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ProBlogger – PageRank 4

Posted By Darren Rowse 24th of October 2007 Search Engine Optimization 0 Comments

Wow – this is an interesting one.

ProBlogger’s page rank is currently at a 4 – and so is Digital Photography School.

I’d heard blogs had been penalized in their page rank recently for selling text links – bizarre thing is that neither of these two blogs sell links. I’ve never sold text links at DPS and haven’t on ProBlogger for months now – perhaps I was penalized for taking them off!

Both had page ranks of 6 yesterday and previously ProBlogger was a 7. Even jobs.problogger.net has been hit and it’s on a subdomain. Looks like something’s going on over at the Googleplex – is anyone else noticing changes today or did someone over there take offense at something I said? Maybe they don’t like that I took AdSense off ProBlogger (joking).

PS: just noticed Copyblogger is a 4 now too – hmmmm.

UpdateAndy Beard and Daniel Scocco are compiling lists of blogs and other sites impacted by this PageRank ‘update’.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Still at PR5 here, as I have been for a while.

  2. My main blog is holding steady at 5, no paid links but does have Adsense. I have another blog, new this year, still with a PR 0 but ranks on the 1st page of Google SERP on specific terms in the niche but I guess that’s because it’s a topic with a narrow focus and few sites.

  3. Darren, it has been a long time for me to post a comment. But I wanted to say it might have something to do with DMOZ. They may be devaluing it. Almost all the sites that I looked at that have dropped were in DMOZ. My site cellounge did not drop at all and I am not in DMOZ.

    This is just a theory, what do you think?

  4. Shane,

    I have a site in DMOZ that hasn’t changed.

  5. Still stuck at PR 3, but my search traffic has surged lately.

  6. I’m back at 5 last time I checked but I used to be a 7 as well. Follow the bouncing ball… you can read my comments here: Where is the Consistency in Google’s Pagerank?

  7. Carribean WEb Development – Interestingly, I have two other blogs that have been around for quite a while, yet still show a PR of 0. In fact, one of them is my Entrepreneur.com blog that has a predicted PR of 5, yet still hasn’t been updated.

    Makes me wonder if this “update” isn’t quite over yet and that there is more carnage to come.

  8. google.is.evil says: 10/25/2007 at 5:08 am

    What’s wrong with paid links anyway?

    it is your blog/website, you should be able to do whatever you want. If you want to bestow attention on another site via a link that should be your right. That’s what advertising is all about.

    Other companies buy product placement & product mentions in other forms of media all the time:
    -movies sell attention via product placement
    -video games do it now with in-game advetising
    – sport stadiums have banners & company names plasterd all over the place
    the list does on an on

    Google just wants to be an Evil Mafia and hoard all the ad dollars to itself.

  9. Well It seems that you are up Darren, according to my Google Toolbar you are up to an 8 – That is fantastic for a one person site!

  10. lost my PR7… but have a brand new PR5 ;)

  11. I am on Pagerank 0 , i guess i will be page rank -2 then…

  12. We’ve seen our PR slide from a 7 to a 6 to now a 5 .

    Any ideas on whether or not everyone is being adjusted? – In that case I don’t really care because it just means the scale of “what it takes” to be a specific value has changed, and everyone is being repositioned with a lower score

    ** So really nothing has changed at all ***

    Anyone have pagerank go up?

  13. Chris says: 10/25/2007 at 5:57 am

    Someone mentioned Adsense channel reporting being messed up. I’ve noticed that in my reports are also somewhat strange as well. The channel stats (all of my ads are channelized) don’t match up with the overall stats.

  14. What’s the big deal with PageRank, anyway? To me, it’s just hot air.


  15. I guess they are mad at you because you dropped AdSense. Hope that others follow your example.

  16. Google’s been playing with PR… They’ve hit all people selling links, doing paid posts, and promoting SEO.

    No idea why they did it to those sites promoting SEO, but its a fact….

  17. Carleenp says: 10/25/2007 at 6:32 am

    Well, to throw out some things that go against various theories so far: I am a member of several networks of beauty and fashion product blogs with quite a bit of linking among members, including Splendicity from B5 Media. A number of blogs in them use text link ads or have sponsored links from shoppings sites. Sampling among them,I haven’t noticed that any member blogs lost page rank and a few possibly went up.

    One thought is that in the shopping context, perhaps sponsored links from online stores and more outgoing links in general are penalized less because that would be expected of a shopping oriented site? I think in the case of many of the beauty blogs, the link ads really are more aimed at traffic for the store that bought the link instead of trying to increase their own page rank. Just a theory.

    Another thought is that we were all around PR4 previously, and that seems to be the new medium rank across sites anyway.So perhaps there just was no need to change us.

    I also noticed that I seem to have acquired a low page rank on some of my more popular individual post pages that did not have a rank before that I was aware of.

    I have another site that still is PR 0 though. I thought maybe it would get a rank. But not yet.

  18. I have decided that “G” is not going to determine how I run my site. I think “G” page rank is creating problems by forcing everyone to try to figure out how to manipulate their sites to get a higher “G” page rank.

    I fear the “G” giant will somehow hold back my site if I write a post criticising them. I don’t even like to use their name.

    Am I crazy to think relevant content and the amount of returning visitors is a better gauge to measure a sites rating?

    I’m new at this so It’s very possible I have no idea what I’m talking about.

  19. I have a website that is 4 years old, and has a PR4, and it gets 0 traffic from google. And I have a 3 weeks old website that is pr0 and it gets around 60-70 visitors/day from google.
    So page rank doesnt matter anymore. There are other factors that become more and more important.

  20. Well if they hit all the same “type” of sites across the board, then it really doesn’t matter… Now if they left your competition at a PR 7 while you dropped to a PR 4… that might be worth getting upset about…

  21. Maybe I am totally clueless or cynical or both, but the only thing I see common is that every blog is talking about Google and there are a whole lot more interesting topics; pagerank or no.

  22. Darren, and anyone else that lost PageRank today, have we got a cartoon for you!

    Lorena “Cutts” Bobbitt

  23. Yes Google are playing with many bloggers page ranks, see this article by Techcrunch.com http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/10/24/google-declares-jihad-on-blog-link-farms/ also visit us at http://www.WhichWebsite.com

  24. Someone may already have pointed this out, but ProBlogger is coming up as 6 in my toolbar…

  25. At the moment, I’m 90% certain that none of the big blogs have been penalized. It’s just that the sites linking to them have been largely devalued.

    Blogs like problogger get their popularity from tons of other small blogs who are quite likely being penalized. And now that the algorithm has been changed and all those small blog links have lost their juice, the popular blogging niche sites are losing PageRank as a byproduct.

    Real, sad, unavoidable. Well, life goes on and so does our blogging journey!

  26. fivecentnickel – check here – http://www.seologs.com/pr-check/pagerank-dc.html

    That checks multiple datacenters. Some haven’t changed yet – but most have.

  27. Hey Darren,

    Do you really care about Pagerank? Or do you care more about how your articles is indexed and ranked by google with certain keywords, pagerank don’t have to do anything with ranking and being indexed by Google.

    I wrote a recent article on how to prevent all those issues for those bloggers that are worried about their pagerank:

    Check what Google suggest to put under “sponsors” …

  28. I think any domain with the word blog in it is being targeted!

  29. To the commenter who earlier said that Google doesn’t like TLA – well that’s partly true. They don’t like people using TLA because, invariably, they drop AdSense in favour of the more profitable option. Big G have dropped them out of the search results for the term “text link ads” but they’re more than happy to accept the TLA AdWords advertising budget.

    I wonder what will happen when I enter “hypocrites” into Google…

  30. I have been PR unassigned and waiting since FEB! ARGG Have been submitting articles and to free directories to get backlinks but it seem google overlooked 2 of my site AGAIN!

  31. I wonder if google will ever let everyone know why they dropped all the influential bloggers pagerank. It would be great to hear their side of the story.

  32. Darren,
    It is not if you were selling links or not, you have incentive your visitors to link to your site by giving them prices. Most of the backlinks problogger has managed to gain in the last few weeks are thanks to contest and not to quality content (thats what I think). Now, gaining backlinks that way would not be the same as buying or selling links to trick Google’s algorithm?

    Just my opinion.

  33. Sorry to hear that ProBlogger took a PR blow — news is floating through Twitter that it has something to do with the link structure of b5media in general.

    As for my PageRank, it dropped from a PR7 in the last update to a PR6 and it seems to be holding steady about there. Traffic, however, has not been adversely affected so I haven’t been too concerned about it.

    The time to start worrying is when you start seeing your traffic or income slipping as a result. Otherwise, continue dazzling us all with your wonderful knowledge and content, Darren. :)

    ~ Teli

  34. i think they have changed their algorithm……

  35. Two possible ideas, Darren:

    1) You’re still a TLA affiliate. I think Google want to make a point about text link selling. You’ll notice TLA was hit hard not too long ago to the point they had to transfer most of their activities to other domains. I saw them using buytextlinkads.com or something like that recently in AdWords. Text-Link-Ads.com no longer ranks for its own name, just like the dozens of directories that were also hit recently in Google’s ongoing war against paid links.

    2) On a related note to “1”, your top 20 SEO tips for beginners advises(d?) buying links. I tried finding the link in your search box but couldn’t. I’d say that bears consideration as well.

    3) See comments: https://problogger.com/problogger-pagerank-4/#comment-1925482

    4) This might trigger something in the algo: 12 weeks to paid content…

  36. andres says: 10/25/2007 at 12:13 pm

    An advice for larry and sergey http://www.articler.com/blog/google-pagerank-downgrades/

  37. Now my blog is better rank..lol

  38. Lincoln says: 10/25/2007 at 2:11 pm

    Google must have seen this video:


    The endorsement Darren made of Text Link Ads without bothering to warn us of the dangers of being penalized by Google for using such a service never sat right with me.

  39. The fact that you were affiliated with text-link-ads should not penalize you in Google. If you dropped out of the search results for blogging keywords Google would be doing their users an injustice, because they know you have the most relevant blog, whether or not you’re affiliated with TLA. This goes for many other blogs and sites, especially ones that get banned. If you can’t find a site by looking for it by name than Google’s not doing its job.

  40. I thought it was just a joke after I read the article at http://surayblog.blogspot.com/2007/10/google-pagerank-2nd-update-in-october.html that mentioned about your blog has been penalized by Google. I just don’t believe it, the Google had taken those action to many websites.

  41. I’ve been hit too… dropped from 5 to 4

  42. Because the problogger brand is now so well known it mightn’t matter. I see the term problogger practically everywhere I go.

  43. Danny Sullivan has cleared this up definitively : “I pinged Google, and they confirmed that PageRank scores are being lowered for some sites that sell links. … Google stressed, by the way, that the current set of PageRank decreases is not assigned completely automatically; the majority of these decreases happened after a human review.”

    Worse, advertisers do look at the PageRank of sites before buying space. Small commercial businesses with no special arrangement with Google are going to be hit hard by this, especially on sites with fewer than 100k PVs a month.

    No more Mr Nice Guy. There’s a new shark in the water. Watch out!

  44. We don’t sell paid links on either our blog or forum, though the former does have a link to our webhost who gives us free hosting.

    Yesterday we were PR5 on both, today they’re both down to 3 – though our Alexa has gone up as of this morning….

    I think Google has made a huge mistake and it’s going to bite them in the ass at the end of the day.

  45. That’s one of the reasons TLA has vamped all his referrals links..affiliates are urged to use their new affiliate links; “tinyurl-ing” all their referral links..

    The industry is getting bigger and bigger each day, that’s the result of such changes.. (perhaps this is just a start of a more deeper impact?)

    – Wakish –

  46. What if you rent a link on a driving training blog for a driving school for 25.00 a month will this be seen a paid or an out bound link that has no monetary feel to it. like in blog roll links only You collect money monthly off line for hosting that link.

    Will this work with the new Google guild lines?

  47. Here are some Good news :

    I just checked Problogger and Copybloggers – They both still have a Pagerank of 6.I used seochat to check google data centres.
    The initial drop in Pagerank is probably due to googledance and google updating database

    – Sam Kern

  48. OK, I dropped from a 6 to a 3.

    Has anyone considerec that maybe Google is just readjusting PR to give the higher ranks to the truly important? Maybe 3 is the new 6 and so on?

    Regardless: I sell text lings and banner ads. I see no moral
    distinction between those paid ads and Google paid ads and I’m not about to halve my income because Google doesn’t
    agree.. if that even is the true story.

  49. Do you think that making the blog clean and ask Google for reconsideration could change something ?? Maybe a naive question… ;-)

  50. I’m going to blog about this tomorrow :)

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