Sorry this site requires JavaScript to be enabled in your browser. See the following guide on How to enable JavaScript in Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox and Safari. Alternatively you may be blocking JavaScript with an advert-related or developer plugin. Please check your browser plugins.

Matt Cutts on last week’s Google Toolbar PageRank Changes : "The partial update to visible PageRank that went out a few days ago was primarily regarding PageRank selling and the forward links of sites. So paid links that pass PageRank would affect our opinion of a site.

Going forward, I expect that Google will be looking at additional sites that appear to be buying or selling PageRank."
Comments15 Comments  

Comments

Avatar
from EricLander 2467 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I love that sites *not* selling links are hit up for it, and others that are actually had their PR boosted.  Simply stated, algorithms cannot understand user intentions and human elements.  Wish to heck they’d realize that...Still, if the efforts are in place to deter paid linking systems, I’m all for it.

Avatar
from baiduyou 2467 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Matt Cutts today confirmed Google’s future plans for the increasingly messy PageRank situation,"It’s simple really; send ’em all to PR heaven and let God sort ’em out."

Avatar
from esoos 2467 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This update seemed to be largely about "PageRank selling and the forward links of sites". Not to read too deeply, but we can likely assume the next hit will be on sites "buying or selling PageRank", i.e. the backward links of sites.

Avatar
from iBrian 2467 Days ago #
Votes: 0

So is Matt Cutts confirming that YouTube.com has become one of the biggest sellers of links online? :)

Avatar
from patrickaltoft 2467 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Why is the official word on this update coming from a private email conversation? Whatever happend to communication?

Avatar
from SearchBuzz 2467 Days ago #
Votes: 3

 @ Eric & Others --> Our site dropped down to a PR 5 and we neither buy nor sell links?  I have also seen MANY other sites that have dropped in PR, that do not participate in link selling.  It is not part of their business model, so I am pretty confident in this assessment. I have only been reading about Google laying the smack down on bloggers and sites that are monetizing based on the site’s PR, and therefore perceived value. The search marketing blogosphere is discussing mostly ’their own’ affected industry. I feel what is missing from all the conversations is data from outside the search marketing sector, which may better explain and understand Google’s overall intentions. I have seen many sites not in the search vertical also being effected by a drop in PR, but haven’t seen much reporting on it.  (are we to assume every site that has dropped in ranking is as a result of link buying or selling)  That is very presumptuous. and I believe there has to be more to Google’s motives than JUST smacking the link traders, when many sites have been effected. Thoughts?

Avatar
from toprank 2467 Days ago #
Votes: 1

It’s curious that something wasn’t formally posted more quickly on this - ie Yahoo style "weather report".  But maybe spreading FUD is part of the plan to thwart the sites they’re targeting?

Avatar
from bigpond 2466 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’m sorry but I simply don’t buy it (pardon the obvious and deliberate pun). Pretty much every single one of my 50+ sites that I either run or manage for clients has had a reduction of between 1-3 points. Of those only two of them run what would be considered paid link campaigns via TLA.

Avatar
from Sem-Advance 2466 Days ago #
Votes: 1

 @ from iBrian So is Matt "Cutts confirming that YouTube.com has become one of the biggest sellers of links online? :)"No Google owns the title aka Adwords@ Jill Most of my sites and my clients sites went up. @ SearchBuzz & bigpond Sites that linked to yours, could have participated in a paid link campaign, and if they lost their PR, your sites would lose some as well.Peace!

Avatar
from sem4u 2466 Days ago #
Votes: 0

>Sites that linked to yours, could have participated in a paid link campaign, and if they lost their PR, your sites would lose some as well.I agree with this. Also if your site relied on directories that were hit you will probably see a reduction in PR.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2466 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@toprank & @patrickaltofthttp://searchengineland.com/071007-173841.php was official word back from earlier this month that sites selling links would see a PR drop. I mean, I saw a drop, asked Google what the deal was, and they said officially they were going to hit site selling links with PR drops.So when Loren gets an email further confirming this, I don’t see it is a FUD. He’s a reporter -- asked Google just as you or I did what’s going on -- and Matt reconfirms what Google already said before. If that considered just "private" email, then a lot of what I or anyone reports on isn’t official.Having said that, it probably would help at this point for Google to get some official messaging out via the Google Webmaster Central blog, that some sites have seen a PageRank decrease, that the main reason for this is due to suspected link selling, and that if sites disagree that they’ve done this or discontinued it, they should file a reinclusion request. Right now, people are getting that info from my article and others that have come, but you’ve got plenty of people who go directly to Google itself for help.At the very least, help pages need updating. For example:http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=66356 "some webmasters engage in link exchange schemes and build partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. This is in violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact your site’s ranking in search results"Well, that needs to say something like impact your PR score and/or ranking. http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=34468 That explains why a site might have a PR0 but need to be updated to say why a PR score might have plunged and what to do about it.

Avatar
from mike.tekula 2466 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It’s curious that Google stands by penalizing so many webmasters for having "suspicious" links.  I think they’ve already hurt their brand over the last couple of months.  I don’t understand why they wouldn’t simply adjust their algorithm to stop those obvious "paid links" from passing link juice. . .it almost makes me think that they can’t.  Still, some part of this has to be algorithmic.  I doubt Matt Cutts and his team went around the web and kept an Excel spreadsheet (excuse me, a Google Docs spreadsheet) of all the sites they saw with paid link listings.  Google is a corporation and not a policing body - they can do whatever they so choose with their index and PageRank distribution.  We all just have to grin and bear it.  Or piss and moan - you choose. I don’t know at what point they’re going to realize that, yes, paid links may allow some "spammy" sites to rank, but they are potentially damaging the quality of their search results by penalizing so many authoritative websites that offer great content that users want.  Is Copyblogger.com a spammy website?  That’s probably one of the greatest blogs I’ve read - I’ve learned more from Brian Clark about copywriting than any other person by reading his blog.  Is it smart for Google to send him down in results because he sells links?  At some point their webspam team has to be put in check.  Let them penalize everyone who buys/sells links and watch the quality of their results suffer. 

Avatar
from Eavesy 2466 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’d love to know weather or not my SEOCO site got hit with a penalty. I haven’t ever sold links and I don’t have any paid links either, it could just be because a lot of the directories it is listed in and a lot of the sites it had links from dropped in PR. I think they should put something in the webmaster central if you have been hit with a PageRank penalty.

Avatar
from Digitalmusings 2459 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Good Insight!

Avatar
from rickvidallon 2440 Days ago #
Votes: 0

A few months back I read an article that featured an interview with Google founder Larry Page. -- Herer are some excerpts;How Google Determines the Importance of a Web Site"Every time you create a link," Google founder Larry Page told the hushed audience, "you’ve created a citation. But if you just try to count citations on the Web, which is what a lot of search engines do, you run into problems."The important of a web site, particularly a web page, is based on the sum of all pages linking to it. That if Yahoo linked from their homepage to your homepage that’s a big deal." Based on this simple linking-citation system, people have set out to game (trick) Google into thinking that their web site is more important than it really is. Other spamming tricks include link-farms, 2-3-4 way linking, dynamic IP spoofing and so on.The important thing to remember is that Google has always identified these problems early on thanks to the legions of webmasters who troll the Internet on constant alert to any flux in the Google search results. Spammers might enjoy a high-rank for a short time but this will be merely a blip on the ranking radar.Google’s answer to this is, "We employ an ever dynamic, ever-changing way of measuring the true importance of a web site". This is why I have continually stress that webmasters should build web pages for users and not search engines. And if you trade links, trade with web sites that you feel would be of benefit to your visitors. It’s as simple as that. If your web site has been constructed using ‘best practices’ established by Google webmaster guidelines, and not trickery, you should be able to obtain a respectable ranking in Google and the major search engines.NOW PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT MR. PAGE HAS SAID HERE, ’dynamic, ever-changing way’.To coin a new phrase,’He who builds his business on search engine results, builds on sand’. One small ’Google Quake’, and the entire building comes tumbling down.With each new website my company develops - I warn my customers not to solely depend on Google or any other search engine to bring them new business, but rather spread their ad dollars around.IN SUMMARYOrganic SERPs + PageRank = Free Lunch(There’s no such thing as a free lunch).

Upcoming Conferences

Search Marketing ExpoSearch Engine Land produces SMX, the Search Marketing Expo conference series. SMX events deliver the most comprehensive educational and networking experiences - whether you're just starting in search marketing or you're a seasoned expert.



Join us at an upcoming SMX event: