I know that is a shocking and controversial headline, but there are a number of serious points to be made.
Google does not penalize for paid or sponsored reviews but can penalize for paid or sponsored links that pass PageRank – Brian Solis & Techcrunch are blatantly wrong.
As Techcrunch now has 2 million readers, many of them corporate, you would think they would be a little more careful publishing statements that are false, misleading or could seriously damage not just a single company, but a whole growing business sector, even if they clearly hate it. Opinion is one thing – stating facts that are wrong is in a totally different territory Here is an excerpt for the recent fluff piece for Brian Solis on Techcrunch
iHype.com was due to launch today and it is my strong personal opinion that they will head straight to the Techcrunch deadpool, and if they get a mention on Techcrunch, it will purely be for the satisfaction of sending them there.
Lets preface this by I am not a lawyer, and I am aware that that is a very long headline and title.
The restoration of my green pixel’s didn’t last long (just 1 week), and probably wasn’t a full restoration anyway.
I had this feeling that PR5 was “Google Probation” as my link growth has been continuing and my Google Directory listing suggested PR6.
Now Google have changed their wording for reconsideration requests (formerly reinclusion requests), I have filed one for this domain.
(note to Google, why isn’t Michael’s permalink ranking?)
I am not going to call this a perfect example of a reconsideration request, but I decided that it was better to be 100% honest about my thought process for both now and in the future, because whilst I am now blocking paid reviews with robots.txt, there are so many things still not specified within the webmaster guidelines that it is a potential minefield, especially for someone who has previously been the target of a manual penalty.
I know a segment of my readers are sick to death with anything to do with Google PageRank updates, and I haven’t even bothered mentioning the most recent update up until now… there wasn’t really anything newsworthy in it.
I have had a chance to deal with the odd email over the last 2 weeks whilst moving house, but I knew I should respond to this paid links post by Matt Cutts as soon as I was able to do so with some level of detail.
I have been receiving emails and comments today about yet another PageRank downturn for multiple sites.
Andrew Ooi has compiled a short list of Malaysian sites, many were as much as a PR5 previously, and currently show a PageRank of zero (a white bar)
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.