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Pagerank took a massive drop. why?

 12:14 pm on Nov 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

I run a site which is updated basically every day (not strictly, but mostly). All of the content on here is unique - I write it myself, as do the other staff members. We've had a PR of 4 for quite some time, but today, it dropped down to 0... any ideas why?

*Again, the content is all unique - we write our own articles, they're only on this site (well, unless someone else copies them, which AFAIK doesn't happen often).

*The site is four years old (soon to be five), and features almost 2,000 reviews.

*Everything validates under W3C.

*I made descriptive (but non-keyword-stuffing) clean URL's.

*We've got a lot of solid backlinks from reputable sites.

*Besides Amazon, there's no advertising (and we use the API to make it look nice and clean). We don't sell SEO links, we don't run banner ads... we don't even do Google ads.

*There are adult images, but you have to be signed in and have your age set to 18+ to see them, so Google wouldn't know about them.

*We have a JS / CSS header nav bar, but it degrades nicely, so even if you use Lynx, you can see everything on the site.

All of this doesn't necessarily mean a PR of 10/10, of course, but 0? Especially 0 from 4? They don't like something on my site, but I don't know what. I'm not going to post the URL as I don't want to seem spammy, but with the above info in mind, is there anything that I could be doing that would kill a PR like that?

[edited by: tedster at 7:40 pm (utc) on Nov. 16, 2008]



 7:47 pm on Nov 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hello GeorgeFive, and welcome to the forums.

PageRank on the toolbar is sometimes buggy, is only a historical snapshot, and rarely changes in between the three to four PR updates (data exports) that Google makes in any year. But behind the scenes, Google maintains "real" PR numbers and they re-calculate them daily. This is what really matters the most.

The big and important question is whether your traffic has been affected. If not, then ignore the toolbar.


 9:19 pm on Nov 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Traffic does seem to be normal... I'm up to half of what I got yesterday (which was a normal day), and of course, there's 7.5 hours left in the day (and my peak hours are during the night). So, unless my PR dropped today and traffic dies later on, I seem to be alright.

I did check my PR on a number of PR checkers (including one that checks from numerous datacenters), but they all say 0. Assuming that this is just a bug, will it stay at 0 until the next "real" PR update that you mentioned, or will it clear up in the next couple of days / weeks?



 9:28 pm on Nov 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Any PR checker you use must check the Google PR servers - there are no other sources of PR information. But if you have traffic, then your rankings are not affected and the number you are seeing is not "real".

There's no way of knowing what will happen next on the toolbar. It's wise not to focus there, it can make you crazy. This may be your first experience with wacky toolbar data, but as others will testify, it happens often.


 9:39 pm on Nov 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Gotcha, makes sense. I was just worried because I run another site which dropped from 5 to 0 a few months ago, but I know why that one dropped (I was unaware that those "here's $#*$!, can you link these 5 spam sites in your footer?" deals killed PR). The two sites are completely separate and unrelated, but I was worried that there may have been some connection regardless.

I don't use the toolbar, but I suppose having a PR button display in the admin panel of my site won't help my craziness... I may have to look into removing that, hah.


 6:15 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

An update - it today went back up to 3, so thankfully, we seem to have only lost a single point (unless it plans to update again sometime soon).

Edit: it says 0/10 on 24 datacenters, 3/10 on 2 others. It was 0/10 on all 26, so... I think it went back up.

[edited by: GeorgeFive at 6:17 pm (utc) on Nov. 20, 2008]

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