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Common sense would dictate that you should first ascertain if your PR0 is a result of the purchased links, or the result of your own linking out to a bad neighbourhood.
That's easy to ascertain - just check all your outbound links accordingly.
Second, it would make sense to check that you are actually hit with a penalty. PR0 can be a result of having no inbound links (or no inbound PR transferred). So if all your links were purchased, and the hosts of the links got PR0'd, you'd hit PR0 anyway, although no penalty has actually been implemented.
So, in a nutshell, ascertain the facts before you do anything.
Although if had had remained at 0 i would be worrying by now.
Thats one problem i found a while back, make to many tweaks and something goes wrong, it is hard to detect where you have messed up, make a few changes each month, note them down and be patient. (my advice anyway)
I had several pages in a directory which I moved to antoher directory (so the URLs have changed). The old pages were all indexed by Google but I want them to be removed and the new pages in the new directory to be indexe. I did have both directories online, but I took off the pages in the old directories fearing duplicate content.
Any idea how long it'll be before Google drops my old pages from the SERPs?
same thing happend with my site.
My site had PR6 with lots of incoming links 2 months ago, then out of nothing the site lost it's rankings and got PR0ed including all pages. This update the site got PR3, which is obviously not the correct amount, because links have not changed but it is a beginning. Rankings are down anyway.
To me this looks like a google problem and not a webmaster problem.
Why should they remove a site and then 2 months later reindex and repagerank it when nothing was changed?
This is the 2nd time this sort of thing has happened to my site. I do have other sites and they were not affected (which is strange as i thought they would all be!)
But i know it wasnt me, as like i said i didnt change anything.
I also think though that buying links from any joe bloggs is a very bad move - they are not trusted and can ruin you over night.
thx Andrew, maybe there is two things happening, a bug in google and also some sort of penalty. There seems to be a patern of people injecting PR into their sites then being hit for it.
Then there are guys like Andrew and djgreg who have changed nothing, not gone and bought links and got hit as well.
How Google likes to tease!
If those are purchased links, it's not out of the question that you've received a manual penalty.
If google know that certain sites are selling links, it's very very easy to find out who bought them.
Again...this implies that a site can/would be penalized because it is linked to by a site that sells text links. If that's the case, and we can verify, by all means, let us know. It would be worth several thousand dollars per day for me to get my competitors knocked off if all I have to do to do it is buy a few links to their site.
Cmon folks...I can't believe google would go that route, as it would mean they've taken a factor that is completely out of the webmaster's hands and said "Let's penalized any site we "think" has bought a link."
What would stop thousands of site from getting dropped because a deep pocketed competior bougt a bunch of links on unrelated sites and then reported their site for link buying? Does that make any sense?
Again....the only responsible way for google to apply a "penalty" would be to stop the passing of PR from a site to external sites.
Further....let's not forget that there are plenty of legit reasons to buy a text link ad from another website. We get dozens of orders a day from a site we purchased a link on. The site has nothing in common with our subject matter, but does appeal to the exact demographic that our products appeal to. Should we be "penalized" for purchasing advertising there simply because they link directly to us as oppsoed to using a redirect? Give me a break.
I think google should just get rid of the green bar in the tool bar and let all these PR maniacs find something else to sweat about.
They have to face this guestbooks and blog problem for years now and I simply don't understand why they can't stop guestbooks passing PR. It can't be so difficult, guestbooks are easy to flag!?!?!?
[edited by: rogerd at 2:50 pm (utc) on June 24, 2004]
[edit reason] No URLs, please... [/edit]
While this is possible, I think it is extremely unlikely. If a page was formerly in the Google index with a PR of 1 or greater, and now it has a PR 0, it is almost certainly a penalty of some sort. I thought that a page automatically started with a PR of 1. If a page is part of a large site, it would inherit some PR from other pages in the site. Also, a site that has been around for many months is likely to have picked up a few legitimate backlinks. Do a search for the sitename in quotes, and you might find a few that don't show up with the link: search.
Google has been handing out a lot of PR0's lately, although the PR0 wasn't showing until this PR/backlink update. If a site was formerly showing up in the SERPs, and then it disappeared a few weeks ago, it shouldn't be a surprise to see a PR0 on these pages. This is a pretty clear indication of a penalty. The filter of the month seems to be crosslinking among sites on a common IP address, or from a common owner. Of course, there are plenty of other possible reasons to get time in the Google penalty box. Just check through the WW threads here...
Again...this implies that a site can/would be penalized because it is linked to by a site that sells text links. If that's the case, and we can verify, by all means, let us know.
I did say "it's not out of the question". I don't think that it is out of the question. This is from google's Webmaster Guidelines (under reasons your site is not in the index):-
Your page was manually removed from our index, because it did not conform with the quality standards necessary to assign accurate PageRank. We will not comment on the individual reasons a page was removed and we do not offer an exhaustive list of practices that can cause removal. However, certain actions such as cloaking, writing text that can be seen by search engines but not by users, or setting up pages/links with the sole purpose of fooling search engines may result in permanent removal from our index. If you think your site may fall into this category, you might try 'cleaning up' the page and sending a re-inclusion request to email@example.com. We do not make any guarantees about if or when we will re-include your site.
If google consider that "setting up" includes "purchasing" then I feel they could manually effect a penalty.
It would have to be absolutely obvious to google in the first place. I don't think they would undertake this kind of action lightly.
In the examples I'm seeing, it's absolutely obvious beyond any question of doubt that these sites were buying links (thousands of them with identical anchor text, all driven by one simple script leading back to the vendor). I can't categorically say that these sites have not been PR0'd for any other reason. Again, only google would know that.
If I were google, and I spotted this site, I would have nuked it. It's that far beyond question.
I'm merely firing up a warning shot to people that google are very obviously trying to stop manipulation of the SERPS by purchasing or selling anchor text links.
There's only one real way to find out if you can use that against a competitor, and that would be to try it.
For a page to have any PR, it needs inbound links transferring PR to it. If all of those inbound links had been purchased, and then subsequently discounted, that page would show as a PR0. That was the point.
My site's interior pages went up this month to PR5s and my home page is a PR6. I am number 1 for my Anchor text and have 1290 backlinks (not purchased - true links that I have spent hours building and 95% directly relating to my field!) and 210 total pages listed in Google. Yet my competitor whose home page is a PR 5 and interior pages are PR4 and is ranked number 3 for anchor text with only 329 backlinks and 150 pages listed in Google has taken over the number 1 position for most of my major keywords. Any ideas?
Oddly, for now at least, their rankings in the SERP's for those PR0 homepages seem to be holding strong.
Are those sites just helplessly watching and waiting for their homepages to plummet? I don't recall ever seeing a homepage with a PR0 still rank highly in a comptetitive area ... admittedly I'm not one to pay much attention to PR (we just focus on site building, Brett's rules, etc.).
Exactly, that is so silly it's comical. Think about it. A PR9 site decides to sell 10 text links to make some cash. They also have 3-5 "natural" links in the same area. Does the site that gets linked to for free also get nailed? I doubt the penalties you are seeing are for buying links. If so, google has truly been beaten pretty badly and have given up on their "Solve problem scalably/algorythmically mantra
[edited by: mfishy at 4:29 pm (utc) on June 24, 2004]
Want to test the link buying/penalty? Want to get your competitor banned at the same time?
I see it now...a new business of "website assasins" hiring themselves out to get sites banished by purchasing links from high PR - unrelated sites.
Further, the those that say it's "obvious" who's buying links, the same scenario applies. If I'm powerless to control another site lnking to me, how on earth can anyone say it's perfectly all right to assume a site is "guilty" of link, buying. Who's to say someone's not trying to set them up?
I think the simplest solution to all of this is to get rid of the little green bar. We'd see these "Pr selling" businesses disappear overnight, as well as ending these discussions for good.
Then the question is...when the bar is gone, how will we determine who to link to? Since it has ditorted the natural linking behavior of the web for so long, how will a webmaster KNOW who to link to (or buy links from)?
My answer: The way they should have in the first palce...by sites of high-quality, and similar content and/or target demographic, regardless of if an engine says that page/site ranks "highly". We get more sales from a PR2 ranked page/site per day then we do from a PR8 site (both of which we pay to advertise on).
These are all good points.
I'm talking about sites selling 1,000's of links (on a thousand different sites via a script leading back to the parent owner) all with identical anchor text.
Very easy to detect. Very easy to ensure no-one gets caught in the cross-fire.
I'm sorry I can't be more specific, but the mods have indicated that by being more specific than that, the particular sites in question can be found "...in about 5 seconds".
Someone mentioned the possibility of google having some poor so and so(!) with an automatically generated list of borderline cases going through and hitting the button (or not) manually.
I don't think that's impossible.
I use the words "manual intervention" simply because I see some of the sites that google "missed" this time around. Any automatic system would have picked these up without any trouble. I think they're on the list. I think they'll be nuked next update.
My comments on this were meant as a heads-up to a few people on here utiilising this tactic. That's all.
If there is a list, and Mr Nuke hasn't got down to you yet, survival of the next "update" may be dependant on certain acts cleaning themselves up pronto.
That was my main point, but they can take it or leave it.
I'm either right or I'm wrong. I believe we'll know in 3-4 weeks time either way.