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PR Readjustments  (View post)

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
12 years ago8,441 views

There's a PageRank update and many important sites were penalized. One of the reasons might be selling links, but there could be others. Some notable examples:

washingtonpost.com/ PR7 to PR5
forbes.com/ PR7 to PR5
statcounter.com/ PR10 to PR6
engadget.com/ PR7 to PR5

searchengineland.com/071024-09 ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Yes, also:
searchenginejournal.com
seroundtable.com
problogger.net
copyblogger.com

See: forums.digitalpoint.com/showth ... [Via Alek!]

I was also wondering about if this is related to non-nofollowed paid links but I didn't immediately find these kinds of links on Search Engine Journal or ProBlogger (though they do exist on Search Engine Roundtable).

Imagine the revenues StatCounter will lose soon. PR10 is highly valuable selling ground. PR6 is, well, much much less. Might be tens of thousands of bucks per month loss. And also much less spam in Google results.

Here's a link-selling page that still shows PR9 tho:
www.aaronsw.com

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Would be interesting to do a confirmation list. Here's a start.

Confirmed text links sellers (or ex-text link sellers):

- Washington Post
   blogoscoped.com/archive/2006-0 ...

- Search Engine Roundtable (left navigation)

- StatCounter (left navigation)

- Forbes.com
   A section called "Advertisement: Related Business Topics" contains two non-nofollowed links to business.com

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Confirmed paid links:

- Search Engine Journal (they removed them now, they say):
searchenginejournal.com/google ...

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I made a wiki-sheet:
spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?ke ...

alek [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

WOW – what is significant here is that they are penalizing the mainstream media sites. They have been selling links for years – obvious as heck these are keyword based ... but Google is putting down the hammer on 'em to discourage the page rank economy.

I wonder if the discounting of sites that trigger their paid link algorithm will result in those of us that don't do this moving back up?!? ;-)

Above 6 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

(Ionut, I'm getting a "trying to reach Google" error on that spreadsheet, though I can see it. I wanted to add a colum to the right titled "Proof" to allow for some details/ comments/ links.)

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Techcrunch posted about this saying that many large blog networks (i.e. Weblogs, Inc.) were affected because of the heavy amount of cross-linking across their properties:

techcrunch.com/2007/10/24/goog ...

Martin Porcheron [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

The changes seem to only affect some Google datacenters at the moment.

seologs.com/pr-check/pagerank- ...

Luka [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

French website WRI (webrankinfo.com) : PR7 to PR4
Zorgloob : PR7 to PR6

...

Mambo [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I'm getting Apple.com as PR9 – I'm pretty sure it used to be PR10.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

USA.gov : 10 => 9

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Any PR10's anymore?

Martin Porcheron [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Yes, Google.com :D

Kirby Witmer [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

microsoft.com/en/us/default.as ...

is showing a 10 for me.

Andrew [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

adobe.com is a ten

chipseo [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

It sounds like it is dropping for everyone across the board. They may be just preparing for a complete overhaul of the system or devaluing the PR system themselves by making it irrelevant. I don't think the content of the sites should be effected but it would be nice to hear something "official" from google. Scott

Tadeusz Szewczyk [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Statcounter had already 9 lately.

Napolux [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Many italians blog are also affected:

Napolux.com from 5 to 3
Pandemia.info from 6 to 4
Sw4n.net from 6 to 4
MasterNewMedia.org from 7 to 4

Shelley Powers [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Is everyone positive this wasn't an error? A momentary problem with the Google servers?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

[Thanks Tadeusz, I updated the post.]

siggi [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Its the same problem as with BMW and the doorwaypages in february 2006. A culture clash. Google thinks that relevance can be computed and all what does undermine this (hidden text, doorwaypages, bought links) is against the core of the business model: a relevant index. The advertising industry thinks that relevance can be bought. Thats all. Its a war of two very different world views and what we have seen twoday is the outcome of one of many battles until...?

Michel [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Many spanish blog are also affected.
It seems all of them are using TextLinkAds.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

my PR went up by1 .. 7/10!!

Gerald [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

i am quite sure that statcounter had been pr8 before this happend.

Eugene Villar [PersonRank 5]

12 years ago #

Here's an interesting idea. If practically everyone loses a pagerank level or two, then the relative pageranks of the sites are still the same. Meaning, the SERPs positions won't change that much. :)

As I said in a previous comment two weeks ago, I think, I don't think that PageRank really matters that much for SEO.

Tadeusz Szewczyk [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

PageRank is dead, you can't use it anymore to as a tool of determining authority:
seo2.0.onreact.com/the-day-pag ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Yes, PR has become a bit of a political measurement too. It may now be translated to "the authority of a given site and how much the site plays along Google's rules."

And with that change, selling text link ad space has now turned from a moral decision to a business decision.

*However*, the *overall* usefullness of PR may also increase in the long term due to this "political pressure" – because while some sites get punished, if a whole lot of spammy sites who previously were only able to achieve high PR by buying text links get a lower PR... then it may actually reflect "real authority" a bit better. Or would you rather want to see "FreeHotelsViagraAndLoans.com" – let's say for the sake of argument, a site nobody links to of their own free will! – have a PR7 or something just because they got a huge advertising budget?

We want "organic" rankings, whatever that is and however hard it is to define, and as Andy Baio once said: "there's nothing organic about payola." (Not to say normal ad campaigns don't potentially influence rankings – they may well do, indirectly, through increased brand awareness!) Google right now seems to be fighting the Heisenberg effect; by watching the net, they changed it. They try to undo some of that change. Admittedly, now using a lot of editorial, manual, human (and political) decision. And that part is slightly scary in terms of potential power abuse (and let's not forget Google is conflicted in their interested, as they offer a competing ad system called AdSense), and bias/ editorial preferences of the "usefulness" of this or that site. I'm curious how this issue will develop. You are right when you say PageRank has changed.

Mambo [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

There must be some changes to the alogrithm to allow *really* good sites to stand out more, as well as less popular sites to gain the next PR quicker (i.e. more sites around the 4-7 band)

Reto Meier [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

If Google's ranking algorithm worked perfectly, the search results for every term would be ranked in order of descending interest. Personalised search is their acknowledgment that this ranking will be different for different people.

"Admittedly, now using a lot of editorial, manual, human (and political) decision..."

That's a bold assumption. Why can't this be automated? Once they construct the feedback driven learning model the only manual / human / political thing need to do is identify new variables that affect a result's position in the results. Once they notice an inherent difference between 'normal' links and 'paid' links they don't have to make a decision on which is better, they let the feedback engine tell them which has a more positive effect on the search results.

Their search results are generated by an algorithm, I think you'll find they evaluate the quality of their algorithm using yet more algorithms. In the end it doesn't need to be a 'human' decision, they feed user actions into test algorithms to tell them how to tweak the search algorithm, humans are just needed to identify (objectively) the variables. Give them a few years and the algorithms will do that too...

Tadeusz Szewczyk [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Phillip: Penalizing the Washington Post is not organic at all. On a side note, other sites even banned ones like Text Link Ads (7) which is btw. not ranking in the Google results anymore itself have high PageRanks. I see large paid links buyers still at PageRank 8.

PageRanks can not be used anymore as a quality sign.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> Phillip: Penalizing the Washington Post is not organic at all.

Yes, my point was: that some unorganic (clearly political and editoral!) actions on the side of Google *may* lead to overall more organic rankings in the long term (because people will buy & sell less text link ads). But I agree that there's now a problem of editorial decisions...

Steve Johnston [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

I think something is being missed here. I believe that Google's penalties on these sites are not their ACTUAL PR, but the toolbar REPORT of their PR. The relevance of these sites to search and their subsequent levels of traffic are not being affected. The PERCEPTION of the value of a bought link from these sites is what Google is trying to affect, not the actual value.

The reason being, that if they changed actual PR, the sites' relevance to search would be affected inappropriately. Many of these sites deserve their high performance in search and Google wouldn't want to mess with that, because it is too much manual intervention in the algorithm. What Google wants to do is to seriously hurt the economy of link selling so that it is less likely to affect the quality of its results. A lower PR will definitely hurt the link selling economy of these sites.

Steve

Reto Meier [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I see! I think Philipp et al picked up on that, I was a little late to the party. That being the case though, what can they complain about?

Toolbar PR was a way for users to get a rough idea of how highly Google rates a particular site. Businesses have been using this as a measuring stick for charging people to advertise with them. I imagine this is just part of a larger campaign by Google to make toolbar PR completely unhelpful and meaningless for SEO and advertising sales.

Tadeusz Szewczyk [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Philipp, I got your point but it reminds me of the "bombing for freedom is like fukcing for virginity" slogan. Manually changing the organic PageRank count won't make it ever more organic, as is it'll be manipulated in the first place.

Tadeusz Szewczyk [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

"bombing for peace", damn false friends...

Tadeusz Szewczyk [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Reto: That's waht I expressed in my article ;-)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> I believe that Google's penalties on these sites
> are not their ACTUAL PR, but the toolbar REPORT of their PR.

Now that would be a new level of deception for the Big G... somehow I doubt it, though of course nobody knows...

> I imagine this is just part of a larger campaign by
> Google to make toolbar PR completely unhelpful and
> meaningless for SEO and advertising sales.

Why doesn't Google stop displaying PR at all?
(Maybe because then people would use stuff like Alexa ranking to sell links, and nobody would notice their site is penalized?)

Reto Meier [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Dazzle people with something shiny that doesn't work to distract them from creating something that does.

martinsc [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

for my sites (both mainstream and adult) the update did nothing to my PR, but the placing in the serps got worse... from top result for lots of keywords i got to page 2-3 or some even worse....
I still don't know what exactly happened, but i'm trying to investigate....

Shelley Powers [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

It would seem the pageranks have all been restored.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I can still see some lower PageRanks on some of the sites that were affected... hmmm...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Please continue discussing here, just to merge these threads:
blogoscoped.com/forum/112442.h ...

This thread is locked – no further replies are possible. 

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