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So if a site was previously PR6 and was obviously selling links and now is PR4 there is a good chance that it has been identified and filtered.
Equally sites that look like they sell links andhave unusually low TBPR or even a white bar where you would reasonably assume that they they would have more PR are probably identified in the same way
The drop in PR hasn't affected SERPS nor visitors, but annoying that innocent sites get caught up in the mess.
The site is whitehat, professional looking, Gov IBLs, a number of homepage links from other sites (because they used things from my site) and were freely given by those people in return.
When PR6 I changed the ownership of the site (everything else remained the same). It remained a PR6 on the next update (it was only about a month later and I know the "snapshot" google takes is a few weeks proir to that).
But on the next update it went to PR4, and on the next update, a PR3 where it has remained as ever since. :(
but if something is used that does not belong to us, then we link to the offical site of that person.
Then you should nofollow them and ask for a reconsideration request.
That sort of goes against the point of adding the links as credit for the articles doesn't it? If someone used my article with a no-follow link, I'd probably ask them to remove it.
It sounds to me like it's the ownership that's the problem. Personally, I'd try a reconsideration request *without* adding no-follow to the links.
otoh of course it could be that many of your inbound links were downgraded and that the site really is now a PR3.