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Monday, July 10, 2006

Does Google Have an Anti-Linkjuice Flag?

We know Google sometimes penalizes sites, removing their PageRank, and thereby also removing the chance for webmasters to effectively sell PageRank through text links on those sites. But what if there’s a flag in the Google system that says “the page can keep it’s PR, but it may not pass on this PR to other pages”... a forced but hidden “nofollow"?

For example, is selling text links for around 1,500 Euro per month. Links will appear not only on the PageRank 10 frontpage but also across the hundreds of thousands of pages across their network. But what if Google was able to deprive the site of its ability to send Googlejuice to other sites? Google’s Matt Cutts recently hinted this may be the case; he first argued, “The trouble with supporting a site just to get PageRank-carrying links is that you don’t always get what you might want,” and on being asked if that means a site/ page can have it’s PageRank-transferring ability disabled, replied this was “well said.”

Statcounter has around 17 links right now ($32,000 a month?). What if advertisers hope for the PageRank 10 linkjuice to reflect back on them, more than hoping for the natural clicks they’ll be getting? We don’t know if that’s the case, but being deprived of linkjuice, text links do lose some of their value, and we have to start wondering whose fault that would be... is it the fault of Google, the advertiser, or the webmaster? It seems that if the webmaster doesn’t claim that PageRank is being transferred through the text link (nothing I see on indicates that claim), he should be OK. If he does claim that, however, isn’t he in trouble?

[Hat tip to Alek.]


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