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Google Bitch-Slaps Bloggers


spat the dummy two days ago (again) and started penalising some popular sites by radically lowering their Page Rank. Look at some of the big guns amongst this lot and see how they've been chopped off at the knees -

autoblog.com PR6 PR4
engadget.com PR7 PR5
problogger.net PR6 PR4
copyblogger.com PR6 PR4
joystiq.com PR6 PR4
tuaw.com PR6 PR4

searchengineguide.com PR7 PR4
searchenginejournal.com PR7 PR4
johnchow.com PR6 PR4
quickonlinetips.com PR6 PR3
weblogtoolscollection.com PR6 PR4
andybeard.eu PR5 PR3

seroundtable.com PR7 PR4
blogherald.com PR6 PR4
Forbes.com PR7 PR5
sfgate.com PR7 PR5
washingtonpost.com PR7 PR5
thegadgetblog.com PR5 PR3

space.com PR7 PR5
newscientist.com PR7 PR5
adesblog.com PR7 PR5
wunderground.com PR7 PR5
onemansblog.com PR7 PR5

And this is just a tiny sample. The buzz on the net, especially from the people affected, seems to be "Who cares about Google PageRank? - it doesn't count any more". That may be true in one sense. But PageRank still remains some sort of indicator of how good a site is. Maybe not in the lower rankings but you know if you see a PR6 or more, that the site at least has decent traffic if not decent links. But...and it's a BIG but...PageRank can be manipulated - we all know that (just don't get caught). So my view is that Google is sending a warning to people who are using linkfarms or buying and selling links. I mean they even say in their terms and Conditions -

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.

The other possibility is that Google are gunning for the Text Link Ads. Some of these sites above, I notice, don't use Adsense but the other Pay-Per-Click advertising options. And that's another funny thing - the Adsense earnings seem to have fallen dramatically in the last month.

Hmmm...what are the mad-scientists at Google up to I wonder? Its a bit scary how much power they have over the web, don't you think?

They talk about the effect the downgrading will have on the Blog world here at The Sydney Morning Herald.

Google is tight-lipped about changes to its algorithms, but bloggers have speculated it made the most recent change to crack down on the buying and selling of text links outside the Google AdSense network. Many website operators pay higher-ranked sites to link to them, in order to trick Google's computers into thinking the site is more authoritative and thus securing it a higher ranking in search results.

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Reader Comments (2)

Good website! Thanks for your information.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCharon
Thank you for the great post. It's seem everything come back to normal now.
September 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDennis

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