developer is now a Googler.

      Testing the above site shows it as PR7 on a number of data centers.

      It looks like I might be back to a 5, if I was previously a 6 it would have been a close thing, and pages tend to sink in archives a lot.

    • says

      iwebtool’s pr checker is terrible at the moment.Most data centers seem to be down while the pr from the ones that are up is incoherent.Some even show a pr bigger than 10 (e.g. 35).

  2. says

    I was delighted to see a pr 5 for your site on my Google toolbar, hopefully it will either stay there or go higher. I thought Google was nuts to drop you to a 3.

    • says

      Thanks for the kind words Jude

      Fortunately I was just lowering the red flag and not raising a white one, so we will see how the next round goes.

  3. says

    I have noticed a influx of offers for mostly PR 2-3 with only a couple of links on the page. These are 3-way based link offers, but both sites are junky type categories. I know these lnks aren’t as impressive as PR7, but I just couldn’t see how these sites had that rank since they had no content, and the topics were highly competitive.

  4. says

    Like you, I’m no fan of link exchanges or blogrolls, although the latter is ok if kept on a specific page.

    This is the first I’ve heard of some public PR changes. No surprise to see it on first.

  5. says

    Hi Andy, the blog that you referenced above is now showing a mix of PR7, but mostly PR0. prcheckingtool seems to have been working well the last couple days and it’s not showing any data for this site (though yours is showing all PR5’s).

    I’ve also been getting more link requests than usual from random sites (which I wouldn’t link to anyway), but thanks for the heads up :)

  6. says

    I would certainly not give two bucks for Google PR these days, and neither should you. It was an indication of the strength of a site some time ago, but there are better indicators these days. is one example.

  7. says

    Yup. One of my sites went from a PR6 to a PR4 with the last round and now dropped to a big fat zero with this one. I noticed it a couple of days ago and thought that maybe it was a temporary glitch but it looks like they slapped me good and proper this time.

    Ho hum…

  8. Anon says

    My site has never had content on it. It has just had a page saying that we will be putting up a website soon. Its been up for 2+years and now we just had a basic page and it is giving a PR of 2. Consistent across the data centers. This is good because we are actually doing things to put the site asap but there is hardly any links to it. I think it is because of the process needed to get the URL. For it you need to be a registered business and be approved to get the URL. Its not ENTIRELY about back links. If it was I wouldn’t have PR 2.

  9. tantara says

    I first had pr4, than pr3 now for a long time is pr0

    I don’t sell-buy links. Wondering why google dropped my pr?

  10. says

    I certainly hope this update is still ongoing. My homepage went from a measly 1 to a 3 but many of my internal pages with PR 2 or 3 now have NA/10. My pages are all indexed properly so I have to hope that it’s just an ongoing update.

    • says


      With most blogs due to poor linking structure, blog content slowly decreases in juice as pages run deeper in the archives.

      Also important is that the other blogs linking to the blog post, their pages also are going deeper, so passing less jucie.

  11. says


    Well, I had my website’s (not my blog) name as a subdomain (host/mysite) and had a pagerank of 2. Then suddenly lost it.
    I thought : maybe it’s because it’s under the main domain.
    So, I pointed the DNS to my website’s hoster and now it’s, but I still have no pagerank.
    At least I got good news this week. The people at DMOZ already updated to my new URL, which was quite kind from their side.
    I guess I’ll have to wait.
    I wish I’d have at least a pagerank of 1, but I got 0 for my website and blog. And when I check my link popularity, I don’t get links under Google and MSN….I wonder why. I even have submited a sitemap to Google…
    Anyway, what matters to me now is writing good content on my blog, or at least trying.

    Take care and good luck with your website,


  12. says

    My PageRank has remained consistent, but I’ve noticed my LinkDomain number has been dropping dramatically lately. It dropped by over 100 one day. And another 50 two days later. Could this be related to what is going on with PageRank?

  13. says

    Hi Andy. good post, have been thinking the same. one site in our care has received a PR5 with a grand total of 6 little links to it. definitely suspect, in fact blogged about it a little while ago before seeing this.

    and curse you for alerting the masses I was going to get straight onto DP and try and sell a few links before the big correction comes :)

  14. says

    I probably get 3-4 offers a week of links on blogs and web sites. The offers range from $900 for 5 permanent links on PR6 blogs, through to $50 per link on PR5 sites.

    When I check out the backlinks there’s usually only a handful for these sites. When I ask the owners how they got such good PR for so few links I never get a reply :) I wonder why?