If you haven’t heard of it yet, Google has already updated the PR or pageranks. Some sites were updated a couple weeks ago while some just got it within the past couple of days. What comes as a surprise though is how several popular websites and blogs got hit with penalties and lost rankings in the process.
The question now is, what is/are the reasons why these sites and blogs were penalized? No one can answer it except Google and for now we can only speculate and come up with different theories. One of the most popular theories is “paid links” that don’t use the nofollow attributes. Another theory is that Google is changing the PageRank algorithm.
If its about “paid links”, it doesn’t make sense because some of the blogs that got penalized don’t sell paid links. Two good examples are ProBlogger and Copyblogger. ProBlogger hasn’t sold paid links in months and Copyblogger never sold links. If its not about paid links, what is it then? Were they penalized for removing Adsense ads or is it just Google readjusting the PR scale?
Andy Beard who was penalized two weeks ago thinks that another reason for some of the penalties is a violation of Google guidelines:
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.
He explains that while some blogs don’t sell paid links, some of them got penalized because they were part of an extensive blog network and that they have massive interlinking between their network sites.
Dot com mogul John Chow, whose blog rank dropped from a PR 6 to a PR 4 has this to say:
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 that that much harder for the link resellers to sell links.
If you ask John, he’ll tell you not to worry too much about the recent PR update results. His advise is to check your blog’s search traffic over the next two weeks and if there’s no significant drop and/or remains the same, then PageRank is nothing more but a number. And with that, PageRank also becomes completely irrelevant.
DailyBlogTips has a list of some popular sites/blogs that got penalized:
Popular blogs that recently lost PR:
- Engadget (from 7 to 5)
- AutoBlog (from 6 to 4)
- Problogger (from 6 to 4)
- Copyblogger (from 6 to 4)
- Search Engine Journal (from 7 to 4)
- Quick Online Tips (from 6 to 3)
- Search Engine Roundtable (from 7 to 4)
- Blog Herald (from 6 to 4)
- Weblog Tools Collection (from 6 to 4)
- JohnTP (from 6 to 4)
- Coolest Gadgets (from 5 to 3)
Mainstream websites that were selling links and were also penalized:
- Washington Post (from 7 to 5)
- Washington Times (from 6 to 4)
- Charlotte Observer (from 6 to 4)
- Forbes.com (from 7 to 5)
- SFGate.com (from 7 to 5)
- Sun Times (from 7 to 5)
- New Scientist (from 7 to 5)
- Seattle Times (from 6 to 4)
You can also check out Andy Beard’s list here.
Amidst all the penalties being thrown, there’s one blog that actually got an increase in PR after the last update. AdesBlog jumped from a PR 5 to a PR 7.
In my case, I didn’t even know that Google already did the PR update. I only knew about it while I was chatting with my friend Retz and he told me that Google PageRank was just updated and that his blog’s rank dropped. I immediately visited CheckPageRank and checked my blog’s PageRank and was relieved to find out that it remained at PR 5. I’m sure this will remain as a hot topic in the Internet, especially in the blogosphere and I’m sure everyone would like to know the answer or the reasons for the recent Google PR update results.
Have you checked your blog’s PageRank lately? Did your blog lose or gain ranking? What do you think about this recent development? Does this mean that PageRank is becoming irrelevant? Share your thoughts!