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October 25, 2007

Google's PageRank Update Goes After Paid Links?

Searchengineland .com reports that we are in the middle of aGoogle Page Rank update. And there seems to be all likelihood that websites that were selling links are being penalized in this PR update . For quite some time now Matt Cutts have been saying that Google gets to know which site actually sells links and they have ways to figure out which web sites are the most habitual offenders of link sellingfor PR gains

Andy beard has a list of some sites, including major publishers, who seem to have taken a hit overnight:

I checked out some other sites and there seems to be a considerable noise about Google's PR update this time

Google's PageRank Update Goes After Paid Links?


Some other comments about Page Rank Updates

Last fortnight, Google reduced the Page Rank of Stanford Daily from 9 to 7 because that website was selling text link ads. It was later confirmed by Google that PageRank scores were being lowered for some sites that sell links.

Well, that may have picked up steam as Google PageRank values of several prominent sites have taken a hit during this week. Some examples:

Washingtonpost.com - from 7 to 5

Statcounter.com - from 10 to 8 (and 6 in some other Google data centers)

MasterNewMedia.org - from 7 to 6 (and 4 in some other Google data centers)

Problogger.net - from 7 to 4

Blogherald.com - from 6 to 4 is some Google data centers.

TechCrunch, BoingBoing, NYTimes and other popular web properties that do not sell text links have retained their Google PageRank score.

Here is what techcrunch has to say on the recent PR Update that affected many authority sites. Duncan Riley does not believe that the downgrading of page rank by Google has to do only with link selling

"A major Google page rank update has punished large scale blog link farms and similar sites indulging in heavy cross linking by dramatically cutting their Google page rank scores.

There is some suggestion that the changes may be related to the sale of text link ads, but at this stage this is not backed by evidence, and a range of sites I checked that are selling text link ads were showing no change in page rank.

The only clear change appears to be among large scale blog networks and similar link farms, where each site in the network provides hundreds of outgoing links on each page of the blog to other blogs in the network, in some cases creating tens, even hundred of thousands of cross links. Previously such behavior has been rewarded by Google with high page rank, although it would now appear that this loop hole may now be shut.

Blogs in the TechCrunch network (we don’t link heavily on each page..nor do we have a particularly large network) and the Gawker Media network (who like us don’t go nuts with links) maintained their page rank whilst blogs across a range of other networks saw big decreases. The AOL owned Weblogs Inc was not immune, with leading Gadget blog Engadget dropping from PR 7 to PR5, Autoblog (6 to 4) and DownloadSquad (5 to 4).

The move by Google could well cause many smaller blog networks, including a number with funding, to close given their heavy reliance on text link ads and related sales that depend on strong Google page ranks for each site. Although traffic alone can and does sell ads on bigger sites, a drop from say PR7 to PR4 in one example makes the ad sell that much more difficult, particularly on blogs with little traffic. I’d suggest that the Deadpool will soon see a number of new entrants."

SearchEngineGuide.com recently saw its page Rank plummet to PR:4 from PR:7 .This is what jennifer laycock writes about the Google Page Rank update

Is Google "punishing" us?

Only Google know the answer to that. We don't sell PageRank here at Search Engine Guide. In fact, anyone who has purchased an ad from us in the hopes of gaining PageRank has probably been disappointed. Our pages have so many outgoing links on them I can't imagine how any one ad would deliver enough of a PageRank punch to be worth paying for. In fact, it amazes me Google thinks a site like ours would be stupid enough to sell PageRank and then to put a list of all the folks we've sold it to on our front page. In reality, we put our advertiers there to give them a little something those of us in the industry like to call "exposure."

We do sell ads though, and we have never felt the need to add extra code to all of our ads to make someone else happy. While our advertisers don't buy PageRank from us, they do buy exposure. Based on how many advertisers stay with us month after month (after month after month) I'd say most feel they get their money's worth too.

I mean think about it. You could pay $150 for the chance your PageRank might increase a teeny blip or you could pay $150 to run five different ads on a site that reaches 600,000 small business owners each month. Now how short sighted would an advertiser have to be to focus more on the laughably tiny potential of increased PageRank than on the number of customers an ad like that could get them?

source:Jennifer Lycock (searchengineguide.com )