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How long does pr0 last?



7:17 pm on Jun 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Is anyone else feeling about Google's PR0 (or PR=low) permanent penalty the way I am... as if I am being treated badly, unfairly, capriciously, and without understanding.

The way I see things now: Six months ago I got "caught" linking in a legitimate business fashion- I have 8 domains, most of them high-content multipage sites- but also one "blue-widget" site the main page to which I linked from most all the pages of my other domains. The main reason for these links was that I WANTED TO SELL BLUE WIDGETS to those visitors! Why Google could not just stop counting links (from a particular domain greater than one or ten or whatever number Google might select) is beyond me. Instead, Google seems to have opted for being the judge jury and executioner and given my "blue-widget" site a permanent ban.

Why is the ban for linking patterns I might have had six months ago permanent? Such permanency feels arbitrary and capricious given that other bans have been only temporary. Yes, I know that Google needs to protect their results; but when Google installs filters that effectively (and permanently) kick sites out of the database for reasons such as the above, Google would seem to create a reservoir of ill will that no company can long afford. And it is so unnecessary when a temporary ban would likely serve as well.


11:30 pm on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Maybe Google's meteoric rise is simply an indicator of a successful search business model.

Once this is widely accepted and other search engines stop trying to make money in self-defeating ways, we'll see realistic competition to Google and things will even themselves out a little.

And, regardless of whether 2/3 of sites are innocent, or 1%, the fact still remains that many people did not know they were doing anything wrong and are trying to correct it.

In the meantime, they suffer through reduced traffic, and Google's SERPS suffer through missing resources.

And yes, of course I'm one of the great unwashed. ;)



11:49 pm on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

So two-thirds of the people with penalties here have "innocent" sites hit with an indiscriminate penalty? That certainly doesn't mesh with the sites that people have opened up for view that I have seen in the last few months...

In general I would think the reverse would be true. Most sites don't get penalized.


12:17 am on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

GG's recent post indicated there are temporary penalties, and there are also permanent ones. I wonder what sort of behavior yields a permanent ban.


12:18 am on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Good thread where do I start........
Pr0 has been a very interesting problem and I will admit, at this point in time, I don't have the answer. Many clues thanks GG.
While looking for the reasons for dropped sites and Pr0, I decided to look at many things other than linkage. There is one page on google I keep going back to whenever I have a new theory. This page is about the "appliance". Here is what I go back to read "Google uses PageRank(tm) to analyze the link structure of your network to determine the most important, highest quality pages across all your sites. Then for each query, Google applies hypertext analysis using more than 100 variables to determine relevance." Read what you want to into that quote. The part about the variables has really got me thinking. If the variables can be used for relevance they can also be used for penalties. Google is applying more than "hypertext analysis" to rank pages at this time.
Someone correct me if I am wrong. Does Google claim to store information about a site for 37 years? I know it is a long time and maybe we only have so many chances to push the "envelope" before there is too many errors logged against our sites. Think about this quote, "Doofus, I believe the domain you're referring to was in both LinkTopics and a buddy links program?" I knew of both these programs when they were active. When BL was shut down, most of the sites involved got hit or were dropped for a period of time. Alot of these same sites migrated over to Greg's LT. Most LT sites have also been hit or dropped. Two strikes, they should still be in the game if that is all they have done. (most of the sites in both of these programs were of a very high calibre). Let's not forget about all the sites in the other "link programs".
These penalties are more than what we are seeing when we investigate a site today. It does seem to have something to do with the past (unknown, to us) activities of the site.
More quotes:
"multiple domains selling the same thing"
"8 domains with cross-links from every page".
- I haven't looked but I bet they are all from the same "C" class. An inhouse webmap? Did you look at the whois data? In this case it would not be necessary. Can I crosslink sites of different but related topics and provide a unique product on each site? I think I can.
"links from zeus"
- I don't think you meant only "from". Another known target, strike three maybe.
GG this one is my favorite:
"at least one other piece of data which I can't talk about".


12:25 am on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Two updates ago a few of our 'smaller' clients sites with low PR's to begin with experienced a temporary PR0 lasting one month (until the next update).

I know that this was not a penalty - and was merely a low ranking site that got...skipped?

Also have dealt with someone who uses a directory program that beings with the letter Z. :) This site was banned for a few months - but now is back online. I think this was a temporary penalty.

Then I have SEEN sites get permenantly banned - or at least are still banned to this day. In this case, most people in this forum suggest getting a new URL, cleaning up the site and MOVING ON!


1:06 am on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"all the search engines that failed did so after reaching such a peak..."

Well, yes. Defining exactly where "such a peak is" is the hard part. And I have yet to see any real slowdown in Googles chomping up more and more of the SE popularity.
Everything fails after a peak - that is the law of nature. On the other hand, Lloyds of London has been in business for 400+ years, still waiting for that peak...


1:33 am on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I tend to think that "Google" perspective is married to the users perspective and alot less with webmasters/SEO. Although the top ranked positions may indeed be those site that best mirror googles algo this is usually where sites are often penalized.

If a link (whatever that may be) is valuable to a google user then a penality is avoided and if that links sole purpose is to induce "higher ranked position" where the google users value is only "come here" then IMO a penalty is validated.

If your get a speeding ticket it's generally not because your were going to speed limit.

If you crosslink then you better have a valid reason to do so beyond PR or ranked position.

If you reciprocate links then you better have a valid reason to do so beyond PR or ranked position.

And so on.


12:11 pm on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This thread has been most enlightening. Much has been clarified about months of what I see as Google's deliberate obfuscations...

Crosslinking: While Google has officially stated that it is only after those who are linking for the purposes of SE placement, the real issue is Google's attitude towards any significant crosslinking. It is defined as all bad even if there might be other legitimate reasons for it. And they obviously feel quite comfortable in having banished sites to Siberia permanently... one strike and you're out and I did not tell you in advance what a strike was.

Permanent PR0 Bans: Yes they exist and now that you know that, how do you feel about the hundreds of hours you probably spent trying to overcome that "automatic" placement in PR0, thinking that with their "everything is automatic email" it would be automatic to get out of their doghouse once you no longer tripped the filters?

Zeus: Google obviously is down on linking to such sites, but they haven't gotten their act together yet on how to keep all the zeus sites out. Google is likely giving out PR0-PR3 to sites linking to such directories without ever giving warning on the Google site that zeus sites will cause a penalty.

Long Memory: Google remembers your old link-buddies effort as well as all the other ways you may have tried to gain good rankings (guestbooks et al). If they hit you with PR0, then this may be because of an accumulation of offenses in Google's eyes. Big Brother has been watching you.

Sound Advice (from our adult webmaster colleagues?): Get a new domain for Google if deleting most all (not all) your outgoing links for a month does not restore PR.


1:38 pm on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Welcome, evidence. The Zeus undertone to this discussion bothers me... A month or so ago, a Google tech reportedly told the makers of Zeus that there was no automatic penalty for Zeus usage, and that any penalties that hit Zeus sites were most likely due to linkage to bad sites or other offenses. If Google doesn't like directories (other than Yahoo, DMOZ, etc.), I can understand reducing the PR of pages that look like directories or lists of links, but I can't see why an entire site should be severely penalized. Are we going to start penalizing all FrontPage sites because some webmasters use the ugly themes that come with that software? It seems to me that Zeus is just another tool that takes a lot of the work out of creating a links directory.


10:32 pm on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

So, to sum up what we know:

Penalty Duration: A site experiencing low PR may be suffering from no penalty (GG: could be an algo change), a temporary penalty of unspecified duration, or a permanent penalty.

E-mail Replies: Google tries to reply to well-meaning webmasters, except when asked questions about a site penalty. Since that might give spammers a clue as to how to beat the system, these kinds of questions may be ignored.

Evidence, I'm not too sure how enlightening this discussion has been... it seems like the key questions raised at the start of this discussion are still up in the air.

I do believe your suggestion about getting a new domain may be on the money, though, if only because of the continued uncertainty.


11:54 pm on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Well, we have a lot of theories and few real hard answers.

And darn few smiling faces. Which I guess answers the original title of this thread.

I am not sure that Google has saved themselves any work in the long run.


12:09 am on Jun 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

It's only risk management.

Some are willing to dive head-long and worry about the risk after the fact. Hopefully this risk is your own and not at someone else's expense.

Other's have no idea what happened, but ignorance isn't really an excuse.

Still more don't care, they are happy being orphans, and doing the off-line marketing campaign and "pushing" people there, and that's fine too.

Someone once told me "he who knows not, that he knows not, is a fool".

I try to live by this statement, and sometimes it's real hard not to let the "fool" part get the best of me.



8:05 am on Jun 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Well, I sent in another e-mail yesterday asking for my sites to be reviewed and yep, I got the usual automated reply. Let's see if I get anything back from a real life human at the 'plex!...


10:40 am on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

When searching for zeus sites linking to you by searching for "mydomain zeus" without the quotes, I found that alltheweb.com usually gives many more sites, probably because Google has already banished many of them. And the ones that Google has banished would seem far more important in terms of your lost PR.


2:47 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I have difficulty believing that inbound links from a Zeus directory would be a penalty-causing problem for a normal site. I would hazard a guess that MOST sites have ended up in someone's Zeus directory; well-linked sites are probably in quite a few link directories. There are some really massive Zeus sites with tens of thousands of links - like the "virus" scenario that someone proposed, pretty soon the whole web would be PR0 if being in someone's directory was enough to get you penalized...

I suppose if 90% of your inbound links were from PR0 sites, that might trip some kind of alarm. That would be a pretty weird circumstance for a typical web site, though. I just don't think Google expects webmasters to take the time to see who links to them, check the PR for that site, and then ask to be delinked if the site has low or zero PR (whether it's a Zeus directory, Sally's Fun Links Page, or any other kind of link).


3:54 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Regarding the effect of incoming links from Zeus or PR0 sites. I seem to recall reading that Google said that "nothing anyone else can do can ever affect your ranking/PR". If one thinks about it then of course, this has to be the case, or the web would be over-run with sabotage-links placed by competitiors on dodgy link farms.

It's where you link out to - your outgoing links - that must be the sole criteria surely?


5:16 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I agree, panic, both because of hints dropped by Google and common sense. If you are listed in someone's link farm pages, well, it may not help your PR. But I don't think you'll be penalized unless your site actually includes those link-farm pages or at least links to the link-farm site.


6:30 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

from what i remember, googleguy suggested once that pr0 incoming links might make a difference depending on the relative amount of them to "good" links. I think it was discussed that this is particuarly dangerous to new sites - i.e. you have 6 links. 3 of them are pr0 - now half of your links are from bad neighbourhoods - dodge.

i'm pretty sure this was discussed somewhere and i personally do think that incoming links, in certain scenarios DO add to a penalty.

e.g. as an seo u set up 5 bogus websites, all crosslinked or whatever to get some pr going. then u link a new site from all of them.
this happens quite a bit, so no suprise that google might be looking at that scenario.


11:19 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am wondering why Google promotes the use of cloaking? Many of you are probably thinking I just jumped my rocker but the truth is I haven't For example I am based in canada and set gogle.com as my homepage. Well low and behold I am redirected immeditaly to google.ca if google wants people to not use cloaking I suggest they show good company procdures and offer a country link on the main page. This is total ignorance on googles part. lets promote good search engine tactics and show that cloaking was for the 90's not the new millenium


11:20 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I just notcied a couple grammar errors. I meant to put www.google.com not gogle.com.....hope this doesnt confuse anyone


11:44 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

No confusion. gogle.com [gogle.com] redirects to google.com [google.com]. Hmmmm, it's a 302 redirect too.


10:10 am on Jul 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ann is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

# 1. Why links to anywhere from anywhere should even be of interest to Google or any other search engine other than to locate and index even more websites is beyond me.

# 2. I think this PR thing has gotten completely out of hand and should be dropped by Google as all it is doing is giving them some bad press among website owners.

# 3. I formerly enjoyed a webpage rank of 6 and sometimes 7 until I was kicked out completely with no explanation even though I inquired...just a newsy little keep on googling message!

# 4. I eventually came to realize that it had to be my links from and back to certain themed pages...mostly Zeus, and I eliminated them as best I could. Got back in sometime in May with a 1 and or a 2, but so buried radar would not find me!

# 5. I searched back in my logs and found that even with a higher ranking with Google I was getting no traffic from them. Most of my traffic comes from other search engines where I rank pretty high on some of my key words and links to other sites, bookmarks, etc.

So, Google, take a hint and drop PR before the web drops you.

As my dear old Mom used to say, "nothing ever goes over the devil's back without one day having to crawl under his belly"



11:41 am on Jul 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ann is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member


and addressing the theme of this thread, ill will.

If enough webmasters get peeved enough at Googles high handed, unexplained, actions and ban googlebot from their sites THEN Google will be losing their surfing searchers as they flock to search engines that give them more choices...

So Google really needs to be more considerate of the site owners as well as their "public" for without us they would have no "public"!

Just a thought.



3:47 pm on Jul 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


I know how you feel but there is little that can be done until Google implements some sort of system of appeal for 0 ranked/penalty sites. I'm glad you've put your URL in your profile - too many people complain and are then not willing to display the actual site with the problem.

I would say keep on E-mailing them and even write to them via snail mail. I'm sure they will notice eventually but expect a long haul before your site is back fully into the index.

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