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Head to googles webmaster tools, visit the "links" report. check your internal links, they'll be set to zero. Same with external, zero. Thats despite having links coming and going and it assumes a sitewide ban.
For a single page ban the same applies, no links coming or going, not even internal ones but just for that page.
Of course if you take that two week vacation you get to start over a little when you get back.
- Not ranking for your own name can be a sign for sure but Google may allow a site to retain ranking on only its name in case someone is directly looking for that site . Checking to see if the site ranks for other things may be more accurate. In general a site thats had its link value (internal and external) taken away won't rank for anything in the top 20. Check for exact article titles.
ie: search for "There is a way to tell if google has stripped your site of PR ability" if you were looking up this article. Chose a few articles from the site, the more unique the title the better, and if they do not return even with identical spelling that may be a good sign of problems.
Matt says that not only can they remove single page's ability to pass PR, they can also remove the ability of only certain links on a page from passing PR, and do.
Possibly FUD, but if true, things just get murkier and murkier.
Google has been so firece about paid links for so long, I don't doubt for minute that they have this weapon in their arsenal. But spotting (and defining!) paid links in the first place? That is more of a challenge for them.
Seems to make sense, I know many folks have been keeping block analysis in mind for the past few years as they've worked to make their links pack more of a punch.
First the weakness (in my opinion)
- Googles algo is too heavily based on links and link anchor text.
- The rankings aren't accurate far too often which means humans need to intervene and "adjust" at least the top 20 or so sites. To do this tools are needed. With an algo based on links some sort of link control was needed.
- Absolute power for Google by adjusting link values. Google is plainly saying that if you purchase a link your site is not worth seeing by anyone. They don't snip just the link, they often remove the value of all links, internal and external.
-the algo itself, people purchase links because Google has given them value. The humans behind the algo do the cleanup work but perhaps links shouldn't be part of that. Think about it... "seeing link patterns tells us how important a site is", you've heard that i'm sure. To put that into context with humanity... would you like your favorite books to disapear if the author pays someone to mention it? Would you think that the best books are the ones most often being talked about? Personaly my favorites list matches none of my friends lists.
- Google gets their act together and eliminates the link farce they've created so that we can get back to creating good sites and not worry about assimilating our sites just right.
In the sitemap "links" section of Googles own webmaster tools you can do a quick check of your site. The tool tells you how many links are coming in to your site and how many internal links you have. A site with PR ability turned off sitewide will show no incoming and no internal links. A site with a few links changed will show a lower total number of incoming/internal links than you actually have. Google isn't informing webmasters of the manual changes they are making to your sites rankings.
It gets worse, a site that I mentioned to Tedster recently has been hit with a sitewide ban for selling batches of links. Apparently it "shows" as having PR6 still but it ranks (poorly) only for its name. All of the 7000 or so articles were dropped from Google when the internal/incoming links were negated (including 289 long standing hard to get first place results). The "worse" part is that the site has retained its PR of 6. I'll be watching closely what happens during the next pagerank update. It "should" drop to PR 0 without links but apparently Google can freeze the PR value too.
If the pagerank update goes by and the pagerank remains 6 but all articles are gone... well thats just plain sneaky because nobody will find the site, ever. I'll remove the google toolbar at that point if it happens, I won't want to see a pagerank number ever again if they can trash a sites rankings but make it look unchanged. Tough stance maybe but enough will be enough really.
Google is plainly saying that if you purchase a link your site is not worth seeing by anyone. They don't snip just the link, they often remove the value of all links, internal and external.
Has someone seen this happen for buying links? I know it can happen for selling links, and my understanding has been that it is the seller who takes the greatest risk with Google.