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|PR and Backlink Update|
8:30 pm EDST
I am seeing a PR/backlinks update on some of my sites
There is an easier and cheaper way to do this, make a website that blantantly advertises selling PR and link to all of your competitors from this new website.
At the risk of wandering off-topic (we started talking about this specific update) I must say that I think the question before us seems to be "Does/will G penalize you based on a link to your site, originating from a site/page that is selling links?"
I think I've seen G do this before and could cite examples, but as others here (way smarter than I) have said, it's difficult to prove betond ALL reasonable doubt. Looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, but...
Frankly, I'm surprised some slimeball hasn't tried doing exactly what my3cents described (but certainly not suggested or endorsed).
Frankly, I think OJ was guilty;)
my3cents, you may have just opened the door for someone here to cross over to the dark side
my3cents didn't open the door. I believe this idea or something damn close to it has been mentioned by others in this thread and I've seen something very much like it discussed in other threads in the past.
The door was always open.
In a more topic-centered vein, I just discovered to my horror that an affiliate site to whom I once sold links from one of my sites, is now showing my site as a backlink! I checked and the page no longer has that link (been gone for some time now). Could this put me in G's cross-hairs even though the backlink is from a cached page?
I'm sure I didn't open that door, people have been on the dark side for a long time. My point was to show how stupid this whole thing is, if google is penalizing sites because of a link to your site, it would be unfair, because you cannot control who links to you.
It does make sense to penalize the site selling PR however, which would discourage people from doing what I described because if it didn't work, they would be giving their competition backlinks and eventually they would have put all of the work into a site that gets penalized and doesn't have any value.
Also, I really don't think that this whole thing revolves around incoming links, as I've stated before, the problem is how google is not consolidating urls. I have found examples of many edu and gov websites that are not involved in PR related linking and they have taken a hit because their urls are listed or partially indexed with dynamic strings that are not from their site, but appear to be from other search engines results.
Hmmm. Further inspection dating back to last Thursday shows that it's not our traffic that is off 30% ... our traffic is fine. It's mainly conversion that is way off. But again, that's with rankings that seem the same or better than what they were prior to this update.
Somehow G is managing to send us *lower quality* traffic than before, without obvious changes in the amount of traffic, or in our rankings. We saw this during Florida too. That time, it took several weeks for conversions to recover, for whatever reason. As I recall, that was when GG was preaching that they should have been sending us *higher quality* traffic, not lower quality. Oh well.
Caveman, I agree with that observation. The traffic has "gone bad" when it comes to paying.
PR0 is simply PR that's less than PR1, in the same way that 75 cents is less than a dollar. It's rounded off to the lower number is all.
What's so blatantly obvious about links bought for PR is that there's always a list of text links with easily recognizable anchor text. You can almost predict before looking what they'll be. It's the presence of sites for certain markets and the anchor text that are a dead giveaway.
"Does/will G penalize you based on a link to your site, originating from a site/page that is selling links?"
Since yesterday we know that "backlink penalizing" is possible... sites were penalized because they were linked to from a big - and stupid - link seller that sold most off-topics links you can imagine... and a lot of them...
It's two affil-sites of mine that died because of his rotten links.
It's three customer's sites that died because of his rotten links...
- vanishing text - URL ONLY symptom for some weeks now..
- decreasing PR (PR7=>PR6)
- reduction to 10 to 20 pages (urls) in the inurl query now
- where 80k have been before
We don't expect to get our sites back so soon...
So by all means it would be very easily possible to purchase some links on that site (which are rotten and thereby cheap) to kill your major competitor's site.
(a site that was 2 yrs old has "vanished" from Google now!)
"We'd see these "Pr selling" businesses disappear overnight, as well as ending these discussions for good."
Obviously not. Only not very bright people would be put off by the green bar disappearing. It's constantly amazing how people think removing the *display* of the green bar would change anything. Try to understand, as long as Google employs the concept of pagerank, pagerank will be valuable, whether it is displayed on the toolbar or not. Sure, the not-very-bright will think "out of sight, doesn't exist", but anyone with a showbox full of sense will know that it still exists, and what type of sites have it, etc.
|Obviously not. Only not very bright people would be put off by the green bar disappearing. It's constantly amazing how people think removing the *display* of the green bar would change anything. Try to understand, as long as Google employs the concept of pagerank, pagerank will be valuable, whether it is displayed on the toolbar or not. Sure, the not-very-bright will think "out of sight, doesn't exist", but anyone with a showbox full of sense will know that it still exists, and what type of sites have it, etc. |
I love it when someone calls my intelligence into question.
Of course it will "exist", that's not the point at all. the POINT is, no one wil be able to use the pagerank as "exposed" on the toolbar as a marketing tool in and of itself to conduct the business of selling links. Of course people have and will always sell links (which I personally think is just fine), but they will no longer be able to "point' to the toolbar and say "my site is a PR8, therefore advertising here cost XX amount". They will instead have to "prove" the value of their site to their advertisers the old fashioned way - by demonstrating traffic/demo's to targeted clients.
Further, all these "Oh no, my PR fell to 5" discussions, rants, etc., will not have a reason to complain due to the fact that a visible PR would no longer be driving the "Mania".
|A few of our competitors in various categories with PR's ranging from 6 to 8 on their homepages just went to PR0 on their homepages (possibly for buying links). Their subpages retain their PR. |
My home page went to PR0 this time and subpages hold their PR. I haven't bought any links or done anything tricky. Clean site (as far as I know). I'm not worried so far because I haven't lost any rankings or traffic.
Aha. I just checked now and my PR is back. Actually went up. But the point being that PR0 doesn't necessarily mean penalty.
"no one wil be able to use the pagerank as "exposed" on the toolbar as a marketing tool in and of itself to conduct the business of selling links"
And again, this is absurd. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist!
C'mon now, you can't actually believe this. If the toolbar PR bar disappeared this second, what would change? Not a thing... for people who weren't either novices or just clueless. Any experienced person would know, for example, that a link on the webmasterworld main page had pagerank value... and a link on this forum page was worth little. Those php sites would still have high pagerank. Some would still sell links with that goal in mind. Some of that universe would not pass PR... and seo worth anything would be able to deduce approximately what is what *easily*.
Removing the toolbar display would of course greatly benefit competent seo's and hurt novices and mom and pop entities, but it certainly would do nothing whatsoever to effect the buying and selling of links for pagerank. In fact, it would inevitably significantly encourage the practice.
It is not absurd. Why do you always belittle other members when you don't agree with them?
bether2, FWIW I should not have added the parenthetical thought about "possibly buying links" because I don't believe it's dangerous per se. People buy links/text ads all the time, and as mfishy as pointed out somewhere this would be an easy way to kill a competitor. For that reason alone it makes no sense. OTOH, buying *thousands* of links just to affect PR may be an issue, but that's quite a different thing.
Regarding PR6-8 homepages that were still performing extremely well albeit now with PR0's, my only point was that it was odd, that I had not seen it before, and that I wondered if it would lead to bad news for those pages. Just pointing out an oddity really.
WebFusion, as far as steveb's comments, I thought he was referring to me, and as I'm not very bright, I hadn't really taken it as an insult. :-)
a quick question
why would google penalize the sites that these 'PR for sale' sites link to?
Would it not be more logical to remove the PR of sites that sell PR?
I personally buy advertisments and text links from sites that sell 'advertising/sponsorship spots'. On Topic industy leaders (if they can be found).
I dont trust any SEO as the tempation to cross to the 'dark side' is too great for many.
I look for site owners that dont focus on PR and thus have grown naturally. Therefore the risk of them getting penalised is small.
yankee, please address the issues and leave personalities out of it as they have nothing to do with anything. I didn't belittle anyone, so please save your comments for somewhere else.
And yes, the *idea* that selling pagerank would cease if the little green bar disappeared is absurd. It's like thinking if you closed your eyes the practice would stop.
As long as pagerank is considered valuable by some people, those people will buy and sell it, whether it is displayed in some silly green bar or not.
There are nicer ways to disagree with people than to call their ideas absurd. That is quite simply, rude.
You say the green bar is "silly". Then why do you have it installed?
i have to agree with the others, i think it is a very valid point,
if one doesn't know the exact page rank of a site then it makes it a little more difficult for webmasters and seo'ers to target the pr6,7 or 8 sites to pay and get links from
i think this is my first post here, i've been around for a while and learning a lot from everyone
"Then why do you have it installed?"
Because it is very useful and timesaving. The display isn't some fundmental reason for living though. You seem to think that if the display is removed that pagerank wouldn't exist. In my opinion, these ideas make no sense. You are welcome to have them though.
stringsandbeyond, yes, if the display were removed it would make things more difficult, which is my point. It should be clear that the buying and selling of pagerank would increase by a significant degree if the green display would be removed, and that knowledgable people would benefit because they would buy and sell more sensibly in comparison to novices and not-knowledgable people, who would either be unaware of it or would be ineffectively/foolishly buying where they shouldn't.
I suspect much of the anti-green bar talk has been historically from sophisticated seo's who would love to have the playing field even more unlevel. In my niches I certainly don't need the green bar to fairly accurately estimate the pagerank of sites. Backlinks, objective quality of linking sites, yahoo/Dmoz categories clicks away from the main pages, and search ranking position all offer significant information that makes estimating PR not very hard at all.
What would become much more hard would be to estimate bad neighborhoods and penalized sites (particularly PR-selling penalized sites). Google has made it pretty clear linking to bad neighborhoods is bad. The toolbar is one thing that can be used to offer solid hints about this, and thus is a very valuable tool to webmasters, especially non-hardcore seos.
The bottom line is that as long as Pagerank, or anything, is valuable, it will be a bought and sold (or bartered) commodity. Making it slightly more difficult to accurately judge value will just make the marketplace more active, more in-your-face aggressive, with more money thrown around and with more damage done to the genuineness of the search results. With the information public, the problem is significantly smaller (though it does exist of course).
<and welcome to webmasterworld>
I guess your definition of silly is different than mine.
"should be clear that the buying and selling of pagerank would increase by a significant degree if the green display would be removed"
Sorry, but you'll have to explain this one further. It makes no sense to me, and seems like you are the only here who thinks this.
|Hmmm. Further inspection dating back to last Thursday shows that it's not our traffic that is off 30% ... our traffic is fine. It's mainly conversion that is way off. But again, that's with rankings that seem the same or better than what they were prior to this update. |
Somehow G is managing to send us *lower quality* traffic than before, without obvious changes in the amount of traffic, or in our rankings.
Maybe the problem is with your product and not google. Sheesh, are we blaming Google for every little thing now?
In general, what's more valuable: something everyone can plainly see and easily have, or something more difficult to locate and harder to obtain?
You can think this one thing will be the exception to all human experience, but again that just doesn't make any sense.
Pagerank is sucha n elusive creature, I have begun to use Mozilla and I haven't benn seeing page-rank for 3 months now. I look at it when I do my monthly marketing reports, I reference it once in general client stats and thats it.
To me it is valuble as a tool to talk with other webmasters about, the client cares little about a green bar they never pay attention too. They look at traffic and cash flow.
My point is that if you get lots of incoming links, without looking at PR yours will go up.
I have never paid for a link (except directories) and I just wont, I don't believe that it is useful.
I think both opinions here are true to some point.
steveb ist obviously right, that although PR is no longer shown it will exist.
The others say that when PR is not shown all those "semi-professional-seos" will no longer be able to collect links as easy as at the moment. For skilled people it will always be eays to value a site and see things which might break the google guidelines.
But those people only look at the PR of a site and if it is good they ask for a link.
Example of one of my sites:
Site got PR0 during this update, same thing as bether2 said above. Rankings are stable and some subpages have still PR. I think it is due to a server change.
All those "semi-skilled link trade seos" send me e-mails saying that my site as been penalized by google and they will remove my links. This is simply stupid but they don't get it. Simply by looking at the rankings they would see that there is no penalty on my site. But they are focused on PR absolutely, and it is not possible to make them look a bit wider than that.
This problem would be fixed when removing the PR from the toolbar.
Ahh.. so much of ranting about selling PR and the penalties. I am not even sure if Google is simply deviating people from this PR fixation.
On a side note as far as buying links, a site I have been keeping track of, has 2000+ backlinks.
About 1500 links are bought from a PR8 site and another 500 links are bought from a PR 7 site. In the update the PR8 site has a zero PR. Still the site has gone up in SERPs compared to what it was about a month back. No other links. 99% of links are from only those 2 domains.
I always welcome the presence of that little green bar because it makes my work and life easier. People will always need to have some kinds of tool or benchmarks to rate the things. Today it happens to be that green bar which is widely accepted and popular.
There is always room to look at the bigger pictures. If that green bar were to vanish today, what do you think people will use as the benchmark to rate the site or links in the next 6 months? Nothing? or Would it be Traffic Ranks of Alexa, Webranks of Yahoo or GateRanks of MSN (if it were to exist) or something else? People will always need to find some ways. If it were to be the Webranks of Yahoo, then we will hear some noise again very similar to this one that Yahoo should take away their Webranks. After Yahoo takes away their Webrank, then another cycle begins.
As long as "link popularity" is the fundamental concepts of today SEO, there is no way to end this cycle and there is no way you can stop people from creating, producing, or refering some other tools as a benchmark - Not even Google abolision of PR toolbar.
|I always welcome the presence of that... green |
Fwiw, my home page has stayed unchanged at PR6, second-level interior pages have PR5. I still rank between 1 - 3 for around 20 of the money keywords in my industry. At least untill the guillotine drops(?)
But backlinks went from thousands to only around 110.
The thing is, I had bought a tiny text link on every page of one of those sites you're discussing which sells links; it's a news site, and I sell an unrelated product. I didn't want to, but my major competitors were doing it, so I felt I had to keep up with the Joneses...ran it past a very respectable SEO first (forum moderator, lectures at Search Engine Startegies Conference) and she was totally gung-ho. I've been paying US$100 a month for a fsckload of backlinks, but all from the same site.
Weird thing is: my biggest serp competitor also bought links there, as well as from another similar site, but I balked about the other link seller because those guys wanted $300 per month, and I didn't feel like blowing the money. So, after this update the site I used is gone from my backlinks and also from all of my competitors' backlinks. But G hasn't nailed the $300 a month site, so my competitor still has a boatload of links, while I'm down to circa 110. I notified Google; we'll see if anything happens.
I had several hundred (like, 900 or something at least) carefully cultivated, narrowly on-topic backlinks and they're gone too. A great many were directory listings and non-recip; maybe that has something to do with things now.
I'm mostly white hat; my greatest sin is probably that I'm a little aggressive with grey-hat keyword stuffing/GoogleBombing on my backlinks hyperlink text and non-link-text descriptions. Suddenly I'm paranoid that I could have been penalized for those.
A Google search for my business name still brings up my site, so I haven't been banned. But old wise WebmasterWorld members will tell you G rarely bans a site (anymore). They just ignore and discount it.
The huge mystery to me is, how do I go from thousands of backlinks to only around 100, yet keep a PR6 and positions 1-2 in the SERPS? Am I about to get slaughtered? Is the other shoe about to drop?
>>Maybe the problem is with your product and not google. Sheesh, are we blaming Google for every little thing now?
John_Creed, perhaps you missed my point. G supplies about 40% of our site's traffic (much appreciated!) and has done so more or less consistently for three years (less since Y woke up).
Our conversion rates are pretty solid and tend to grow slightly over time as we fine tune and test.
However, since this last update (or whatever it is), the traffic G has sent us, while constant in numbers, has been converting at a rate about 30% lower than before the update. We made no changes to the site; G made changes somehow in the quality of traffic they are sending.
GG has on numerous occasions repeated the message that site owners should concern themselves less with *total* traffic than with *quality* traffic, i.e., traffic that responds well to the intent of the site (i.e., sales, lead generation, or whatever).
So it's more than reasonable to point out that following an update, the traffic being sent by G, while comparable in sheer number, has suddenly deteriorated in quality. It's a basic yardstick that GG himself has repeatedly advocated, and rightly so.
|So it's more than reasonable to point out that following an update, the traffic being sent by G, while comparable in sheer number, has suddenly deteriorated in quality. |
Google will be delighted to hear that.
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