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Paid text link ads can cause lower PageRank

It’s now confirmed. The Google PageRank (PR) update on October 25 that downgraded the PageRanks (PR)¬†of hundreds of sites and blogs worldwide was Google’s way of saying it is serious in the campaign against buying and selling advertising links.

This was confirmed by Google employee and blogger Matt Cutts himself in an email sent to Search Engine Journal. The gist of the email:

The partial update to visible PageRank that went out a few days ago was primarily regarding PageRank selling and the forward links of sites. So paid links that pass PageRank would affect our opinion of a site.

Going forward, I expect that Google will be looking at additional sites that appear to be buying or selling PageRank.

Google has, for several months now, reiterated its aversion against the growing trend of paid text links in websites. Although Google’s Webmasters’ Guidelines has long advised site owners not to “participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank,” the recent PR downgrade was one of Google’s first clear moves to curb this trend.

Some sites incorrectly penalized

Interestingly, however, a few websites that have not participated or have stopped participating in buying and selling of links were also penalized. Google initially slapped these websites with a PR penalty but revoked it after confirming that the sites are not (anymore) involved in paid links.

These sites include Darren Rowse’s whose PR dropped from 6 to 4 but is now back to 6; Technology blog which saw its PR swing from 7 to 5 and now to 7 again; and Philippine news site whose PR fell from 6 to 4 and now back to 6.

Other sites that were penalized but reportedly not involved in paid text links are still waiting for their PRs to be reinstated.

Several Philippine sites also slapped with PR penalty

Our article Google PageRank downgrade and the curse of the 666 listed several local websites that were penalized with the PageRank reduction. The most recent PR update (done during the weekend), however, showed that some of these sites have already gained back a few PR scores.

The table below lists the PRs of some local sites before and after the downgrade, and after this week’s new PageRank update.

Website Original PR PR as of Oct. 25 PR as of Nov. 8 6 4 6 6 4 4 6 4 5 5 3 3 5 3 3 5 3 3 5 3 3 4 2 3

Our site,, gained back PR after removing links inviting advertisers to purchase text ads. Whether our PR will revert to 4, however, still remains to be seen.

Google seems to have rectified its mistake of penalizing which does not sell links. The news site’s PageRank has now been reinstated to 6.

Live PR check for the website, on the other hand, shows a PageRank of 4, down from PR 6. We believe the downgrade was due to the fact that continues to host paid links on the left-side portion of the site.

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6 thoughts on “Paid text link ads can cause lower PageRank”

  1. Michaeldj says:

    I now notice some huge drops of certain link selling websites. And now they are suffering from 8 PR down to 0.

  2. xpert-zone xpertise solution says:

    well i don’t know why they have downgraded PR for xpertise solution website like ours

  3. Delwar Jahan says:

    I don’t think it was penalized for link selling. It might be the reason of unnecessary link building to the diffrent niche site. Page rank have really not too much in use if you cant provide some attractive content to your users.


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