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PR goes down 2nd time in a month - many sites affected
dataguy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 12:53 pm on Oct 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

This morning I see that the home page of my site has gone down to PR3. It had gone down to PR4 (from PR5) a few weeks ago when everyone was talking about Google doing a manual adjustment of sites thought to be selling links.

I could care less about the little green bar, traffic is at an all time high for this site. We have never bought or sold links for this site or any other site we own. I don't care if the site goes PR0 as long as Google doesn't stop sending us visitors.

Any idea what is going on?

 

hugh

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 4:03 pm on Oct 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Several sites (DP & SEL) are reporting an update with a number of larger site loosing PR...

[edited by: tedster at 6:16 pm (utc) on Oct. 24, 2007]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

dataguy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 6:53 pm on Oct 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

From what I can tell, many are saying this TBPR drop is aimed at link farms, many of them blogging sites.

I don't know what this has to do with me, though.

whitenight

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 7:10 pm on Oct 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

I could care less about the little green bar, traffic is at an all time high for this site. We have never bought or sold links for this site or any other site we own. I don't care if the site goes PR0 as long as Google doesn't stop sending us visitors

Hmm I suspected this is the usual case as opposed to the exception.

I can only assume that Google is thinking that by lowering the percieved value of the site (TBPR) instead of the actual value of the site (real behind-the-scenes-used-for-rankings PR) they can discourage a majority of the link buying/selling.

Part of me says, "Stop bluffing Goog.
Start actually penalizing sites and watch how the SERPs are affected.
Pretty sure, you, your visitors, and your stock prices might not like the results"

But I agree, I keep hearing about TBPR dropping but not hearing stories of massive rankings/visitors dropping.

So who knows how far they plan to drive this game of chicken...

matrix_neo

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 7:12 pm on Oct 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

From what I can tell, many are saying this TBPR drop is aimed at link farms, many of them blogging sites.

I guess there could be manual as well as algo tweeking, I hope you got hit by algo. However I believe the initiative by google regarding links in general (restricting receips, directory, blogs and more) has really made any webmaster die for a single link inturn boosted the link selling than ever before.

JS_Harris

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 7:51 am on Oct 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've done some research, it appears that the heaviest hit sites are those heavily pushing affiliate related programs but theres a catch, it's the affiliate heavy sites that someone has complained about that got dinged, not all sites.

I did a case study on webmasters with a network of sites a while back, I was wanting to know if google changes are sitewide or networkwide at the time. That was five months ago but the data now screams that only sites complained about got reduced. Of the 13 networks I just looked over again only the prominent sites in each network got reduced despite there being nearly identical other sites in the same network.

Theres a simple explanation too.

When someone takes a moment to report a site, they don't name every site in the network, instead they name the most prominent one. Also, the "report this site" feature tracks to the site that was just viewed by the complainer. I think the update was a result of Google employees pushing the results of their less than easy follow up on complaints. Thats my theory for tonight, I reserve the right to come up with another tommorow, and the next day too.

It also looks like being affiliate heavy isn't an end all, those sites offering extra value really didn't get touched.

matrix_neo

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 8:15 am on Oct 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't believe that it has some thing to do with affiliate links since i have noticed all sorts sites are affected, including the once which does not have any aff links at all.

BradleyT

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 1:19 pm on Oct 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Has anyone gotten a bump in PR or is it only down?

matrix_neo

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 2:04 pm on Oct 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I got got 0-3 for one website. Bit confused with this since I thought its only about downgrading.

Bewenched

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 3:11 pm on Oct 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've done some research, it appears that the heaviest hit sites are those heavily pushing affiliate related programs but theres a catch, it's the affiliate heavy sites that someone has complained about that got dinged, not all sites.

If they are truely targeting affiliate linking then why the heck isn't Amazon penalized. Not only do they have affiliates, but bogus websites that list products with a form post that goes to amazon.

[edited by: Bewenched at 3:11 pm (utc) on Oct. 25, 2007]

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 3:50 pm on Oct 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

If they are truely targeting affiliate linking

They aren't. They've made it clear that they don't have much use for "thin affiliate" sites, but that's a whole different thing from targeting affiliate links.

matrix_neo

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 8:02 am on Oct 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I would like to throw few senarios for consideration:

1. Google reducing the PR of link selling websites:

Advantage:

Downgraded PR could affect the link seller's credibility to their customer (Avarage internet user) since customers might take a long time to learn and adjust. I still check the PR of the site before I buy, though it does not make much sense, it is just a habit and has a significant impact on my decision as well.

Disadvantagious or unhelpful:

Google downgrading PR for the whole site instead of paidlink pages alone.

Some site don't sell links could also be affected that can create frustration, and the frustration could be worse since google has made link building extremely difficult.

It is already been reported here that google has downgraded the PR twice this month, I guess this may not have much or significant impact on link selling since the sellers and buyers will also adjust them selves.

Unaffected sites link pricing will be inflated. Would not be worth the money people will still be going for it.

2. PR reduction for paidlink pages, External link juice not passed, serp penaulty:

I believe blocking the link juice is already in practice with out much success with paidlinks, since most of the link buyers are businessmen not technical persons and they are not aware of this.

Serp penaulty for this would really make webmasters fired up and start the negative campain againt google saying that google

is imposing it disability on to the webmasters.

3. Dopping the PR completely:

I would prefer this like many others, but google may not be ready, for some reasons. But it can really improve the internet many ways. People will start trusting sites with good design and usability, it will force website owners to create more usable websites. People will also have difficulty on deciding the credibility of the website without the toolbar ultimately people will struggle and learn to assess websites. It will make consumers more intellegent. Google might loose a lot of data thorugh toolbar. People will only buy links for traffic, link juice will not matter since no one will have a clue how much it has really.

Suggestions:

Google can reduce link importance and improve the other factors. People are already sick of link development.

Reducing PR for specific pages will make webmasters to implement nofollow immediately, God should take care of innocent webmasters.

Reducing PR just shows the EGO of google, and only helps to threaten the webmasters and does not improve the serps. Stoping the link juice will the job. But PR reduction makes the site drop in customer's point of view, alternatively the PR can be turned off.

Adding nofollow should bring the PR back. (However I will not do that my paidlinks are as good as natural, some people live for their ideas whatsoever google is ;) I am not guilty of being paid and do not come under google juridistriction)

[edited by: tedster at 4:45 pm (utc) on Oct. 25, 2007]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

skibum

WebmasterWorld Administrator skibum us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 11:19 pm on Oct 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

From here it looks like they just flipped a switch and all rankings dropped. The same thing happens every 4-12 months. Traffic goes way up, traffic goes way down. A few hundred pages of all original content with some affiliate links. No purchased or sold text links. There are always a few keywords that maintain their spots near the top but not sure why.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 1:11 am on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Soon after Google started talking about paid links, Matt Cutts mentioned all kinds of options that Google had available technically. For example - stop PR from passing on a complete domain, or a page, or just one link.

Looks like these may all be in use selectively, according to whatever "logic" Google has decided to use in each individual situation.

thaidomain

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 2:52 am on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

I came to look for information regarding sudden PR drops for our main website. Could not find any reason myself, only been updating and improving the site continuously. After reading comments here, we realized there was a small table on our entry page, containing links to other sites, under the heading 'sponsors'. These were just 'regular' link exchanges. When reviewing the sites on that list, we noticed that one of the sites linking to us (where we also were listed on their entry page) was apparently involved in selling links. There were a number of links on the site with some funny titles and content unrelated to the site in question.
Now, we assume that we were punished because of receiving links (and linking to) a bad neighborhood. The site in question had a high PR till recently, but now had dropped to a PR of 2.
Luckily we found out about this, I guess. We removed our link to that site, and informed them also about the problem.
Of course, we can not prove any relation between our drop in PR, and the observations we made. In any case, it looks quite possible that Google assumes we are involved in link selling or buying, because of our links exchange with a site selling links.
This is actually a bit disturbing, since we offer also a web directory with many thousands of links, and it would be kind of impossible to check out whether the sites we link to from our directory, start selling links after they are listed on our site.
We actually send an email to Google, not sure whether it will have any use. The funny thing is, there is not a single link from our site, that is paid for, and we do not run paid advertisements either.

Kimkia

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 6:00 am on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have a small section in the right sidebar of my home page clearly identified as Sponsored Links, with a rel:nofollow on each.

I have six links there; one from a private deal, and five from a text link network. I have checked out all the sites and decided they are relevant enough to my traffic to merit a link. I have also refused opportunities that weren't relevant.

I used to be a PR6 site, downgraded to 5, and now to PR3. Upon checking the blog of the text link network, I'm starting to panic. With blog entries like How Evil is Google Today and Google is Pissy - something I would never enter in my own blog - I have to wonder.

I'm on the verge of cutting loose from the text link network (which might mean kissing goodbye to all the revenue earned to date this month) and yet I find the Big Brother aspect of this highly disturbing. It's my site; I should be free to decide without prejudice what sites I link to or what advertising I allow.

That aspect of this move by Google to downgrade sites that allow text links upsets me more than anything I ever encountered from the start of my site. One of the most wonderful things about having your own site is the fact that you answer to no one; that you are your own boss; that you alone decide what is pertinent on any given page.

Today, I fear, that has changed. Money talks, as we all know. And money equals power. The power, perhaps, to force people to drop text link ads on their sites -- that is, of course, if they don't happen to appear through AdSense?

Very scary stuff. I thought better of Google. I truly believed that Google was a corporation that actually operated with morals and ethics.

Now I'm not so sure. If I what I suspect is true, then what a sad day this is for everyone on the internet. For shame, Google - you had a chance to show us all how to do things better and you just blew it.

trakkerguy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 6:41 am on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Kimkia - So your TBPR dropped.

You say your sold links are all "nofollow" so a lower TBPR shouldn't matter to the buyers.

And you don't mention any change in your ranking in search results, so why do you care?

cbpayne

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 7:23 am on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Maybe the answer lies in this quote from a Googler in todays The Age in Melbourne, Australia:
A Google spokesman said in a statement: "Values in the Google Toolbar can fluctuate for a number of normal reasons, including changes in how we crawl or index the web, or changes in the link structure of the web itself."

The PageRank could be updated by Google to "to incorporate not only our view on the backlinks to a page or site, but also to incorporate our opinion of the forward links for a site".


Is this but also to incorporate our opinion of the forward links for a site something new from Google or have I missed something.

Kimkia

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 7:44 am on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Kimkia - So your TBPR dropped.
You say your sold links are all "nofollow" so a lower TBPR shouldn't matter to the buyers.

And you don't mention any change in your ranking in search results, so why do you care?

My links are all "nofollow" as of about two months ago, when following a thread on WebmasterWorld, I realized from quotes from Matt's blog and other sources that paid links were going to be penalized, and the "nofollow" was recommended.

I'm not sure if the buyers of the text ads realize the "nofollow" is there. Although the text link network does a daily test to check that the links are active, I've yet to see any complaint about the "rel: nofollow". Also, the ads are to sites that sell products related to my content site, but not in competion with it, since my content is free to everyone, and what the advertisers are selling are completed products, or supplies to make completed products related to my site content.

Why do I care? Well, while the Google Toolbar PR remains in place as a measure of a site's success, to be downgraded in it obviously impacts my site. It affects my site's reputation and is still widely used as a measure of a site's worth when it comes to placement of advertising.

That being so, Google obviously controls much of my site's worth in term of advertisers, either directly through AdSense, or indirectly, by affecting the perceived value of my site to advertisers seeking text link placements through a network.

So far, I have to say, my site hasn't been impacted in SERPs. If that happens, I will lose all faith in Google completely - and right now I use Google almost exclusively for searches etc. But if I find that Google search results are being impacted by a Big Brother eye on sites that offer text links other than AdSense - well, you figure it out. If that happens, IMHO, then Google can no longer be trusted for results based upon a site's main content. The best you could hope for is the best results among AdSense sites or those that offer no other similiar
advertising. That's a totally different business model than the Google that I thought existed. It's a totally different Google. Period.

Halfdeck

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 9:19 am on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

If a buyer's ranking doesn't change, there's no reason to stop paying for a link, even if a TBPR 7 page now reads TBPR 2. The real PageRank remains the same.

Google needs to stop expecting webmasters to comply. They will never comply. Google has the money and human resources, so pour them into developing a better set of algorithms.

derekwong28

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 11:38 am on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

"With blog entries like How Evil is Google Today and Google is Pissy - something I would never enter in my own blog - I have to wonder."

I suggest that you read the blog entry fully. How evil is Google today refers to the fact that the share price of Google reached $666.66

Although I have to say that right now, I am feeling a great deal of evil from them.

lgn1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 11:41 am on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

None of my new sites have PR, and I checked across mulitple datacenters. Its been 179 days since the last update, and if Google is switching to twice a year, one would expect an update over the next several days.

Deep down, I just wished Google would set everybodies Toolbar PR to grey (even Google itself), and be done with it. Then we will have one less thing to complain about.

RichTC

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 12:05 pm on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sites ive noticed that have been marked down are newspaper type classified sites along with various high PR sites that carry links on behalf of text link brokers.

In most cases they have "Sponsored Links" boxes to the right of the page or in the footer - A lot of sites have been hit!

From reasearch ive done i think that other threads here that have explored if google also refers to IP Ranges, refers to whois data etc etc is pure tosh. The reason being that spamming groups could list various sites under a multitude of names on a multitude of servers anyway if required so it would be totally pointless.

I think this PR mark down and the way google decides which sites to hit is dead simple - imho, Google have simply adjusted their algo to look for sites that have outbounds to third party sites (not relevent to them)and if the words "Sponsored Links" is also showing its good night vienna! - I think its that simple.

Sure some hand editing may have gone on but its more likely that the sample set of sites reported were used to look for similar aspects that could be added to the algorythm.

glengara

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 1:08 pm on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Is this "but also to incorporate our opinion of the forward links for a site" something new from Google or have I missed something."

It sounds as if it might be, on the other hand PR penalties for IBL/OBL linkage infractions while less common these days go back years...

WiseWebDude

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 2:34 pm on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

In most cases they have "Sponsored Links" boxes to the right of the page or in the footer - A lot of sites have been hit!

Hm, Google itself requires the term: Sponsored Links, or something similar for Adsense...so the fact of a site just having those terms would be counterproductive for Google to penalize...wouldn't make any sense, Google would be kicking their own selves in the posterior. Unless Google has something in its algo that if after that term they see Adsense code, then they would dismiss the penalty, etc...

matrix_neo

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 3:57 pm on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sites ive noticed that have been marked down are newspaper type classified sites along with various high PR sites that carry links on behalf of text link brokers.
In most cases they have "Sponsored Links" boxes to the right of the page or in the footer - A lot of sites have been hit!

First point is partially true; and second one any site with a set of outbound links on the home page got it, it does not matter whether or not paid. Google was successful with sandbox in keeping the content spammers, but not a great or intellectual idea still worked. In my opinion the trend continues...

I guess google started using power than intellegence. No complaints but it is no more a intellectually creative company but profitable business. Just my 2 cents ;)

dmje

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 4:08 pm on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

In reading the last post, it occurs to me that I have 3 outbound links on my homepage. Could this be the reason that my TBPR has gone from 4 to 2 in 10 days time?

These links were not paid for or sold, just friendly exchanges between sites. Will the removal of those 3 links help to boost TBPR back up? Anyone want to make a guess?

BTW, I have seen no drop in the serp's or website traffic or sales with this drop in PR so I am not to concerned about it, but I do like to see that little green bar farther across, guess it's just a Pavlov response....I see a longer green bar I start to salivate...

trinorthlighting

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 5:23 pm on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

May be some drop in the TBPR is due to some wikipedia no follow tags. If TBPR updates about once every 4 months, the the wiki no follow fallout of little green pixels might be a reason why people are dropping.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 5:37 pm on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

The PR and the backlink juice that are used for rankings are calculated and updated continually on Google's back end.

This was a major computational advance by Google a few years back, and it made "PR updates" into a non-event, except for those whose business model depends on the toolbar green. Website rankings reflect much more recent PR calculation than what shows on the toolbar.

matrix_neo

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3486139 posted 6:54 pm on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

These links were not paid for or sold, just friendly exchanges between sites. Will the removal of those 3 links help to boost TBPR back up? Anyone want to make a guess?

That is how google generally respond with fixures, however this time it could be different since the is a possibility that more than just the paidlink could have mattered this PR drop.

This 46 message thread spans 2 pages: 46 ( [1] 2 > >
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