Google Drops PageRank For Many Sites : Paid Links or New Algorithm?

SMS Text

Dude, where’s my PageRank?

This morning, around 1 am, I was finishing up a document and clicked over to Search Engine Journal to see if any comments were made on some of my favorite posts. Looking at the Google Toolbar, I saw the PageRank bar read a PageRank 6. After refreshing a couple of times and rubbing the sand out of my eyes, low and behold, after 3 or 4 years at PageRank 7, we dropped.

I can’t say I was too surprised. Search Engine Journal was not the only site I noticed a drop in PageRank on last night, I noticed many other blogs and forums I read experiencing a drop. And recent Google activity has pointed to a new regrouping of PageRank, which may be addressing the size and growth of the Internet since Larry PageRank was first published, or may be addressing the growth of paid linking.

So, I made some changes to my template to eliminate the 3 links under Supporters, added a button from AdAge and thought about new changes I could make to the site, some which have nothing to do with links, Google or PageRank.

The drop in PageRank did not keep me up last night as I drifted off into dreamland with thoughts of the next few weeks in my mind.

This morning however, I noticed that search marketing blogs were not alone. Actually, we’re in rather good company. Here is a list of some of the major sites ‘hit’ by the PageRank update yesterday:

Like I said, rather good company. Newspaper and blog networks which use a lot of intralinking, seem to have been hit hard; b5media, Weblogs, Inc. and Gawker.

One could say that paid linking led to the decrease in PageRank for these sites, but not all of these sites use paid linking as a source of revenue.

Furthermore, there are many sites which were not associated with this drop in PageRank which sell paid links, but I’m not going to out them.

So, why the decrease? As I wait to hear back from Google on the decrease, there are many reasons which Google may be changing PageRank.

  • Paid Linking : The easy excuse is that they’re targeting paid links, but not all sites which experienced the drop sell or buy links.
  • Mass Linking : Do we link out to too many sites via Blog Rolls? Does Linkbait just result in TOO MANY links, even if they are natural. Do blog networks use influential linking to their advantage? I think PageRank has been spread too thin and Google is changing its PageRank formula to address the mass publishing which has taken place over the past 2 years.
  • Devalue PageRank : PageRank is seen by many as the end all value of a web site. Our PageRank dropped but we are receiving more Google search traffic than ever. PageRank does not define site rankings in Google or traffic and it should not be mistaken as so.
  • Kill the Paid Link Market : If Paid Linking houses use PageRank as a pricing metric, then eliminating or devaluing PageRank will devalue paid linking

We’ll have some more news on the changes in PageRank, or the Great Google Halloween Update, but until Matt Cutts addresses this on his blog or Google… please sound off in the comments below:

  • Why do you think Google has changed the PageRank on so many sites?
  • Was your site hit? If so, why do you think so?
  • What sites have you noticed that experienced a drop in PageRank?
Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
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  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Oh, I know we’re reading as PageRank 4 on some data centers, and PageRank 6 on others, so no, I’m not in denial saying we’re a PageRank 6 when it reads 4 on your toolbar or Firefox extension.

    And if 30 is the new 20, is PageRank 4 the new PageRank 7?

  • Rhea Drysdale

    haha, you’re in page rank denial. Do they have treatment centers for that?

    “If Paid Linking houses use PageRank as a pricing metric, then eliminating or devaluing PageRank will devalue paid linking”
    –> Great point!!!

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    BTW, I’d like to add that not all of the links I took off of the Supporters part of my template were paid. They were Supporters, not Sponsored Links πŸ™‚

  • Pablo Palatnik

    Funny how I just blogged about this issue last night titled, Paid Links Don’t Hurt Your PageRank Right? Matt Cutts? It’s funny how Google puts the Pagerank tool for you to use but don’t tell you how it really works. It’s a guessing game at this point. Don’t think it should affect your search rankings (for now atleast.)

  • Mike

    I think it’s a combination of all the above, Loren. There has been too much of a focus on PR by SEOs and bloggers for so long that Big G are now looking to destroy the monster they created. However in doing so they have seriously upset a lot of their biggest supporters and I think the backlash could prove unpleasant for the Google share holders…

  • Sam

    When i first start buying link 2 -3 years ago, pr4 was high and pr 6 was hard to find.

    Now PR4 is consider as low and everyone is selling pr6 site.

    A lot of site’s PR went up because people are buying link to increase their PR.

  • digitalnomad

    Looks like 4 to me on FF.

  • Kent Schnepp

    Loren –

    How long had paid links been on Search Engine Journal?

  • Doug Heil

    Maybe you are linking out to bad neighborhoods with some of those “sponsors” you list in here?

    Some of those could not give me 10K per month to advertise on my sites.

    I don’t know, but none of the sites I monitor had any PR go down. I had to “turn on” the silly green bar to find out. If a site’s referrals have not went down, a lower green bar means nothing unless you actually think a higher green figure bar means a better site? Surely you don’t think that? πŸ™‚

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    “If a site’s referrals have not went down, a lower green bar means nothing unless you actually think a higher green figure bar means a better site?”

    Well said Doug, especially since the little green bar does not reflect Google’s internal site measurements.

    I agree 100% with your statement.

    I think it is our job to educate the other millions of publishers in the world of the same mindset.

    Like I said, I did not lose any sleep over this last night, especially since traffic or rankings were not effected. But, according to other forums and emails received, a lot of people are. Maybe we can work together to bring some calm.

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    @ Kent : Supporters was part of the site structure for about 11 months.

    I wouldn’t go as far as calling them paid links, as they were not all paid for.

    Over the course of 3 to 4 years, however, we have tried many different kinds of revenue generation.

    Remember, given the examples, this may have nothing to do with paid linking.

  • Doug Heil

    Well, I don’t discuss much about “PR” in my forums as it’s a useless indicator of anything anyway. Besides that, what you see is about 3 months old data anyhoo. Only Google knows a site’s “exact” PR value and they ain’t tellin, especially the SEO industry.

    I’m don’t understand why Google displays the bar anymore. It’s purpose was to get good public relations a long time ago. It’s not needed now. It only serves “text link brokers” and those who sell pagerank text links. In other words, it’s totally useless. It actually always has been totally useless as a “rank” indicator.

    Why the SEO industry has made a big deal of the green bar all these years is something I’ve never been able to understand. Oh sure; Google may have created the metric, but it’s the SEO industry who has been their very own worse culprit in spreading the BS and falsehoods about the bar. That’s not Google’s fault. It’s purely business what Google did years ago…… and it worked. It’s purely stupidity what the SEO industry did….. and it shows.

    I can thank my lucky stars that my forums and myself “never” got caught up in the absurdity.

  • CarstenCumbrowski

    I see a 4 for SEJ in IE 7 with Goog Toolbar too. Hey, my site has now a higher PR than yours. Maybe I should start selling links (I am kidding).

    I am looking for sponsors that fit the sites/pages content, but the spots for this are prominent and thus advertising and branding rather than SEO. I don’t nofollow them, because I decided not to nofollow any link on my site that I reviewed and approved myself. I also don’t link to anything that would like me to link to it, but has no relevance and value for my visitors. They can go and spend their money elsewhere. Nofollow was not created for that.

    I agree with SAM. A PR 4 or 5 was not much until now. It used to be in the past. Since it does not have any relationship to traffic anymore does it actually also not matter. My PR gain (I had a PR4 until recently) did not make my traffic jump, would a drop leave me as cold as this increase.

  • Jarrod (

    Toolbar PR is down evenly accross the web.

    Our inventory sites (Sites selling links) have gone down proportionally to the non-paid-link sites we are watching.

    This appears to be an overall reduction accross the board, probably due to many new sites in the index or an overall reduction of link value’s, or both.

  • Cristian Mezei

    My blog’s PR dropped from 6 to 5, after more then two stable years of 6.

  • New Cars

    Some sites have taken a real hit with movements from PR8 down to PR4.

    If Google are trying to address the balance between where they originally believed sites should be in relation to the green bar (two/three years back) and where they have ended up today. I think they have done a years worth of reduction in one foul swoop and guess what it will all be history next month as everyone waits for the next update hoping for an increase or at least not another decrease.

  • Jonathan Dingman

    I honestly feel that if Google is doing this to bully the paid link market, the industry will just find another way to determine link values.

    Technorati,, Alexa, Y! backlinks, you name it, there’s another metric out there.

  • Hawaii SEO

    Hmmm… Has anyone noticed PR-4 or lower websites taking a hit as well or is the update just affecting PR-5 or better websites?

    Has anyone been demoted to something below PR-4?

  • New Cars

    Hawaii was a PR5 and on most data centres it is now showing a PR3.

    It would appear Google have only reached PR5 sites so far maybe tomorrow will be the day for PR4, PR3 and below.

  • Manish Pandey

    Loren a website that I personally know is which dropped from PR5 to PR3 now.

    The reasons as you mentioned above are very true, but the most important reason that I feel is that it’s about paid links (the blog rolls).

    One other reason that I think is that you may have increased number of links on your home page, hence all the links getting equal proportion of link juice may have decreased the PR.

    For it might be true as Darren recently got a new design for his blog. Which consists of more number of links to his posts, hence the link juice passed may have increased.

  • Doug Heil

    Don’t know guys/gals. Someone said above that PR has dropped “across the board”. I don’t see it at all. Matter of fact; I don’t see it on many, many sites. I don’t see “any” changes at all. The site I just added to my profile is the forums. It has had a PR5 for as long as I can remember. It’s still a PR5, so “across the board” is kind of over the top I think.

  • Jarrod


    Accross the board does not mean “every site”, it means that no one particular subset of sites got hit more then another.

    We track thousands of sites, so we have a pretty good sample.

  • Allie Williams

    We monitor the PR for several of our media partners, and most had no change. Of about 20 sites surveyed, only a couple dropped: dropped from 6 to 4,
    and dropped from 7 to 4

    Zvents powers subdomains on both properties, and we’ve seen an increase in Google organic traffic to both sites.

  • Prashant Kumar Pracheta

    Hello Friendsssss,

    This news is very excited….

  • Jonathan Dingman

    I think it’s people like him ^ that nofollow exists in the first place.

  • Cristian Mezei

    Jonathan, leave them be.

    PR is anyhow just a small indicator of the whole industry.

    Rankings are what we are all after.

  • Jonathan Dingman


    I was just stating what no one else was going to πŸ˜‰

  • Mike

    As Jonathan says earlier, link brokers will simply find another metric for pricing links without PageRank. It’s not a big deal.

    However, the real question has to be what is Big G’s real motivation behind this? Loren asked the question in the main article and, as far as I can see having spent the last two hours reading conjecture about the drop in PR, Big G haven’t actually come out with an all encompassing answer.

    The longer the FUD goes on, the more it builds up.

  • Pozycjonowanie

    I also see PR4 I think this is PR upadate and maybe SEJ lost some strong BL (or the BL lost strong BL etc.) and this is the real reason why the PR is getting lower (one site link to other and this spreed like circle if one page is lower it low the other pages). Regards

  • Duncan

    I checked a couple of Gawker blogs last night and I didn’t see any PR drop with them, it might have been some I missed if this is the case: which ones?

    Also on the paid link side, there are at least two in your list that I’m led to believe don’t sell links, Copyblogger is one of them. As I’ve suggested elsewhere I think this is more to do with heavy cross linking, which goes to your theory of an algorithm change.

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Yeah Duncan, and I think if anything, this change in Toolbar PageRank will help people understand that PageRank does not effect rankings or traffic, only the perceived values of some outbound links.

    Pozycjonowanie, I’m not aware of any loss of Search Engine Journal backlinks. In fact, we have very good backlinks.

    I’d like to also point out that I have never, to the best of my knowledge, actually paid for a link to Search Engine Journal.

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Duncan, I’ll double check on Gawker, but b5 and Weblogs, Inc. were hit hard.

  • Alex

    Notice that and did not take a hit, even though they’re high profile, high PR and obviously selling links (opinionjournal via TLA).

    Meanwhile washington post and washington times had their PR knocked. (also missing PR points are and, both prominent high PR TLA clients).

  • Duncan

    Thanks Loren. I knew (or have since heard) about the others but when I checked Valleywag, Gizmodo and Lifehacker last night I wasn’t seeing any change. Gawker don’t do the heavy sidebar links and mass footer here’s the latest 10 post for a dozen blogs in our network style links either.

    The more I think about this though: the more I’m liking your algorithm suggestion. I wonder how though they picked this: maybe cross links on shared IP addresses or servers? Maybe one the SEO guys might be able to narrow this down.

  • Credit Cards

    Why do you think Google has changed the PageRank on so many sites?
    – I don’t think Google has penalized most of the sites. They simply discounted the juice or boost that many sites were receiving through paid backlinks. Through their automated algo, I think they may have hurt some innocent sites in the process.

    Was your site hit? If so, why do you think so?
    – My sites were not hit fortunately. Crossing my phalanges.

    What sites have you noticed that experienced a drop in PageRank?
    – AliveDirectory, AvivaDirectory,…Shoemoney remains to be PR6.

  • Ramenos

    I have noticed that PageRank of my blog has decreased too. I don’t understand Google which wants to blam blogs which do “intelligent cross-linking”…

  • Jonathan Dingman

    Credit Cards,

    As I’ve noticed, AliveDirectory, AvivaDirectory, all of those sites have indeed dropped PageRank, particularly those two to a PR4.

    This is definitely a new PageRank algorithm.

  • Mark Alan Effinger

    We’ve been watching this as well, and I gotta’ think it’s really Google’s retelling of the Pagerank story:

    It’s gotta’ be hell to track this much social media activity. Add to that, I receive at least one email a day regarding new software promising lots of inbound links.

    I would think Google has a pretty large team dedicated to deciphering these “technologies” and thwarting their effects… even if it lowers the overall PR of the web.

    We’re all in the same ship.

    One more thought: because Pagerank has “cliffs” between rank numbers, couldn’t just a handful of inbound link eliminations, along with some on-site changes, cause what appears to be a radical shift, when it reality it’s part of a point, not really a radical drop?

    Just curious.

  • SendTraffic SEO

    I believe that all of the paid link fear stirred up by Google and its notable employees is all in an effort to rile up some feathers and put fear of the sky falling down in the hearts of some SEO practitioners and stop them from buy/selling links because Google cannot algorithmically detect and take action on all purchased links.

    Instead, I believe the drop is a general devaluation of pages and their subsequent PageRank. For example, if the links you have are less valuable with less total PageRank to pass around, then your little green bar dips.

  • manisha

    Ha!! just as I was thinking Bingo!now I have got the whole PR thing right -this turns up. Where to go from here, small fishes like me just got fried.

  • Jonathan Dingman


    Welcome to the world of search marketing πŸ™‚

  • Gareth White

    Does anyone else believe that this algo may be a punishment for reciprical links. With the data available to me and reading the comments above about other people observations it seems to fit together.

    Just imagine for a minuite. What if google stopped passing link juice on reciprical and not paid links. What would be the result in this scenario? I think it could be something similar to what we are seeing at the moment. In additon, its something that would not be too hard for googles programmers to change in the algo.

  • Credit Cards

    I definitely do not think it is due to reciprocal links. The websites we’ve mentioned within these comments do not participate in reciprocal linking, yet they’ve faced drops in SERPs and PR. The case is more likely to be that they were involved in selling or purchasing links.

  • Ravinder Kadian

    thanx for good information

  • Mohd. Hashim Khan

    My sites also got new ranks (increased) and I am surprised to see one of my site which is not so popular and still got rank 4, this definately looks like a new algorithm but paid linking sites got lower rank ? no this is not the case.

  • Lisa

    I think it is amazing how we struggle to understand this elusive metric. My addiction treatment advertising site was built to compete with the guys who sell ads at 2500 – 5000 per month, to treatment centers – mine are 65.00. There are also the individuals whose sites dominate the industry selling “clients“ disguised by an “advertising fee“ to treatment centers. As a fairly experienced SEO/developer my desire for competing in this market is personal and more idealistic than monetary. My desire is to provide a service to compete with all the dishonest advertising taking place in this industry and provide a way for the dedicated treatment providers to garner some good exposure and really help people. My site ranks well and has only been up 1.5 years. However, could never get past 3 PR and today it is a Big 2! Oh, and my competitors that produce revenues of 2.5 million a year and spend about 30-50K a month in PPC – their PR has not changed-so go figure??? Also, having recently received calls from the President’s of these major cash cows to “feel me out” as they see my site ranking, it makes me wonder how much influence a major client of Google’s actually has.? My site is straight up and honest which does not seem to meet the PR criteria. So, I guess as long as Google profits, everything is good in PR world?

  • wedding queen

    Interesting reading – thanks Loren. Our PR dropped from 6 to 3 yesterday and I am unsure of the cause. We do not sell links for PR and are using the nofollow tags. We review all listings and do not, IMO, link to bad neighborhoods. Our rankings don’t seem to have been affected (yet) though. Our competitors’ PR seem to remain steady. I’m baffled by the drop and wonder if there has been a penalty inflicted, and, if so, what will the future hold for our Google rankings? How can a site owner be sure they have a penalty, what sort of penalty and how to “cure” it? Comments and advice appreciated.

  • You Mon Tsang

    Looks like you need another update. From where I sit, looks like PR has been updated again and many of the sites listed above have regained some or all their Page Rank!

  • Boris

    Well, so much as been written about PR being dead… I am surprised by all the comments all over the place…

  • G Law

    I am still wondering if page rank have anything to do with rank position. I have dropped from pagerank 3 to 2 and my rank position varies week to week.

  • LR

    I don’t think this PR update targeted just sites with paid links. My site has no paid links but my index page and Links page dropped from PR5 to PR4 and from PR4 to PR3 respectively. All other pages did not change. This makes me think G derated reciprocal links.

  • G Law

    Yeah….mine don’t have any paid links either mine dropped from PR3 to PR2 yesterday. Today it went back to PR3.

    The Google toolbar meter is different from's meter. One say PR3. The other says PR2. What’s up with that??

  • Lisa

    Well, I feel like an idiot for my venting on here yesterday. However, I really did not have a good understanding of the no follow tag, (nor used it). My site clearly should employ them so I have restructured the entire site with regard to paid links and added the no follow tags. I always wondered why my site never exceeded a 3 PR and this was probably the reason because it ranks very well. In any event, it will be interesting to see how these change effect the PR,- sorry Google! πŸ™‚ I am still learning…

  • Aleks

    Hey, even my employee’s website – – has suffered from this, 5 to 4, whoa! Not funny… We do sell our space for banners but not high-PR-mindedly…

  • Peter

    I had been adding content to a site ( recently and suddently saw it dropping 1 PR point! Oh no! What did I do wrong?! But now I read a large part of the Internet has been effected so I guess this really is an algorithm change, or recalibration.. It probably isn’t as bad as we initially thought.

    Those people at Google really know how to stir up the market! πŸ˜‰

  • mvkozyrev

    This news, this article and all of comments are interesting. But offtopic question: Does it meen that Internet go arround SE and SEO?
    I think, we have a big problem, and we realy need alternative way to searh somethink in the Internet.

  • SendTraffic SEO

    I think what everyone needs to understand is that not all of your sites that lost PR were “penalized.” Instead, other sites on the internet were! The PR that those “demoted” sites pass on has been reduced, which caused the receiving sites to get less PR. The PR that those receiving sites pass on has been reduced and the receiving sites of those receiving sites has been reduced. This process repeats until the total reduced amount of PR being passed is linked to your site and thus you now have less.

    So dont worry, you didnt do anything wrong. πŸ™‚

    In either case, I dont think that Google is somehow algorithmically penalizing all sites that sell links (which we all know is theoretically impossible). I think they have devalued some of the higher profile sellers (Forbes, Standford Daily, Washington Post), as well as many sites that perform extensive reciprocal linking and have effectively created Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt in the industry. Now everythone thinks big Google will get you for selling links–even though you didnt.

    …sort of like when the police follow you for a while and you start to question yourself if you actually did something. Guilty conscience.

  • Antonio

    Google decided to penalise who they *think* is selling links. Yeah, they decide…
    Our site gives information about the Algarve to people who is interested in visiting the region. We have a page that is part of our site which goal is to help people decide about car hire in Algarve. There is a lot of links in that page all of them from local car hire companies and none of them are payed links. We just have there the links that local companies ask us to put there as part of the information process. We don’t sell these links. But aparently Google decided we sell these links and our page droped from the first page of the search to nowhere.
    That’s good. Good think and decide… Meanwhile all the pages that gain positions in seach due to the money they pay to adwords are there and always climbing…

  • AussieWebmaster

    The best indicator is how many “link buyers” are complaining about dramatic drops in their SERPs for their keywords…..

    If they have not been effected “across the board” then the impact is not as bad as people are saying – the links still have value.

    If the only ones crying about drops are those that bought links without regard of topic and only for PR then we can see a change in the industry and not its death.

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    “If the only ones crying about drops are those that bought links without regard of topic and only for PR then we can see a change in the industry and not its death.”

    That my friend is a change I would like to see πŸ™‚

  • Snuggley Heating Pad

    Someone was wondering if lower PR sites took a hit. I did…I use to be a PR5 years ago. I went to a PR4, which was probably right, I should not have been a PR5. Last Year I dropped to a PR3, I was fine because I was still on page one of my words that I wanted.
    Two weeks ago, I dropped from most of my keywords on Google only (Yahoo, MSN, and Ask I am still fine) and now I went from a PR3 to a Pr2. I have never bought any links, but, I have exchanged them with craft sites. I also post my site on anything that I write on. I thought that I was suppose to do that. So, yes, even little sites like mine (PR3)took a hit the other day. Just thought that you all would want to know that. Google has really hurt me and I am not sure why.

  • AussieWebmaster

    SHP – how far did you drop? Do you have numerous links on your pages to other sites? Do you have a blog roll, a favorite sites box… some type of repeated linking – or even a section on your home page?

    Sigs are generally no follows in most forums and blogs – they are a pure branding, direct traffic play.

    maybe a bunch of the places you have dropped site links have been devalued and you used anchor text for the keywords you were ranking for….

    if it is actually tied to this recent algo change then there should be a relationship somewhere

  • SendTraffic SEO

    It seems there is a lack of informed knowledge about how PageRank works. Please reference my comment above for why all of your sites are losing PR.

  • Snuggley Heating Pad

    Aussie, I do have links pages…but not on my home page. Most of those links for other sites are craft related sites (since mine is a craft related site) I do have all of my pages listed at the bottom (linked together) The one outgoing link on my home page is my dad’s site.

    What do you think about this…I read somewhere that dropped in PR. I use them. I wonder if they were penalized by Google and so Google is indirectly penalizing me as well. I like Statcounter to track my visits.

    I dropped out of my top 4 keywords. I can not find myself anywhere on those 4 keywords. Now, I am on some keywords that I never used in anchor links. The words that I use for anchor links are the words that I am gone from on Google. This is rather humerous because I am just a little site that sells corn heating pads…nothing big…just a home made site making home made items!! ha-ha! πŸ™‚

  • Snuggley Heating Pad

    Send Traffic SEO
    Maybe the rain down efect is why I dropped in PR. I could really care less about my PR, I just wish that I had not dropped from my most important keywords. I have sites that have my website on there ranked higher than my own site, on my keywords! Sort of weird. Oh well, I do not want this to be a pity party for my webstie, I just wanted to answer someone’s question above about lower PR sites losing PR…and I am one of those. Thank you

  • SendTraffic SEO

    Snuggley Heating Pad (LOL),
    You can attribute a rankings drop to this PR update?

  • AussieWebmaster

    Yes the weight of text links drops and the anchor text terms will fall with them….

    let’s face it no one cares about PR it is all about SERPs

  • Free Link Directory

    I do NOT really care about PR but rather RANK POSITION is important to me. Is it tied together??

  • Carson Coots

    I’m loving the Halloween update…my site jumped from a PR zero to PR2.

    And I bet that if pagerank jumped for everyone, nobody would be talking about how it is completely worthless.

    Even though it is worthless, it does help with morale πŸ™‚

  • venkat

    Hey I have lost my page rank 5 to 4 last night how can i bring to 5 plz suggest me thanks in advance


  • Jonathan Dingman


    You need to hop into bed with a senior editor and have them post a link to your site, that should do the trick.

  • AussieWebmaster

    Jon… when did you get a job at Time?

  • Jonathan Dingman


    I have an interview lined up for August of 2017. Hopefully by that time, SEM will be a pastime and it will all be social marketing.

  • Shannon

    My site was consistently a PR6 for years and now it’s dropped to PR5. We’ve recently added a links page with recip links and I’m thinking this is the problem. All of the links we exchange with are related to what we do so I didn’t think it would be a problem. Should I remove a lot of these links? Is it the outbound links that are causing a problem?

  • AussieWebmaster

    Was the addition of pages done at the same time which lowers the over PR of everyone as it were.

  • Alan

    I have to disagree with Doug Heil’s second post. The majority of the SEO industry is, and always has been reacting to the rules set forth by Google in an effort to do what’s best for both their clients and their business. When high PR on a poorly optimized site results in a number one ranking (which is common), what else are we to attribute the ranking to? If you eliminate all other factors outside of PR (as many SEO’s have on behalf of their clients), yet still can’t touch the top spot on a particular term, logic says that PR has to be the culprit. Though Google is changing the way they valuate sites today, it certainly doesn’t mean PR was a “useless indicator” yesterday.

  • Lisa

    Who can tell me the exact elements required to achieve a high PR? Anyone…..Anyone… Is it time of the domain + high PR backlinks +not too many BL too soon+ relevant content+some PPC+SEO+no follow tags? What is it????This is based on white hat endeavors only. I know a few old time SEO’s and they live and die by PR. There also seems to be a direct correlation to high SERPs and PR. I just removed 1200 outgoing links to clients and replaced that with 40 outgoing with no follow tags. Prior to this or actually during, I went from a 3 to 2 on PR dooms day. Any thoughts on what else I can do? I had also starting adding video to my site, then also uploading it to utube and google for additional exposure. My backlinks doubled overnight. Do I have a mess or what? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Oh, and I still get the same amount of hits, but not the higher level of difficulty key words.

  • Jonathan Dingman


    No one can, not even Google. There is not a single person on earth that knows exactly how PageRank and the Google algo works. There are dozens if not hundreds of people working on it at any given time.

    Do not worry about PR. PR doesn’t matter.

    Worry about your search positions. Work on getting relevant backlinks to your site and that will solve your problems.

    For one of my sites, I have a PR3, but I rank #1 and #2 for very competitive keywords. PR is meaningless.

  • Lisa

    Jonathan-I feel better now-knowing that it’s ok not to know-thank you! πŸ˜‰ I have been focusing on the backlinks and will continue.

  • wedding queen

    And how, praytell, are we to get ANY backlinks if Google insists that all links should have the nofollow tags?

  • Jonathan Dingman

    Wedding queen,

    Pray to the voodoo people in Hawaii. They might have some backlinks for you.

    Or just start using Yahoo! instead.

    Hey wait! That’s a great alternative actually! Let’s all start using Yahoo! instead and then maybe Google will stop pooping in their pants about PR.

  • SendTraffic SEO

    Google never said that all links should be nofollow. Just the paid ones.

    Next question: Whats a paid link? πŸ™‚

  • Jonathan Dingman


    I’ll mail you a shirt with the Ginside logo on it if you link to me, sound good? mmmk thx!

    Oh wait…maybe that’s a “paid” link….but maybe it’s not!

    *spins the 8-ball….waits….poof!* the 8-ball said it wouldn’t be!! It must be ok then!!!


  • wedding queen

    EXACTLY! Who does Google think they are to know what motivates a link?

  • wedding queen

    YES – we all need to REVOLT and use Yahoo. Good Deal. Pass the word.

  • dt

    My PR dropped from 5 to 3 and happen at a very tough time at work for me.

    It did not help as I once wrote that “blogging keeps me sane” in this insane world.

    I’m one of these small bloggers and not a SEO expert. As a result it was a huge shock and disappointment as my blog Design Sojourn, like many other bloggers, had a lot of work put into it.

    I have found that PR had only affected my advertising dollars not so much on traffic (a slight drop) nor search result.

    Not much more that hurt to personal pride.

  • Satya

    I think PR should be discounted. Search for “perl database script” will show that, in the over 2.7 million sites in the results, the top site is, yet its PR is 2.

  • Credit Cards

    In response to Shannon, I do think you should stop exchanging links. You can keep a links page, but the original intention of links pages were to link out to “sites of interest” or a “friends’ sites” without the requirement of a reciprocal link.

    Over the last 6 to 8 years, webmasters have been saavy to reciprocal linking for the benefits of SEO and SERPs.

    I think Google is trying to take the internet back to the days of innocence when reciprocal linking wasn’t done for PR juice or SEO.

  • Jonathan Dingman

    Google has never owned the Internet and they never will. Google is simply a search engine on the Internet., Yahoo!,, there are plenty of other search engines out there.

  • Credit Cards

    In response to Jonathan Dingman,

    I like your optimism, but the reality is Google plays a major role on the internet, and they have a huge influence over how companies conduct business.

    MSN and Yahoo are fine, but they are in my opinion, still behind on search result relevancy. Let the numbers speaks for themselves, Google gets twice as many searches than Yahoo, and 4 times more than MSN. It’s not just a coincidence. Consumers and webmasters both like Google best.

  • hostyasui

    a lot of webmasters are curious about the new change in google page rank. In my view they changed the way the page rank used to show, so all the sites which were linking with greater page rank sites page rank were decreased. some of the sites which were not linked to any of the high page rank site has not decreased the page rank, as far as i have seen of my clients websites the new sites has increased their page rank, while other has been decreased.

  • Mike Koenig

    In case no one has notice… some pages that have 0 backlinks have pr’s of 4 or higher. Not going to give an example, as one is my site… lol but its out there. Are backlinks no longer relavant

  • D. Murdock

    My PR has actually gone back UP after a drop last spring. In the meantime, Google has snagged my site for some reason – duplicate content? “excessive” internal linking? – to the point where you can’t even find it by typing in my name. That started one week BEFORE your PR problems. My traffic from Google has dried up almost completely, and every time I check to see if the site is still in the index, hundreds of fewer pages show. As this rate, my site will disappear off the index within a few days.

    Is Google on the edge of chaos? My site is considered, I believe, an “old authority site,” in view of the high SERPs it was receiving for several years. Now, nada. I’m wondering if gutting the whole thing will unsnag it. Naturally, no real help from Google at the Google webmaster groups…

  • SendTraffic SEO

    Mike Koenig,

    When you say a site has 0 backlinks but a PR4, are you referring to using the “link:” operator in Google?

    If so, that database has not been updated in months!

  • Satya

    Quote “I think PR should be discounted. Search for “perl database script” will show that, in the over 2.7 million sites in the results, the top site is, yet its PR is 2.”

    It has backlinks; but being just PR2 it is top most in Google for search results.

    You could try 3 way links at; this site gives FREE links for one site and runs on auto, no link building involves webmasters. Good point is, there is no reference on your links pages to as a links provider

  • Doug Heil

    Alan wrote this:

    “When high PR on a poorly optimized site results in a number one ranking (which is common), what else are we to attribute the ranking to?”

    You are assuming you know what a good optimized site is, right? I don’t know who you are so I have no idea if you know or not, but if you are assuming that PR is what gets a site to the top then you are mistaken.

    Lisa; you say you know some “old time” SEO’s who live and die by PR. I suggest you get to know some old time SEO’s who do not. πŸ™‚

    Alan; Like I stated in that second post you referenced, the PR you see in the silly toolbar is NOT your Pagerank at all. Why people keep on talking/discussing this green bar is extremely funny. I decided to take a look at this thread since I haven’t in quite a few days. It keeps going and going and ya all keep on discussing the green bar. πŸ™‚

  • SendTraffic SEO

    Doug Heil,

    I like your post. I have one pending from yesterday that pretty much says the same thing and helps explain PR. It also tries to calm everyone’s hysteria down.

    Too bad its still in moderation.

  • Satya

    I think I am conceited in believing that I know how to seo a site. Of course how you link carries a lot of weight too. If you search for “mardi gras beads” you will will also in top-10 though not right at the top. This is just another example.

    Oh by the way, I do SEO for others trying to get their sites up in PR and SERP (we are all brainwashed). But personally, when required, I search in Yahoo, msn and then Google, in that order.

    Another of my experiences. I have a PR zero 2 months old site. It has more traffic than all my 3 years old sites even, and plenty from Google too. Personally, I think we should stop bothering about PR and get sites to give some purposeful info

  • Alan


    I understand what you’re saying, and I’m certainly not assuming PR is what gets a site to the top. In the absence of competition, an indexed site with little to no PR can easily be on top (especially for long tail searches). Often, an indexed site with proper on-page optimization can outrank a site with a higher “showing” PR, but again, just as often the opposite happens. I say “showing” because the little green bar everyone is talking about is the only immediate indicator we have.

    Is it accurate in the sense that is depicts the actual PR value? By no means. Is it reflective of link relevancy? Not by a long shot. Still, it is at least somewhat reflective of Google’s valuation of a pages’ PR or it would have no function or purpose.

    The point I was making regarding your post is that I don’t begrudge any SEO for using it as a method of PR valuation , especially in the absense of anything more concrete. It’s not only a visible indication (albeit inaccurate) of established PR or PR deficiency to the SEO, but to the client as well.

    More importantly, regardless of the inaccuracies it contains across the boards (for all sites), it’s still a somewhat accurate reflection of Google valuation of any one page. That’s more in line with trust rank and quantity than relevancy, which is why PR isn’t the be all and end all of ranking attributes and what makes the scenarios I’ve presented in my two posts possible.

    It is a piece of the puzzle, however, so how you can say that you don’t undestand why the SEO community “makes a big deal” about it is beyond me. It’s a lot like a performance evaluation at a job. Sure, it doesn’t account for an employees real value, but it’s nothing to ignore.

  • Lisa

    Doug-thanks for the thought on the old time seo, because I do not really respect this guy and his methodoligies anyway. He was the reason I built my site to begin with. It has been good for me to hear from other seo’s and their take on PR. He tells prospective clients how important PR is (my prospective clients). He is a 5 me a 2 now. I guess at the end of the day nobody still likes to be demoted, and clearly if we did not care we wouldn’t be talking πŸ™‚ My site still ranks well but I think that the majority of the sites that link to me are a 1 or 2, could that be part of it? And should I not ask my clients for a reciprical links any longer? This freaked me out so much that I changed all my out bound link structure and sent G a reinclusion email telling them I fixed it with no follow tags – why am I so afraid now? I am still learning but have never participated in link farms, etc. I used to have 1 God in my life, now I have 2. But I still love this business….

  • Adam T

    Yes, we too have just made some much anticipated updates to our site and overnight we went from a PR 6 to a PR 3.
    My thoughts and ‘hopes’ are that we will bounce back to a PR 6 or better within the next short while based on all of our new SEO friendly updates.
    It was quite a surprise to see the sudden drop but I have noticed that our google search rankings are quickly climbing the ladder under aggressive keywords. So, all in all it should be worth it in the long haul!


    Adam T.

  • Shannon

    In response to Doug Heil, I am basing my PageRank on the green bar in my toolbar. This went from a 6 to a 5. How or where else would I find our what my PageRank is?

  • Paul

    We have taken a hit from PR4 to a PR2. I have made lots of recent paid links.

    I’ll have to keep an eye on position and traffic to see if this does have any affect.



  • Shannon

    I just found this info about “nofollow” tags but I don’t understand why they are so important. Why would Google penalize us for posting our courses on sites as advertising? Why is this so wrong?

    It’s more work, or rather, more thought of SEO to include these “nofollow” tags. So in an a way Google is punishing people who really have no clue of SEO. I mean I understand SEO but I never knew that to not add “nofollow” would hurt us.

    We post hundreds of our courses on dozens of free calendars as well as a few paid ones…so is Google saying that for each and every one I need to add “nofollow” tags? This is absurb. We have a data entry person who just submits our sites on the calendar’s form so is Google asking that now our data entry person become schooled in SEO and require that she add tags left and right. This whole thing is frustrating me quite a bit.

    So every banner ad and every link into our site must include “nofollow” tags? Or Google penalizes us? Is that everyone’s understanding of this blurb?


    Buying Your Rank
    NEVER pay for inclusion in a text-link Pagerank-boosting ring. If you use advertising, the links to your site should include the ‘rel=”nofollow”’ attribute, which informs Google and other engines to not associate the linking page to yours in the calculation of rank. Indiscriminately paying sites to link to yours without including ‘rel=”nofollow”’ on the links is not only wrong (you are attempting to boost your rank above other, more deserving pages), you also risk being penalized by search engines. If a known spam site links to your site, you risk losing your ranking or being “black-holed”.

  • Doug Heil

    Shannon; The responsibility of having a website is that the owner needs to be very aware of all things about their own business/site. Being aware of what the guidelines are for search engines that give all sites free referrals is something that is basic.

    If you already know that a form of search engine spam is tricking the search engines, then you really should know that anything a site might do to trick the engines is something you should know as well. Claiming that site owners do not know about search engines is actually saying you don’t feel that owner is responsible for their own sites.


    Loren is choosing to use nofollow on all blog comments in here and also choosing to use nofollow on other selected outgoing links in here on every page of his site. For some reason he is choosing to “not” use nofollow all the paid ads in here. I find that interesting.

    Many of the paid ads in here are to bad neighborhoods, etc and to sites you could not pay me one million dollars to link out to. He chooses to link to them for one thing, but also chooses to not use the nofollow tag. You see; this is going totally against Google in every way. In my mind, he is saying that he trusts all paid links and votes for them, but does not trust “any” outgoing link that is not paid for. Of course; this is strictly my opinion only. πŸ™‚

    Loren is choosing to run his site the way he wants to run it. He is not claiming ignorance though. I know many out there use the ignorance spin to bolster their arguments about why Google should not be doing what they are doing, but clearly, each and every owner needs to wise up and take responsibility for their very own websites.

  • dt

    What about spam blogs that scrape stuff from your site, but linkback to your work? Does that affect your page rank?

  • Credit Cards

    SEO is not black and white; it has a lot of gray areas especially because search engine algos are so complex.

    So, one site that buys paid links might get penalized, while a different site that also buys paid links might not.

    It all seems arbitrary, but you have to realize that there is a complex algo at work here. Maybe it’s based on the number of paid links. Maybe it’s based on the ratio of paid vs natural links. Maybe it’s based on how quickly you’ve built these links. Maybe it’s who you link out to. Maybe it’s how or who you buy links from.

    There are many unknowns and variables. The best we can do is try to make educated guesses.

    In regards to spam blog links, those links are probably just ignored by Google. It depends on how Google views that blog via its algo. Does it look at it as a spam blog or a legitimate blog with good content.

  • Sean @ DeepRough

    My page rank had been stuck around 4, for approximately a year. Then, all of a sudden, I noticed last week that it had bumped up to 5. It stayed there until yesterday, where now it has dropped down to 3?

    The strange thing is, I’m seeing more inbound google search traffic than I have in the past month?

    Any ideas why that would have happened? Did the do a ‘trial’ run around 10/24 then make changes and re-run their algorithm again?

  • Thought of the Day

    I have a question for you all?

    Lets say it true, you buy links – you get penalized!

    I have a competitor – we all have competitors.

    Lets say I am ruthless enough to buy links for them (without there knowledge), I am then ruthless enough to report them for buying links.

    Surely Google must have thought about this?

    Selling links, thats down to you, it’s your site, it’s there in Black and White, its easily trackable, its easy to spot – Google could easily punish you for that.

    But buying links? I’m not sure.

  • SendTraffic SEO

    Thats called GoogleBowling and they are quite aware of it.

  • Steve

    Response to Thought of the Day,

    How is selling links easily trackable? What if the link seller doesn’t label those links as sponsored or advertisements? How would Google track those? There’s no way to tell if a link was paid for or not if there is no reference to it.

    Sites get punished for buying links too. Take a look at Aviva and Alive Directory. They were quite openly buying up all the links they could get their hands on. This SEO method worked very well for the owners until the recent Google hit.


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  • GreenPeace

    Google PageRank is not so important by now but I preffer more than less πŸ™‚

  • boris

    One reason to avoid paid links… Other than they have a cost associated with them, is that they are addictive… An SEO heroin, if you will… Easy to get and harder to walk away from.

  • Satya


    At you can get free one way links if your site is PR2+. There is no posting to your link pages required by you, all on auto. And there is no reference to on your links pages.

  • joe

    I’m keep tracking my site’s posting in directories by reciprocal links on my site. I’m starting to thinking that this may lower my Google PR.

  • Shannon

    My SEO company just submitted us to a bunch of directories, all of which have PR 0. I’m annoyed they did this without consulting us and I hope it doesn’t negatively impact us.

    Can our site be removed from directories?

  • Doug Heil

    I guess I’m wondering where all the recent above posters are learning? Who the heck are you reading anyway?.. and then believing/trusting? It seems to me that many people seem to believe that tricking google regarding links is the thing to do.

  • Jason Adair

    My page rank had been stuck around 3, for approximately a year. Then, all of a sudden, I noticed last week that it had bumped up to 4. It stayed there until sunday, where now it has dropped down to 1. guaranteed google seo australia. What is happening.

    Jason Adair
    Website Design Melbourne Australia

  • Satya


    Join at to get 3 way links FREE, if your site is PR2.

    You won’t regret. My link page has already got a PR1 in 40 days

  • Payday Land Stace

    My page rank was stuck at 1 for a while, now I’m finally noticing an increase in page rank. It actually jumped to PR4 for a few days then to PR3. I say if there’s anyone to pay, it’d be Google =)

  • Satya

    MARVEL OF THE MONTH is Top-1 in Google for search term “perl database scripts”. And it has PR zero. It appears PR is bull

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  • Steve

    What’s the deal with all this spamming within the comments?

  • Joe

    We went from a PR of 3 to 2, then lost our main page in keyword searches being at #1 for years to not being there at all. Our other pages show up. We don’t buy links and can’t figure out why???

  • Sherri

    I can’t figure out this pagerank thing either…we have been a PR6 for years and now a PR4. We haven’t paid for any links so I don’t know what is up. Alexa rank is getting worse and worse to but business seems the same and even increasing.


  • Lara Kulpa

    My site’s PR has been all over the map the past few days actually. I’d been at PR 5 for quite some time, and then dipped down on the last update (prior to this one) to a PR4.

    However this one… I’m floored. Literally! I went from 4, to 3, to ZERO, back up to 6, and then 1, and now, for the past two days, flatlined at 0 again.

    I have no idea what’s going on – it’s making me crazy. Not because I have that much stock in it – but rather it’s a slap in the face that Google’s telling me they don’t like me anymore. πŸ™

  • Satya

    In absence of direct true info from Google on their methodology, there can any number od interpretations and fretting by site owners.

    Wht not take it that Google is trying to prove that PR is all b*ull s*it so that people get away from it?

  • Satya

    In absence of direct true info from Google on their methodology, there can any number od interpretations and fretting by site owners.

    Wht not take it that Google is trying to prove that PR is all b*ll s*it so that people get away from it?

  • Lara Kulpa


    I’d love to look at it that way, but I’ve been in this business far too long to think that they’d go so non-random. There are far too many of my friends who’ve paid for this whim with a PR drop.

    Add to that fact that it’s all but been said that this was because of selling links, anyone who really knows anything about Google will know that this was a purposeful slap in the face (or, wake up call, depending on how you’re feeling) from The Big G to the rest of the world.

  • Freelance UK

    Very interesting to see what impact the update had; our site actually went from PR0 to PR4.

    The URL is relatively new but we had PR0 since the beginning of the summer, then all of a sudden we jumped to 4 without doing any link campaign etc.

    Like everyone else, I think there isn’t necessarily such a strong correlation between PR and coming up in google results anymore; I’ve seen low PR sites come up on the first page of google many times, but having said that there are some high PR usual suspects frequently dominating the first page so it’s hard to judge how important it is..


  • Satya


    I have about 11 sites including subdomains omes. I have never sold or bought links. I had 2 sites at top-1 and they are both PR0, yet top-1 in SERP. I have a new site with over 200 links, yet its PR is green. I think PR should be not considered whlst linking. I have already adapted to examining sites in some details that request links. Incidently, my traffic has gone up.

  • Lara Kulpa


    You’re absolutely right that PR has little or nothing to do with your site’s rankings in the SERPs. I already know this.

    And yes, if you’re not buying or selling links, PR SHOULD mean nothing to you.

    However this site in particular is over 10 years old, and has very high SERP results for chosen keywords. There has NEVER been an issue with PR even dropping before. It’s made it through all sorts of Google dances and updates. And suddenly, because I had a few links that someone paid me for, it’s received a PR drop not by 1 point, but down to a flat out zero.

    And in terms of link exchange requests that come in via email? For the most part you can ignore 99.5% of them. πŸ˜‰

  • Shannon

    Our site dropped from a PR6 to a PR3 … we’ve been a six for many years and don’t purchase links … I have no idea why it dropped

  • Tom Waite

    One of my old sites dropped from a PR 4 to PR3.. My new site at has not yet budged from PR0. I have bought some links for it and I am really hoping that these will not have a negative effect on possible future PR risings. Hmm

  • Stefan

    I think Google is trying to prove PR means ‘nothing’. I have a site as top-1 in serp for ‘perl database script’ even after it has gradually come down from PR6 to ZERO in steps. I have not a single paid link, incoming or outgoing, ever.

  • Abby

    Our website has been growing steadily for almost 5 years now. We even reached at one point a PR of 6 and yet remained steady at 5 for two years. Today we looked and found a PR of 3. We don’t utilize paid for links and never have. We have come to the conclusion that PR is starting to mean nothing, or at the least, have very little importance. Especially since this PR change has in no way affected the sales and increasingly unique daily visitors at

    We believe in general that people are giving too much importance to PR. It’s almost like an “icon” as opposed to an actual measure of success earned by other means of business “savvy-ness”.

    We also believe that nothing will ever substitute good old fashioned advertising!

  • praveen

    My website is just a entertainer and a learing purpose that i have been booked a couple of months before . I see my site is countinue gaining rankings in alexa at 1st it was .93 m and then .63m and now it is .40 m ranked by alexa. but i have nothing done for my site for promoting alexa.

    Plz anyone suggest my why google is still not alotted PR to my webpages?

  • CarstenCumbrowski

    praveen: your domain is too new, registered on 2007-09-25, that’s not even 3 months. It can take 6 months and longer before it shows any PR.

    p.s. Another tip. You only registered the domain for 1 year. Do you plan to ditch it soon or are you in for the long haul? If it is not a temporary domain, show it by registering it for 5, 10 or more years. Google looks at such things, as do some people who might be interested in doing business with you. You also save on the registration fees, because you get usually a big discount for long term registrations.

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  • Hair Girls

    We are page rank 1 now but our site actually went up in the ranks for the keywords that people are searching for.

  • Ravinder

    Thanks For Good Information !

  • Praveen Kumar

    Thank you very much Mr. CarstenCumbrowski ,
    But how could i see and check a domain that which domain is temporary or permanet (long time), I use history of website only through, but this website takes min. 6 months for caching a website’s back time.
    Is any tools by which i could check “period of registration” of a doman.?

  • CarstenCumbrowski

    Praveen. My previous comment was not posted so I post again and hope it goes through.

    You can use any WHOIS service to find out more about a domain. I prefer the whois service from Domaintools at

    They provide additional services (some free, some paid), which are also interesting.


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  • Jim Frank

    We manufacture and sell flower girl dresses for weddings. We have been on the first page for a “flower girl dresses” search for 11 years. We are a small family-owned, 25 year old company, but one of the leaders in the industry and have a huge, content rich site and follow all the rules. No funny stuff. Since Dec.12th our only page to show up is on the 21st page (result 203) and our index page is completely gone. 90% of our traffic came from “flower girl dresses” searches on Google. What is going on??? We don’t know where to turn.

  • Stuart Buckell


    Our website went from PR4 to PR2 over night. But content pages that were PR0 went to PR3. Do you think it’s just less relevant pages are being reduced?



  • SEO Web Design

    PR is getting absolutely worthless and pointless. More and more sites are experiencing a drop in PR because of Google’s recent action against paid links. Our main site did not experienced any effect, however some of client’s sites that did not even serve paid links or ads and is totally a business site got a drop in PR too. Is this what PR is for? What is Google trying to prove? Are they sending a message that they can give websites revenue by the use of PR and they can take away such revenue anytime they want?

    It is time that Yahoo! or ASK or anyone starts a new measuring system. PR is definitely worthless and pointless.

  • Dennis

    I started frequent blogging last May, and didn’t care much about PageRank until recently. Reading these historic happenings, it might be of interest for me to report that my blog climbed from PR0, to 2 near end Oct07, and just very recently in Jan08 to 3.

    Note that the reason I started frequent blogging last May is to get approved into PayPerPost, and since Aug07, I have been constantly posting paid posts that contains paid links, though at less than 10 paid vs ~10-15 unpaid posts per month.

    By the way, IZEA (related to PayPerPost) recently launched their own ranking for blogs, Real Rank.

    I believe the combinations of more of these rankings will create good indicators on the quality of webpages, similar to those economics indexes.

  • anadolugezgini

    Dropped to 3 from 4 πŸ™

    Just a non-commercial photo-trekking website with few links and without paid links.

    I believe that PR ranking is pointless.

  • Alison Moore Smith

    For a while I watched the PR on all my sites. Then I just decided Google was gaming us and that I didn’t care.

    I now use a browser without the toolbar. It loads faster and my love life has improved.

  • Healthy Tips

    Great post.. I’m wondering, how long time does it take for a new site/blog to get PageRanked? 1 week, 1 month, 6 months … ?

  • Satya

    I think Alison Moore Smith is absolutely right.

    Just search for “1 way link” to find in the top-10 even though Pagerank is zero.

    Similarly search for “perl database script” to find without Pagerank but in the Top-10 SERPs.

  • Khayte

    Gawd, mine had gone to N/A too, I hate the fact that they have to reduce our PR’s just because we monetize our blogs. What’s the catch anyway? They do the same thing, too I guess on their ‘other’ websites perhaps. Damnn, it makes me go all crazy

  • Satya

    Hello Khayte. Nothing is monetized at the above 2 sites (Jan 23), both are top-10 and both are zero PR. Just kick PR out of our minds. Traffic depends on SERP and not PR

  • Mike

    I’m glad Google is cracking down on the paid link sites which were getting annoying. I was a PR2 for the longest time while submitting to numerous free directories. But I noticed not all of them were free, many times it comes up in the search as “free” and even in the site, but when you submit your information it tells you there is a fee for the link…

    Free back links allows the little guy to compete with the big boys.

  • John Ares

    I dont understand all the spamming with comments thing!

  • Dennis

    Must be my big mouth! Just hours after my above comment, my PR became zero.
    Anyway, no big deal, just need to focus on the correct thing, contents instead of PR πŸ™‚

  • Satya

    Absolutely correct you are Dennis. Promote your site for high SERP and forget about PR

  • Mike

    I seen one site in here drop, then it went back up in PR…Stat Counter is a PR9 now…A good PR will depend on free links…You can bring ur PR back up with that concept within 5-6 months depending how much time you spend on link building…SERP is important too…A combo of a good PR and SERP is best.

  • Goran Giertz – Website Marketing

    If I check the results for any word on the page rank does not rank as important

    I chose the word jobs and the page ranks in order were the following 5,4,6,6,4,5,6,8,8,7. The second result was 4 and the 7+8 results were 8

    Wishing you all an exSEOllent 2008

  • Robert Lewis

    While I’m not interested so much in page rank per-se for my music review magazine, I am concerned to find that dozens and dozens of review articles which had been hovering anywhere between #5 and #20 in the rankings (based on the artist’s name and the word ‘review’ or ‘music review’ have suddenly ALL gone outside the top 100. I have no paid links .. currently no paid anything, haven’t changed these pages in weeks or months (depending on the page) and traffic has suffered as well… ugly!

  • Communication

    We had PR 4 now we got PR 5.

  • David Racho

    My rank also dropped, but then I haven’t updated my pages in ages, so maybe if everyone else dropped, then naturally mine would drop and since I haven’t been adding any new links, none of which are paid btw, then the lower score should not be a surprise.

  • CBR

    I have seriously considered dumping the Google toolbar so I don’t have to worry about PR – back in the day all I worried about was rank and traffic.

  • Robert Lewis

    I hear you about dropping google toolbar to not have to keep looking at the PR bar.. but I don’t think I could do that now.. I’ve actually gotten accustomed to using the damned box and I’d be lost without it sitting there in the upper left corner!

    BTW… my rankings came back the next day after sending the message, like nothing had ever happened — everything has been fine since.

    That’s twice it has happened to me now.. Based on what I’ve read elsewhere, Google is acting very wonky lately.

  • Satya

    A site published in early September 2007, has been top-10 with Pagerank 0. Now after about 6 months it has jumped from 0 to PR3, nothing inbetween. But the trafiic has been OK all along. Google is appears wonky because they respond too slow to onpage optimization and links.

    I now just concentrate on SERP and do not care for PR. Just forget the ‘marihuana’ (Pagerank) habit Google has got you into.

  • Search Engine optimization services

    My blog’s PR dropped from 5 to 4, after more then two stable years of 6

  • My Ebook site

    anyone can help me? Please. Why my Pagerank never increase? The site at

  • Find My Page Rank

    Here is a sie to check your page rank and backlinks

  • Murat GΓΆrgΓΌner

    Our site
    PR just dropped from PR4 to PR3 and we have no paid links.

  • Amin

    Google has become a center point of web. When I asked my customer what do you want, more sales, more traffic or what. They simply reply ontop in Google. As it is the only guaranteed way of getting sales. Now this means that we leave everything aside including mega search engines and just focus on google. I would personally say that we got to see some alternate method that could bring traffic, for eg ebay. I hope google wouldnt buy that out, who knows may be one day it could happen.

  • Monique

    I went from a lowly pagerank 3 to 0! Thanks to payperpost, I no longer even qualify for most of the payperpost opportunities now! Darn google and payperpost πŸ™

  • Michael

    My PR went down, from a PR4 to a PR3…It was a PR4 for about two months. While a friend of mine’s site with very back links to his site, remains a PR3 for almost two years. The Google formula is flawed. Since the PR reduction, I’m getting more traffic from yahoo than Google. Before, it was the other way around…

  • Twenty20

    Yep, I also had a bit of a fright. I forgot to unlink an old pixel ads page from the rest of my site (in the sitemap) and poof….. it’s slipped 2 places.

    What is funny is that this is going to send some people into an absolute frenzy.

    Unfortunately, as with most updates, some innocent folks are going to take a knock as well, but I am certain that things will be back to normal (relatively) after a few weeks.

    I see that is still PR10 even though, technically, their ppc program is paid links! LOL!

  • Rick

    For the first time in over 7 years

    the search engine ranking for hits to my website is listed as follows

    Windows LIVE

    I have never had Google in 3rd place and traffic to my website is way down for Google. Yoi bet that hurts me but also my FREE Link owners

    I have been seeing a major reshuffle since last November
    then things came back to normal . Then another reshuffle at the begining of
    March dropping my website off of the front page of Google for many important seaches that I have been on the front page of Google for years up until now. But now my site can be found on page 5, 10, 15, or even further down in pages on the same very search terms

    Does Google really want to hear that

    Windows LIVE
    and Yahoo
    is out ranking them?

    I have been watching Google scrape my pages of late to make their web search better and this is my pay back?

    I have provided a great FREE service for years helping build the Web Search for my related field and make it better and now Google does not like my free service?

    Does it matter that I have been online over 7 years with my website. Does it matter that Google has found New Web Sites that were added to my webite after running their Google Bot to the tune of 148,000 hits in a month and then was able to index these new websites into their web search.

    I have to Ask,

    Rick at

  • youtube


  • Abby

    I know, it can be so frustrating. We removed all of our links from a link page we started 5 years ago with the thinking that swapping links with other sites was a good idea. We have heard that backlinks are the way to go. We then only worked with backlinks and have no “link to us” page any longer. So instead of this helping our PR of 5, it brought us to 3 and traffic took about a 20% dive to our 500+ page website. It has been this way for many months. Then in the last week traffic increased steadily by at least 30%! So we figured the PR moved back up again…wrong! It’s still at a 3 but this is the most traffic (and sales!) since we started business 5 years ago. We totally give up on trying to figure this PR thing out with Google! No rhyme or reason and very frustrating to even think about!

  • enfopedia

    What can a new site expect to receive from Google in Terms of Ranks? Any thoughts would be great!

  • Barry

    Google appear to have done another update in the last few days. My site is now a PR3. When my site first appeared on the web in 2000 it was a PR6 then last year went to a 5 then a 4 now a 3 as of today I believe. Ok I have some weird links basically because I would link to people that asked for one. But over the last year I have not bothered because of the page rank dropping I assumed Google were penalising me for having non relevant links or reciprocal links. However now it appears that I am slated for not adding links. If anyone can come up with an answer I would be grateful. Although the PR does not seem to have altered my positioning on Google it is very frustrating and off putting for prospective clients I assume.

  • Barry

    Google appear to have done another update in the last few days. My site is now a PR3. When my site first appeared on the web in 2000 it was a PR6 then last year went to a 5 then a 4 now a 3 as of today I believe. Ok I have some weird links basically because I would link to people that asked for one. But over the last year I have not bothered because of the page rank dropping I assumed Google were penalising me for having non relevant links or reciprocal links. However now it appears that I am slated for not adding links. If anyone can come up with an answer I would be grateful. Although the PR does not seem to have altered my positioning on Google it is very frustrating and off putting for prospective clients I assume. Oh just another thing most of my internal pages have no PR whatsoever, great!!

  • jon

    yer i think google sucks some times only millionaires know the truth about page rank


  • Michael

    I know that many people worry about their page rank including myself at one point (not anymore). There is bright side, PR doesn’t affect your SERP. Unless you sell links, PR doesn’t matter. You could be a Zero and still be in the top 10 in Google’s search for a particular word or words. Unlike Yahoo where Meta tags are more important for SERPs, Google considers back links are the key in getting a better PR.

    Also, I think people focus too much on what Google thinks. Since I have been improving my meta tags on each of my pages, I have been getting more traffic from yahoo on certain pages than Google. For example, this past week I have been averaging over 100 hits each day from one of my pages on Easter, while Google 30 hits. I do have back links but you always have to keep submitting and hope some of the new directories grow into a quality link site or the established directories maintain their status or do better.

    Thats not to say I gave up on Google, I still think it’s a great search engine! But I have been very impressed with the results from Yahoo.

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  • hostyasui

    Ya, its true the google has recently updated the new page rank, my has decreased to 3 it was previous 4. But the content is same . don’t know what’s the new alogrithm.

  • Gen

    Very nice website which is really informative and I enjoyed and learned reading your entries here. Btw, my blog was PR3 and turned into PR0 since I joined paid posts. πŸ™‚

  • Gmunchkin

    Just browsing about page ranking and I end up ur nice website which good contents. I hope I can get PR soon. Take care and good day!

  • manisha

    I think my site is also hit because of Pay per post, I don’t know but I saw many popular blogs on PPP hit by this page rank thing. Now PPP has come up with its own IZEA ranking thing and may be we still have some hope here. With so many bloggers complaining about PR drops I think IZEA is going to be the new hit of the season.

  • Rajesh saini

    my website in under construction is any coding which help increase pagerank or what you suggest for page rank

  • agencja modelek

    @Rajesh: you should code using W3C standards !


  • effha Holland

    We dont buy or sell links, only fair methods and it works also…

  • Baptista

    We didn’t pay for any kide of links and we droped from page rank 3 to page rank 2, and I notice that the site is more popular now then it was with page rank 3.

    Thanks for your report about this.

  • cati

    Interesting! I had a PR 6 for years and I recently joined pay per post by curiosity (i did not even use it, i just listed my blog on pay per post to see what this was about) and all a sudden my pagerank became PR3. I am not sure it is related, however that was the only change in months. So after the drop in PR, i closed my account with PPP. I was not a big fan of it anyway. I rarely review sites, and when I do I use “nofollow” to be clean with the search engines.

    Because my blog is getting better everyday with more readers, more comments and more links to my blog, it should increase not decrease. I also have friends who got really bumped by their all-a-sudden PR decrease being less indexed.

    Anyhow, I am not a business so page rank seems more a number I liked to proudly display than anything useful. Disappointing though. It is great to see other means to be recognized such as Izea rank.

  • Beat A Speeding Ticket

    I was wondering if anyone could tell me how long it takes for links usually to be recognized by google. Also, Does google only update PR every so often or what?

  • Dede

    I am glad that I am not alone! My site dropped from a 3 to a 2. I have linked to directories but is that a no no? I linked to a lot of directories that other major dating sites to!

  • Twenty20

    Beat A Speeding Ticket :

    Well, it depends on how often the domain the link is on gets crawled.

    Also with regards to the google PR update only happens 3 maybe 4 times a year and uses historical data which can be a few months old.

    Dede: Straign link exchanges can land you in alittle hot water with big G, just be selective about your links and try to stay away from straign exchanges or paid links for the time being.

  • Twenty20

    oops, please excuse the misspelling on that last one Dede.

  • Dede

    I perhaps over reacted. My main page is a pr3 but some of my inner pages are pr2. Is that normal? I dont understand what you mean by straight link exchanges.
    I noticed also that when i type in google it is showing what I think are trusted links. Will they eventually show up under key search terms too?? If you type it in you will see. I am not an optimizer but have done really well by reading, asking questions and I have an optimizer that guides me .

  • Dede

    another question. Hope I don’t drive you crazy. I have google sponsored links. I was doing really well about 2 weeks ago and now google is paying me only a fraction of what they are. Is anyone else experiencing this. I am ranking high on some of the major paying key terms for google and don’t get it.

  • Twenty20

    No problem Dede. You’re in the right place if you’re looking for answers.

    The Sponsored links I cannot help you with I’m afraid. As for the explanation of straight link exchange; you link to your buddy, he links to you and you’re botther better off because you gave each other the a vote of confidence in Google’s eyes.

    That’s been excessively abused by some folk which caused Google to examing more closely for, and penalise where excessive link exchanges have taken place.

    For more on link exchanges and why they are potentially bad for your health, check out this post:

  • Dede

    I do more directories now and asking bloggers for links. I know have an edu site I can offer as an incentive to get people to give me a link. I have read that edu sites are essential to rankings and can help propel you to the top.

  • DeesFancyDress

    Whats going on? My backlinks on Google went up to 26 for a week and has now dropped back to 9. I have been adding backlinks about 10-20 a week and Yahoo says I have over 1000. I was looking forward to getting a decent PR on the next update but now I’m loosing all hope.


    Thanks for your report about this.

  • Dede

    I am up to almost 1000 backlinks from Google. It took them forever to update me. Yahoo always shows more!
    Google is a mystery and probably always will be. I am going to stress less on page ranking on focus more on search engine ranking.And from all I have seen Google is King!

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  • dani

    I love this site…sorry I had to declare that

  • dani

    Ok, so here’s my questions and maybe I can get some good advice.
    I have just recently (oct/07) started my website. It was done for pure fun. Anyway, my Alexa ranking is ok, but I’m really confused as to how to gain or get a PR. What do you recommend as far as link exchanges go and how to increase site activity?
    Thanks so much

  • pozycjonowanie stron

    I think you are right but this is not good solution for me

  • Villa Sales Spain

    At the end of the year he redirected a domain, and only got the pagerank who had at the previous site for the home.
    Villa Sales Spain

  • szachy z alabastru

    Searching through websites I came across this article. I think it is fairly interesting considering the spam crusing about the net. Good Job.

  • Mansour

    I love it. πŸ™‚

  • Michael

    In answer to your question, Dani

    You have to link your site up. You can do this by submitting to directories in relevant areas. For example, a shopping site would also submit to the area of shopping interest, and so on. All directories have different topics to choose from. Make sure you don’t pay for any of the links. As you should know, Google will punish those who pay for links.

    If the directory is a higher PR than yours, it will help with your ranking also according to Google. You could also take a chance at submitting to directories just starting out because many of those increase with PR over time.

  • Dani

    Well, thank you very much.
    Now, how about link exchanging, is that frowned upon too?

  • gino

    I agree with you, it is very interesting that issue, and don’t worry about seen your rank drop or we not getting enough sleep thinking ahead about the future of our sites, I think that’s normal when you work hard getting your site up there,it is not easy.
    I have put so much job in mine, that sometimes I don’t realize the time and when i do it is already sunrising, I have almost 3000 pages in and the rank goes up and down many times, it is driving me nuts. I which that this change soon and we don’t have to worry about ranking anymore. My site is a small Costa Rican web-information source and it holds thousands of pictures, but it has to compete with many real estate sites in here and it is very complicated to let the world know that we are more than business, we are Nature or Natural world nature. Thank you or this opportunity.

  • Harisnya WebΓ‘ruhΓ‘z

    Our site dropped by 2. 4->2. i hope it will stabilize at 4 or:), or i will be very angry.

  • Randall Cross

    This is a great article and a nice discussion to boot. I am just getting my blog rolling on a regular basis and I am at 2. I assume it’s because my site is so new. Great advice in here. I am going to post this discussion on my blog now.



  • ersin

    I love it. πŸ™‚

  • gΓΌvenlik

    Now PPP has come up with its own IZEA ranking thing and may be we still have some hope here.

  • James

    I agree with what you are saying there I think google has just messed up with the page rank.

  • Professional Web Design | Flash Developer | Web Design Romania | Flash Web Design | Professional Website Design

    I find this very fair….this shortcuts companies use to get their site top rankings is just not fair πŸ™‚

    The new method they use seems fair enough and I predict this blogging thing spam will also end up as paid linkings

  • Kanlo

    Th thing with google is that they cannot control the page rank issue well as there are just too many sites on the net. i think google themselves do not know what they are doing.

  • Hitarth

    Hello All,

    I am also a Victim. My website,
    experienced a drop from PR 3 to PR 0 πŸ™

    Although, Other pages like Forums or New Section PR are same.

    I found out that someone at – has linked to my main page unncessarily. Could this be a reason for the falling Page Rank ??

  • 1221212121

    harisnya divat me for your
    understanding fehérnemű
    harisnya harisnya

  • Sarah

    strange thing is that we are now pr4 on home page and pr3 on our links pages. I requested a link from a similar site as mine and he told me we were a pr2 home page and pr0 on links pages?? My web guy in India said our main links page was a pr3 and the others a pr2.

  • Sarah

    I hate to say that the edu site I was linked to was not cached! I am so upset about this. The university did not even exist!.
    Is there anything that you can do about fraudulent services.
    I wanted to contact the other sites that have paid for his services to warn them. Alot of people are not aware of cached sites and I should have checked this before I paid him to have an edu blog. At least he refunded my money!

  • Sarah

    As a response to the unfairness to short cuts to get to the top… don’t worry… Google eventually catches up with those sites. A consistent and steady approach wins the race!
    We have moved up pretty fast in the search engines by trying to highly optimize our site and doing link exchanges with relevant sites. Now that we are a pr4 site it is easier to get top sites to link to us!

  • proje

    I have put so much job in mine, that sometimes I don’t realize the time and when i do it is already sunrising, I have almost 3000 pages in and the rank goes up and down many times, it is driving me nuts. I which that this change soon and we don’t have to worry about ranking anymore.

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  • Blog Backup Addict

    I lost and found my pagerank as well over the years. Google is so unpredictable. But I think that’s a good thing for the SEOs.

    When all is well on the search engines, the SEOs will be ruined.

  • Kherson

    I had been adding content to a site recently and suddently saw it dropping 1 PR point! What did I do wrong?!

  • Sewing

    You know what guys… I thinkk that SEO websites time is finnishing, and I hope Google will be not only Search Engine for several years

  • prezenty

    This is interesting article, I did not it think that it yes. Interesting it knew persons about this how much. Sorry if I wrote bad there now my English is novice and I do not it write yet good.

  • 400fonts

    Google does not know what it is doing sometimes which is also why it just drops some page ranks just like that! they should be more carefult because webmasters work hard on increasing their page rank.

  • gomylocal

    I’m not sure about that mike, I don’t think anyone really knows. I wish someone would get fired from Google and tell us the entire story πŸ™‚ My question is when are they going to up date the toolbar. Our site has a PR2 and all the predictions tools I can find say we will be a PR4—and i think with a PR4 we will get more traffic or at least people will believe in our site more…Does any one have a clue as when the next update will be. I also know that PR is updated all the time, but the toolbar is not. So when will the next toolbar update be?

  • danışmanlΔ±k

    thank you for all. I am up to almost 1000 backlinks from Google. It took them forever to update me. Yahoo always shows more!

  • Increase Web Traffic

    I don’t think that Google is targeting paid linking to demoralized them as I have been experiencing other aspects too have lots of influence over PR issue.

    Google mainly looks for updates. frequent and healthy updates can result in cheering appraisal in regard to PageRank.

    However there are so many other reasons too which can’t be ignored as but sometimes, time constraint also help some websites to manage their PR.

  • John

    i have over 3000 back links relating to my business, but my site is not getting any better ranking or movine up in the listings.

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  • Richard

    It seems page rank purely depends upon backlinks, if you have poor links, it will significantly affect your PR after this Google update.

  • Hair World Guru

    I disagree about just the backlinks being the main cause of page rank. I think that the rank of the site is alvso predicated on how many titles of pages you have inside your site with that very keyword. It is one of the main ways that they determine relevance.

  • J&K Lowline Cattle

    This page is currently showing up a page rank 5 in my Google toolbar. FWIW, I’ve got 6 – 7 times as many links showing up on Yahoo compared to Google.

  • Joico Hair Products

    I think the day will soon come where Google drops the whole PR thing and comes up with something new that canot be manipulated.

  • Brisbane SEO Consultant

    I think that all obvious metrics can be manipulated, PR included.

    I wonder what would happen if Google put more weight on domain age than it currently does?

  • Niko

    google just knows how to mess up, power has gone to their head.

  • miami

    wow i love it, thank you

  • Lowline Angus

    Starting a new site & getting ready to blog. This is some helpful info about Google page rank. Thank you.

  • I QUIT

    It seems that programers are making new tools every day for manipulation of Serps. I think that domain age should definately be a high factor to Google.

  • dave

    our site dropped from page 1 to page 9 in the ranks, needless to say it has crippled our small business

    Pressure Washing

  • tw

    I watched one of my old informational sites, with over 10,000 pages of solid content, and started in 1996, drop from 7 to 3 over the past two years. We have a few paid links and thought it must be that, though those links all go out to useful info, or products related to our site.

    We have Google Adsense, and Google Search sends us about 70% of our traffic and our traffic has actually increased over the past two years.

    So Page Rank confounds me. If paid links caused the drop, then how does Google tell if a link is paid or not? These are small companies that have real working sites — not spam or sham.

    I read an SEO blog that came up on the first page of a Google Search that adding pages to a site decreases page rank. The blog contained a lot of data to support this contention. Then I read on another blog LINKED to the original blog that the opposite was true. I’ve read through dozens of comments and blogs, and it’s apparent no one knows how or why Google determines PR, or if someone does know, its camouflaged by all the other hypotheses.

    I can attest that PR doesn’t affect our search rankings for major keywords, or our traffic. But try to sell ads or links on a PR3 site…

    BTW, I have a few NEW sites with a limited number of pages that went from PR1 to PR3 in a few months. Go figure.

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  • Vectorpedia(Rick)

    This is an excellent article on pagerank…….I would like to see future similar articles……..

  • financieeladvies

    Good article with good content about PageRank and the Google algorithm.
    For all the readers from The Netherlands I have translated this article into the Dutch language. Just visit our website and send me an email to receive your free of charge copy.

  • Australian Web Directory

    If I pay someone to write 10 unique articles and distribute them to 1000 different article directores and blogs, is that treated as paid links by Google?

    Would they know? Would they care?

  • Twenty20

    Hi AWD,

    Nope, it’s not, it’s considered article marketing.

    You’re adding value in Google’s eyes and let’s face it, if your content stinks, it’s not going to get traction in the article directories; which means the only links you will get are from those directories themselves (provided they allow following of links.)

    So in short, you’ll be fine.


    I love reading everyone’s opinions on Google PageRank. Glad to know I’m not that only one that it drives crazy!

  • Angela

    Page rank is such a delicate balance…build links to gain rank, but build to fast and you risk penalties. Keep you on your toes for sure!

  • Cheap Hotel Melbourne

    I’ve never understood this “build links too fast” argument. What is too fast? Are there any guuidelines?

    10 links per day, 100 links per day?

    What about the PR of those links? Is it better to have 50 PR zero links in a day or 5 PR 4 links?

    And what’s to say that even if you build a few thousand per day Google will find them?

  • Melbourne Guy

    I guess PR5 is the new PR 6.

    To get PR6 is nearly impossible for us mere mortals.

  • Jake

    Yes it’s getting real hard to get my rank up on these sites

  • Send Gifts to Pakistan

    I have a website it lost page rank from 3 to 1, can any body give me as little idea as possible to make me clear of the thing i am missing.

    Thank u

  • Bob

    Still going down. at we need to start sellingmore of our fancy dress costumes

  • Imran Zafar

    My PR is again up, first it was 3 , then dropped to 1 and now again it has gone to 3.

  • ADF News

    I went from 4 to 0. I then asked Google to reconsider via the webmaster tools console. Within 24 hours it was back to 3. I suspect they thought I was selling links.

  • Limo Hire Derby

    We have spent alot of money on seo, move up on tankings then drop down again with in a few weeks. i have given up.

  • Limo Hire Derby

    This is due to alot of companies having paid links.

  • James

    just made a note of some of the info here! thanks!

  • mitchie

    oh really? it did? awful.

  • Toad Trap

    If you look like you’re selling links, even if you are not, then Google will slap your page.

    I think they are being far too aggressive.

  • fancy dress costume shop

    Why do Yahoo Directory link get valued so high.
    These are all paid links

  • admin

    I want PR3 for it

  • Balakrishna

    I am not expert in SEO but researching on SEO and page rank from couple of months and today I got my first page rank for my site

    Even I feel google penalises sites which uses paid links. I am no sure how google’s formula works and keeps a track of paid links.

    However, my webiste does not use any paid links..

    Thanks for above informative posting.


  • Faiza chaudhry

    Google is playing very intelligent and is extra careful when handling PR.

    I just wish i could also understand actual PR

  • Dayboro Accommodation

    I don’t think anyone really understands PageRank, including Google. The last 3 months all sorts of wacky stuff has been happening with rankings.

  • web

    Can someone please tell me why my website page ranks keeps alternating between pr3 and pr4

  • subimal

    I also experienced the same for my site of dropping PR. But this post removed the darkness of my mind and now I’m feeling better. Thanks a lot Mr.Baker.

  • SEO Singapore

    I personally think Pagerank has less and less meaning nowadays, consistent with Google’s advice for website owners to not be obsessed by it. My site’s PR has dropped over the years to PR3 but it doesn’t matter because if you searched for “seo” on Google Singapore, it still appears in the top 5 out of 240 million results. So don’t lose sleep over your dropped PR …unless you’re selling links. πŸ˜‰

  • Fumotokachikato

    How to increase back our google page rank?

    Yes, there are a lot of sites which is has the google page rank down into 0 rank, such as my site.

    Thanks for your consideration. πŸ™‚

  • Media Training

    I feel more and more that page rank has become meaningless. Our website was at one point a page rank of six it has now dropped to three, but our site has moved up the google rankings from page 17 to page 5! This I feel is a major bit of evidence that shows that page rank is pointless – so don’t worry!

  • Limo Hire Nottingham

    We have a transport website, that was page rank 4 and now it has dropped to page rank 2 and we have never had paid links. why is this happening…

  • Brisbane web designer

    From what I’ve seen the last few months, Google has changed the way PR is calculated so that it is industry weighted.

    Transport is a very competitive online industry (car hire, limo hire and so on), so it’s now a lot harder to get a high PR for that sector.

    The other thing I’ve noticed is that even PR is dropping rankings stay the same.

    By dropping PR and keeping rankings, Google keeps quality while at the same time discouraging the sale of links.

  • Dr.Ariffaizal

    My blog turn from PR3 to zero after changing domain name. Now I’m working hard to get it back.

  • Phantom Car Hire


    I have been reading alot about SEO, We have a new website this week. How do we proceed to get good ranking without paid links.

  • Texas Defensive Driving

    I am agree with the following u mentioned in your post. I noticed my PR Down.

    Devalue PageRank : PageRank is seen by many as the end all value of a web site. Our PageRank dropped but we are receiving more Google search traffic than ever. PageRank does not define site rankings in Google or traffic and it should not be mistaken as so.

  • sikh matrimonial

    This is nice site to visit iam glad to say that i learn a lot of new things from this site

  • akalite

    nice job

  • venali

    thank you


    crack Google Pagerank

  • K Si

    I think it is both!

  • Josh (vancouver computers)

    We gained in rank.

  • Ryan

    I’ve also just realized that my page rank dropped to “0”, and I can’t explain it. I’ve never paid for links, or used any shady methods for promoting, but now, I’m back to ground zero…

  • Balakrishna

    Gr8 Post !!!

  • Thibaut

    My story:
    – Two of my sites went from PR5 to PR0 : paid links
    – 1 of my site has very strong natural backlinks but still PR0 after one year, traffic keeps on increasing
    – 1 of my site has weak backlinks but is still PR3, traffic keeps on decreasing

    Weird situation !

  • johannn

    we have experienced a total colaps in the traffic to our website… can someone advise as to what we are doing wrong… we just suddenly lost 2/3 of our traffic without making any drastic changes to our blog

  • villas cyprus long term

    page rank gone for my east oast cyprus villas website. was rank 5??

  • JJ Murphy

    When I started my site with very little content, I had a Google page rank of 4.

    I have had steady traffic, steadily contributed relevant original content to my site and now my rank is Zero.

    When I check for my key words on Google, I come up on the first page, typically in the first position.

    Like others who have commented, I am confused and wish I understood how this all works.

  • J Copeland

    Like JJ Murphy, I had a site that went from 4 to 0. I don’t buy links or use any black hat SEO tricks. In Google, there are a few dozen search terms that come up in the number one spot and I get lots of Google traffic, even with a zero.

    Somehow I don’t think there is any real formula that is consistent with Google in ranking. They may have over-thought the algorithm and as a result sites are not ranked in any logical manner.

  • Seattle Inspector

    Okay I checked mine with Firefox and it gives me a PR1 and with IE6 I get a PR2 is this a Firefox glitch ?

  • saj ali

    page rank is a total waste of time. i do not understand why people are still following it.

  • Free Ads

    We have been told its because of the google searchwiki, and google’s making the search results more useful for the end users. Use for example – if you search for ‘free online advertising’ you can find the site on page one listings, however the site has recently dropped its google page rank.

  • shannon

    this is very informative. thanks to all of you for the information!

  • Maximize Profit Online

    Page rank is still a very important factor for ranking in google. I have seen sites with lower PR rank higher than their competitors. I would still aim for the best PR I could get for my site.

  • Dia Adrian Syah

    Two my site drop to zero no paid link. I think drop PR because no traffic from google search engine and keyword no popular again. I think this is selection process by google to choose site more popular for their user.

  • Holland Blinds

    Even though your PR may drop, you will probably not notice any changes in the search engine results. I suspect Google has introduced a new ranking factor that we have no visibility of.

  • Nicole Everson Photography

    wow thanks for the info

  • Laser Labels

    Our site has gone from a 1 to a 3 in 3 months. I hear that it is very quick. When it did go from PR 1 – 3 I did see a significant change in the search engine results.

  • Judy Asman

    Funny, my rank dropped from 2 to 1 (we are so new but I was expecting a rise, especially with traffic going up), but the interesting thing, this happened after I added a “sponsored link” via PayPal button on the homepage. There are other sites that do this, like you said, the “good company” factor, I’m hoping this is the reason. My Google diagnostics shows no significant errors and relevant keyword searches still position us on page one. Yet I’m still scratching my head over this one …

  • jeff smith

    I will never have paid links i rather use CPC clicks they are much more effective.

  • limo hire Worcester

    I have spent the last 2 years building relevant content and natural links from partners. I have made steady progress but other companies that clearly use paid links seem to doing really well on rankings as well as PR. Seems strange.

  • dede

    I never thought about Google page rank. I just notice one day when i register one of paid review, its shown PR4, then i check on google pr checker, it was really 4. i have done 4 paid reviews so far with about 100 plus posts and still maintain at pr4. but today i after 5th reviews, my pr dropped to 2? is ti because of it?

  • Plus size fancy dress

    I have been stuck on page rank 0 for a while now, not sure if i was penalized by google for any reason. I was ranking high for my keywords up until the last few days and then I dropped back ten or so pages. As others have said, I think pagerank is less relevant and is only useful for the ego. But google are changing the algorithms regularly and we have to play a guessing game to keep up.

  • Leeds Limousines

    I agree but i still believe it has some importance even though it changes everytime.

  • Eraserve

    I was PR4 for a good while now down to two after my back links increased. Confusing though it is I have added around 19 pages over the last 30 days. Traffic increased a fair amount and my SERP seems to have increased as well.

  • Hair Girl

    This thread was started way back a couple of years. Isn’t it funny that an old post can last like this? I guess Google dropping our rankings occasionally is something that will always happen! I know it really shouldn’t matter, but I’ll admit, I am one who worries constantly about it, fearful that people are dropping my links or whatever!

  • Night Chat

    March 19, 2009 – My page rank went from 3 to zero … even though I have acquired about 50 new high page rank backlinks in the last few months. I have done absolutely nothing wrong. What’s going on? I just don’t get this any more!!!

  • Daniel Tetreault

    Thanks for the post on the recent drop in Google Page Rank all over the internet. I too was a bit surprised by my recent drop in Google PR. My website had a PR=2 and then all of the sudden it dropped to having a PR=1. It is now back up to PR=2. So why the drop? I have never really had a linking strategy. All I ever did was be myself – contribute to forums here and there only if I had expertise; wrote the occasional article, submitted it to directories; was a contributer to some blog posts not to mention commenting on a few blog sites. That’s really it; my website had a Google Page Rank of PR=2 even before I had my first web page up on the internet, hosted by a shared provider! What gives?

    Although I do specifically recall reading a article on link building prior to the drop. I remember it talking about using automated link building software or outsourcing to places in India. Well, I did use the Google Site submit and a few others to a few other search engines; prior I had relied exclusively on the search engine’s spiders to find my site through keyword-rich anchor text (not a bad strategy after all!).

    I swear using those darn autosubmittors to search engines and directories caused a sudden surge in backlinks, perhaps too artificial for Google. Lesson learned.

    Happy linking,

    Daniel Tetreault.
    Webmaster – Sidney, BC

  • Sara

    I tell you the more I read the more confused I get! I think I’ll just forget about the whole PR thing since it makes me crazy! Some of my sites have graybar though they are years old and only natural links have ever been used…and some have a high PR from links I bought once and let go again. Screw it!

  • Metuzalem


  • Gabriel Harper

    If Google wanted to stop people from “selling PageRank”, they would eliminate PageRank. Much more useful to let people go crazy over it and use the rank to assert their authority over link sales.

    Let’s never forget that selling links is how Google stays in business. It is a multi-billion dollar annual revenue stream the company would die without.

  • Pay Per Click Media

    blogging is best for page rank and its free , so why pay for links>

  • Simon Lee-Johnson

    There has recently been much fanfare about the Adobe assisted google effort to improve searchability of Flash SWF file content on the web. If the enormous body of previously ‘hidden’ RIA content is now starting to be indexed en masse, then surely that must relatively displace rank of other existing content?

  • FinestTech

    Google should make a new ranking system because the one in use right now is horrible.

  • Juneh

    I have no paid links, no bad neighbors, have good content and I get my rank taken away. I agree with FinestRech Google needs a new ranking system.

  • redips

    I also experienced PR dropping. My site had PR3 and this morning is PR2. No paid links, my fair play but Google puts me down … I guess we will never now why. Anyway, if traffic stays the same, I will not worry.

  • CristiBee

    It could be said that paid links lead to the shrinking in PageRank, but not all of these sites use paid linking as a source of revenue. Its not always how’s it’s done.

  • software development company

    Is inbound link helpful for Google PR.

  • Trevor Cane

    I’m staying away from paying for links because every forum I’ve come across state this is a bad idea and Google will knock a site down in the rankings.

    What I can’t work out is how Google can find out if a link has been paid for?

  • FancyDressToGo

    Can anyone out there say for certain if Google can find out if a site has paid links?

  • Shaun Swegman

    I can find no reason that my site htttp:// should have dropped in ranking. Still trying to figure it out.

  • Robert

    Google should make a new ranking system, our site dropped to 3, from 4) still i’am trying to get more visitors of google, isn’t true that PR isn’t connected with visitors from Goo.

  • mohdamir502

    Hello Guys,
    What I can’t work out is how Google can find out if a link has been paid for?

    I know the reason: Google has a very powerful algorithm, Google has targeted some bad keywords for PR like: Featured Link, Paid Link etc.
    If the website have all these keywords and your link will be there then Google Algorithm understand that your website have paid links.

    Any Query you can reply
    Mohd Amir
    SEO Expert

  • Chikabebe

    so sad.. i just came across to your blog! and all i can say all of your posts are cool

  • pete

    I’ve noticed this in the past as well, my site seems to have taken a hit in PageRank, be interesting to see how Google can ‘tell’ what paid is.

  • nike dunk

    promoting the pagerank is necessary.

  • Cheow

    There is always a Google dance every now and then. The PR of my site dropped to 1 in April and has since bounced back to 4… and i don’t offer paid links on my site.


  • Nerd Blog

    One of my sites dropped from 4 to 3 to 0. Zero. I have no idea why, and I wouldn’t care except that it’s the only site I’ve ever had that made me any money. If it didn’t have a loyal following, I would be in trouble. Google has a lot of power.

  • David

    Anyone have any idea on why a new web site with no links to it that I can find at all has a page rank of 2 ?

    We have a foreign language learning software web site here. It’s new but has some Yahoo links, lots of good content and has a page rank of 2. No surprises. It’s located here:

    We decided to set up a development site to move the content management stuff to a different content management system.

    It’s brand new (as far as I know) and is located here:

    This has a page rank of 2 as of August 9 2009 . Is there a page rank fairy out there that has blessed this site with a page rank of 2?

    Anyone know how to get more of this pixie dust? Perhaps there is a link to this somewhere. If someone would tell us how to find it (Google and Yahoo both show nothing) I would appreciate it.

    Perhaps this would be a good subject for a main new post?

  • Brad

    I just saw not only my PR drop, but my results gone. Funny thing is my Alexa rankings went up (down based on their ranking). Weird. I think their ranking system is in need if an overhaul.

  • Dave

    When I first launched my wordpress blog it had a pagerank 3 for about 2 weeks. Is this normal? I wish I wasn’t a slave to the stats :}

  • Luis

    It happened to me too. My site was on the first Google page and dropped to 2nd and for some keywords to the 3rd page. Sad but true.

    • Teri Dourmashkin

      I am just as confused as everyone else. I’ve never had good rankings on Google, and do need to acquire more natural links, but for the one good keyword I had (on page one) for about 1 week, it has now disappeared. It may be on page 10 or so, but at that point, I guess it makes little difference.

  • James

    My site had a pagerank 4 then 3 and this latest google show dropped it to 0 !!!
    It stayed the same in search rankings, even got a place or two up for some keywords.
    I see no reason for this drop, nothing is changed on my side…

  • Hassan

    My Google Rank has suddenly dropped from 3 to 1 !
    I have recently submitted my URL to a company that submits URLs automatically to several search engines for a small fee. Since then my Google Rank has dropped significantly from 3 to 1.
    Have I done a mistake by submitting my URL to unknown search engines? If so, how can I undo these mistakes?

  • Fatih

    Wow, I have a good company: you site! My blog was a PR 5 now it’s 3.

    I don’t know when it’s back. The thing is the traffic does decrease after the google PR drop. It’s good if PR value ain’t affect your traffic

  • saj


    RE: Page drop or Page Rank..?

    We were hit by the google drop, now i’m not sure what is meant by page rank, what i can’t undestand is our site appeared on page one of google under some search terms, and the page rank for the site is 3, However after this google issue, the page rank is still 3 but the site now appears on page 5 when we search with the same search terms as before, is this a page rank drop if so what to ..?

  • Ian at Daydream Dating

    Hmm, it’d be nice to have some pagerank in the first place! It now seems to take longer than before, in this case 5 months and counting. So at least we don’t have to worry about dropping pagerank!

  • jack parler

    Come on dude, these facts* and proof* i mean who is posting* lol πŸ˜›

  • Baja Real Estate

    It would make sense for google to adjust its Page Rank algorithms to reflect the increasing number in blog roll links.

  • Saj

    Swaping links is a bad idea full stop, organic links is the best link exchange,

    Google knows people only swap links for one reason, and that’s page rank,
    so if you find your site has dropped in google check your link exchange if you got one, Remove or disable it, send an email to google, and you should be back up again in no time.

  • Thomas Christian

    My site had pr 1 and I decided to increase it through some work so I started it before a month but I see that It’s 0 now. I just don’t understand what to do.

  • Mike Smith

    I don’t really think Google knows what it’s doing some of the time; it’s created this mythical creature a creature called page rank. This creature has now mutated with an outbreak into the general public giving them false hope of unlimited security whey they stumble upon a site with good page rank!

    It s also seems to have many a people stumbling in the dark for a cure! A cure to a problem they can administer themselves.
    If you have good content, i.e. products if you are a shop, with good product description and not just what everyone else has duplicated on their site, have more relevant content if you are a directory based site you should be ok. Content, Content, Content that’s all I’ve ever used my site has gone from a 5 to a 4 then a 3 and now after their new tweak a 2 yet we have only ever climbed the natural listings, to being mostly the top of page 1 for with most of our relevant keywords.

    Lets not forget there are many companies out there making a living promising to get you to the top of goggles search engine and I have found only one who can deliver! And it’s a paid link! It’s called Google AdWords funny how Google frown on paid links! I bet they do it’s their money you are giving to someone else.

    What’s a good link and what’s a bad link? If a customer want to tell everyone how good you are because you have done a good job do you refuse their link? Do you also refuse to put a link back just because it’s not relevant?

    I know they are promoted as the biggest and the best but answer yourself one question do you now look at page rank as everything that’s important? …….No and neither will everyone else in time!

  • Eivind F S

    My pagerank dropped from 2 to 1 recently. This was after I had started setting up some backlinks. I haven’t been able to confirm whether these are connected, but what it communicated to me is that I should go about getting backlinks and pagerank the hard way – by good and honest work. I won’t spend more time with backlink packages I think.

    Anyway, thanks for confirming that this is a general development on the web and not just me! (my traffic has gone up too)

    Masculinity Movies

  • Teri Dourmashkin

    Sorry, I tried to leave a post the other day, but i don’t think it got published. I too have noticed a drop in my ranking on Google. I’ve never had any real good rankings with them to begin with. However, I was on page one for a specific keyword, and now one week later, I am nowhere to be found. I looked as far as 20 pages, and still no sign. This seems very discouraging.

  • Bhargavi Goswami

    Everybody has problem loosing PR. How to recover it? After one month of SEO got rank and loosing it without reason specification is so depressing. How to get back my page rank?

  • lusty trailers

    I think Google has just changed the maths a little so it’s harder to get a PR5 and above. I don’t think it affects the rankings much of the site that has dropped, maybe just the sites it links to.

    It would be interesting to see what would happen to the industry if Google got rid of PageRank all together, or made it secret.

  • DeAnna Troupe

    I am in the same boat as many of the bloggers who have commented. At least now I know I’m not alone. I have honestly quit worrying about page rank. I just like to make sure I’m still on the first page of google for the search terms I have targeted. So far I still am. So I’m content. I just keep focusing on content.

  • Leif

    This was hard for me to digest. The PR of my blogs dropped down but i do agree on one point where i can see the improvement in the traffic. It was good to see PR 4 rather than PR2. πŸ™

  • Hear Mum Roar

    Yes! In fact, that’s why I’m here, I was googling this very question. My two month old blog which normally has a page rank of 3, just dropped to 0 today! I’m trying so hard to work out if I’ve done anything ‘bad’, so to speak, but reading this makes me realise there might be more to it than that. I hope!

  • Kaiesh

    The PR for our website dropped substantially too, and I have no idea why either. We don’t use paid links, or provide links for money – but even if that did affect rankings – does that mean that all I need to do is set up a couple of bogus sites with “Paid Link, buy link, link for money, etc etc” as keywords across all the pages and then link to competitors pages from that?

    If that’s the case, then in theory, I should able to poison the rankings of huge amounts of websites through one simple exercise. I’m hoping someone has better insights into this than me!

    • Chem Dry Toronto

      Funny thing, but the same happened to my website in the middle of Jan. It dropped from 3 to 0. I just started link building and submitted my website to couple of paid directories. That could confirm the whole theory about link building and paying for them. From the other hand I tried to see how others are building their popularity and found a few sites with a lot of links to paid directories. One in particular was PR 0 in Dec. Now – PR 5. So who’s right?

  • Beth Sowell

    I’m here because we have the same issues. We’ve lost a lot of business, thanks to the “new” Google. I’ve even stopped using them to search myself because I’m so angry about it. It doesn’t seem to matter what we do we can’t climb back up there. How can we get thru to them?

  • Fluturas

    With the major changes in google serach algorithms and policies odds are another drop will come very soon. Pagerank is getting obsolete and new technologies are emerging. Personally i see a rising interest in google for the microformats, dublin core, and other similar technologies. Microformats seem to give more juice to linking.

  • Nelson

    Our site’s page rank is also dropped from 5 to 3. I don’t know why.

  • Hair Girl

    I haven’t noticed this recently but it seems that whenever it does take a big drop, it comes back after a few days or a week. I don’t worry about it too much anymore..just continue to do my link building and content changing and working on my blog that leads to my main site.

  • Hear Mum Roar

    I realised I didn’t share whether or not I use paid links. I don’t, so that’s odd!

  • Harris

    I got PR 2 and it dropped to PR 0. I think google should remove the page rank system so that people will focus on only ranking not on page rank.

    • celebrity gossip

      My site also dropped from pr4 to pr3. I don't know the reason

  • Hear Mum Roar

    Ok, I stumbled onto something today. I don’t know if it’ll help others or not. But I’m with wordpress and use the thesis theme.

    Now, today I looked over my privacy settings, and was horrified to discover that it was set to, ‘I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors’

    I do know that recently thesis had an update that caused a different problem on my blog that is now sorted. My page rank is still zero, but at least now I have set it back to, ‘I would like my blog to be visible to everyone’

    I don’t know if this helps anyone, but if you use wordpress, please check your privacy settings!

  • Jay Was Here

    It seems as if it has started again i have been watching several sites in my network and the page rank of them have been dropping. Could it be because of a new page rank update?

  • Sunil

    In my opinion search results have something to do with PR. My blog has lost a considerable amount of traffic because of the so called “Google Slap”


    Following a sudden drop in our rank from 3 to 1, our Google Page Rank is raised to 4 now. Do not use free directory submission services.

    • Percaine

      Just wondering why you say not to use free directory submission services? Your scaring me because I just started using one and have submitted to about a dozen or so.Should I stop and Why?


    Is it true that Google no longer uses their page rank in search results. Google no longer shows the page rank in their webmaster tools.

  • dewa

    I have been punished by Google too as my PR went down from 3 to 0 few by the end of last year, and It is weird because my site doesn't lost it's unique visitor and have a very nice link too. I kinda believe it's got to do with the exchange link that I did, as I think I just found that out now, however I also would like to know whether sponsors ads, can also be considered as outbound link that effect your page rank dropped? I feel that my PR should at least get to 4 if not for the silly punishment (I'm calling it silly since Google doesn't really give a clue on how we can earn or loose it )

  • NJ SEO

    This is interesting. Your page rank did shoot up thought over the course of the years. Your site age does play a factor in that.

  • ffffffuaaatt .!!

  • Broadway Seo

    It seems as if they changed the algorithym by using the site speed as well.

  • macoway_advertising

    Nice Topic !

  • macoway_advertising

    Cool Topic !

  • Percaine

    My blog has PR 0 I have been working on writing quality content and link building for some time now but it doesn't seem to be making much of a difference.I can't seem to get traffic. What I would like to know is should links be one way links like from directories and article sites and such or should I link back to the sites. Which would give me more link juice.

    • Hassan

      Dear Percaine,
      It is ok to submit your site to reputable directories. However, some websites do illegal practices and have been punished by Google. If you submit you site to these kinds of directories, it could hurt your page rank.

  • markfloor

    I had page rank 2, then zero then 1 now zero again, yet i list number 1 and two of page 1 for most of my keywords in google and have done for the past 5 years, this generates business for me all the year round, my site has very good relevent content and uses simple navigation, so for me page rank doesn't make any difference.
    I think good content, simple navigation, regular updates and keyword tweaks using white hat tactics is the main factor in googles positioning of search results.
    I do, back link and use google maps and i keep the site up to speed,for this i feel google rewards me and rewards any genuine non fast buck making site.

  • markfloor

    I had page rank 2, then zero then 1 now zero again, yet i list number 1 and two of page 1 for most of my keywords in google and have done for the past 5 years, this generates business for me all the year round, my site has very good relevent content and uses simple navigation, so for me page rank doesn't make any difference.
    I think good content, simple navigation, regular updates and keyword tweaks using white hat tactics is the main factor in googles positioning of search results.
    I do, back link and use google maps and i keep the site up to speed,for this i feel google rewards me and rewards any genuine non fast buck making site.