PageRank update: Top blogs, popular sites lose PR
October 25, 2007
Is Google evil?
At the very same time that Google (GOOG)’s stock price eerily struck the $666.66 level, webmasters and blog publishers are abuzz with the recent PageRank update, where several popular sites were apparently slapped by Google with a PR downgrade.
PageRank or PR is Google’s own algorithm that analyzes link structure to indicate the value of an individual page. A higher PR generally means that a page is more “important” relative to other pages with lower PR. The recent PR update showed that a lot of sites, mostly popular ones, were penalized with a -2 PageRank reduction.
Read more to see a list of local and international sites that got a PR downgrade and discover for yourself what might be its cause. List of international sites that lost PR
Daily Blog Tips has this compilation of big blogs and mainstream websites that lost PR:
- www.engadget.com – from 7 to 5
- www.autoblog.com – from 6 to 4
- www.problogger.net – from 6 to 4
- www.copyblogger.com – from 6 to 4
- www.searchenginejournal.com – from 7 to 4
- www.quickonlinetips.com – from 6 to 3
- www.seroundtable.com – from 7 to 4
- www.blogherald.com – from 6 to 4
- www.weblogtoolscollection.com – from 6 to 4
- www.johntp.com – from 6 to 4
- www.washingtonpost.com- from 7 to 5
- www.washingtontimes.com – from 6 to 4
- www.forbes.com – from 7 to 5
- www.sfgate.com – from 7 to 5
- http://seattletimes.nwsource.com – from 6 to 4
Philippine sites that lost PR
A few local blogs and big media sites were also affected by this recent PR downgrade, including us:
- www.inquirer.net – from 6 to 4
- www.manilatimes.net – from 6 to 4
- www.philstar.com – from 6 to 4
- www.yugatech.com – from 5 to 3
- www.jozzua.com – from 5 to 3
- www.aboutmyrecovery.com – from 5 to 3
- www.retzwerx.com – from 5 to 3
- www.pinoymoneytalk.com – from 4 to 2
Although the Inquirer, Manila Times, and Philippine Star’s sites still appear with a PR6 in some Google toolbars, a quick search using this Live PR tool shows that the three big media sites did lose some PR juice.
Reasons for the PR downgrade
I would say the most likely reason for this change is Google is messing around with link resellers like Text Link Ads. By downgrading a large chunk of the blogs on the Internet, Google has made it that much harder for the link resellers to sell links.
Andy Beard partly agrees that paid link advertising might be the cause, but also blames massive interlinking in blog networks.
Many of the reputable sources that have received a penalty are part of extensive blog networks, and they have one factor in common. They have massive interlinking between their network sites.
TechCrunch further explains this point.
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.
This, apparently, is just an implementation of the following Google Guideline:
Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
What to do now?
A few webmasters are now scrambling to find solutions to get their PR back, either by removing Text Link Ads and other paid links advertising in their sites and by using the “nofollow” tag in hyperlinks. After changes are made to your site, it is suggested that you submit a reconsideration request in Google Webmaster Tools to notify them that you now adhere to the guidelines. Dosh Dosh and a few blog writers, however, are saying that webmasters should not let themselves be controlled by Google’s whims.
So what if PageRank weakens your position on a ranking list or advertising network? You don’t need systems that use PageRank as a metric for measuring comparative value. Really, you don’t need them at all. There are literally hundreds of different ways to build your brand and get valuable traffic from a variety of other sources. Stop complaining. Pagerank is simply a webmaster fetish. It’s a inside joke that’s gone too far. Washington Post and Forbes were penalized. But do you really think Aunt Mary or Uncle Joe will give a toss about it? They’ll still type in the URL or click on the bookmark icon faithfully because they want to get the info-fix they need.
If you still chose to obey Google, just be careful because if Google indeed is the devil, you might end up with a “666″ stamped on your forehead, just like the Google stock price. An early Halloween joke, there. Har, har.