Google Blogoscoped

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

PageRank Drops for Many Sites

Reports are coming in that several usually well-ranked sites have seen a loss in PageRank. Sites being downranked include (from PR7 – for several years – to PR4, though these values may vary depending when you check), (from PR7 to PR5), (from PR10 PR9* to PR6), as well as WashingtonPost,, and many others. Some of these sites sell or at one point sold PageRank by accepting non-nofollowed text ad links – I wonder if there is a connection, but don’t have anything close to proof so far. Please join the discussion to help dig into this.

Interestingly enough, the last time I checked, Google’s own AdWords still allowed text link brokers to advertise their systems... not sure if that’s still the case.

Now if this is indeed related to Google battling paid links to battle search engine spam – and Google officially stated they will penalize text link space sellers – then it’s already working for Google. Downranked sites are risking to lose visitors arriving from Google web search, which might be lowering the value of their ad space, and thus their revenues. For instance, Loren Baker of Search Engine Journal in response to his site’s downranking removed his paid links, saying “I made some changes to my template to eliminate the 3 links under Supporters”. Other webmasters may now also get much more wary to accept paid, non-nofollowed text links.

[Thanks Alek and Ionut!]

*Update: Others in the comments say StatCounter’s PR might have already down at 8 before. [Thanks Gerald!]


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