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.
A number of my readers have noticed that Google have been making some minor adjustments to the displayed PageRank on a few sites, and Josh quite rightly pointed out that the displayed PageRank on this domain has for some reason been reduced.
John Andrews currently has the top rated article on Sphinn with a truly brilliant display of link baiting and social media awareness.
I am not sure I am going to be able to knock him off the top spot, and this very post will probably gain him a few more votes, but I would like to think that one of my older articles could at least be a contender.
There would be a gaping hole in my content coverage if I didn’t mention the release of OIOPublisher, who are trying to find a way to totally cut out the middleman in both paid reviews and paid links.
Matt Cutts has again been writing about paid links and has also jumped into the sponsored themes discussion, invoking the power of the Google Webspam team from behind the protection of a carefully worded disclaimer.
As Matt says:-
It is great theorising that you can monetize your blogging activities with various forms of advertising, and possibly some affiliate reviews, but blog visitors often don’t click contextual advertising, and affiliate marketing is most effective when you have a large amount of traffic to a small number of sites, or a small amount of traffic to a huge number of sites. Your relationship with your audience is also extremely important, as Scott Jangro was recently discussing in relation to Google’s new CPA offerings.
ReviewMe, the pay for review service initially stated that they were going to be updating site information on a monthly basis. As many people might have noticed they didn’t quite manage that, in fact it has been over 2 months since my first, and only review for them, of Aaron’s Search Engine Glossary. (I still have to make an affiliate site from his content).
For many people, my Disclosure Policy Plugin was looked on as overkill. It seemed all they really wanted was an overall disclosure policy on their site, and to use a link in their sidebar.
Adding something to their feed content was generally looked on as a good idea, but all the additional functionality wasn’t really required.