That crazy little thing called … PR

I’ve just posted this to a messageboard I frequent, and it made enough sense for me to want to echo it here. It’s about Google PageRank and the recent fluctuations site owners (especially blog owners) are seeing recently. Just to add context, there are some comments labelled [] to explain things to readers who weren’t following the thread to know. Here goes:

I had 2 blogs that got smacked [PR suddenly dropped to 0]. I cleaned one up and applied for reconsideration. (You know, keep one as a control and all that).

Well .. the one what I applied for reconsideration is still 0 … the other has gone up to a 2 !!

Sometimes I wonder if the blogs that got smacked HAVE got smacked because of paid advertising. The two blogs of mine that got smacked (compared to the ones that didn’t) suffered from a disproportion of outgoing links over incoming links and had thematic inconsistency issues [That’s dealing with topics that are unrelated, like family affairs, followed by drug treatment centers, followed by a post about gadgets, followed by food]. Also, post regularity was much lower haphazard than the blogs that weren’t hit. (3-4 posts on one day, none on other days)

Personally I’m not convinced that this is solely because of paid posted OR that it’s an automated process looking for “markers” on blogs.

The one thing that I do suspect is that Google has realised that it’s algorithm needed tweaking. The nature of blogs gives them an artificially inflated PR score compared to other CMS/Static websites (lots of cross-linking, lots of regular new content, rapid establishment of backlinks/site graphs). I personally think that they have adjusted this (albeit too aggressively initially) and what we’re seeing is more readjustment …

But hey .. who know?

Would love to know your thoughts ..


  1. I was only slapped down to a PR3, which was probably a -3 penalty at the time, and after I cleaned up and filed for reinclusion, it was fixed at least partially within a week.
    I don’t think any of the penalties were automatically zerorank, that was something decided on a case by case basis. Matt Cutts did state that there was some human involvement.

    Some blogs even after 2 reinclusion requests were not fixed. This was due to people missing out on specific posts, or due to disclosure not being clear that reviews would be nofollow.

    Note: I still feel I am in some way on Google probation – they gave me PR5, when I could possibly be a PR6 based on data from the Google directory which is slightly older.

  2. I think that you’re conclusion makes a lot of sense. I don’t know how Google can possibly tell if people are using paid links (unless they are somehow advertising directly on the site in plain text). But even still, I’m not sure Google has an easy way to monitor that, and I doubt they have people blog surfing to look it up.

    Making changes to their algorithm makes more sense to me.

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