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Google PageRank Update and It’s All Down

written by John Chow on October 24, 2007

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The Internet is a buzz today with Google PageRank downgrades. speculation on the reasons for the downgrade range from an attack on blog link farms, the end of PageRank, removing AdSense ads, it’s all John Chow’s fault, etc. You can see a list of new PageRank for well known blogs at DailyBlogTips.

The most popular reason given for the first batch of PR downgrade (I went from 6 to 5) was that those sites that got hit were selling links. However, that reasoning doesn’t seem to hold anymore because Problogger.net (from 6 to 4) and bunch of other blogs doesn’t sell links.

I would say the most likely reason for this change is Google is messing around with link resellers like Text Link Ads. By downgrading a large chunk of the blogs on the Internet, Google has made it that much harder for the link resellers to sell links.

My feeling on this is to not even worry about it too much. Keep an eye on your search traffic for the next week or two. If it’s still the same then the drop in PageRank is just a number drop and nothing more. However, if that is the case, then PageRank just became irrelevant.

In other news, my PageRank is going to 4 and I’ve passed 13,000 RSS readers for the first time. Take that Google! :twisted:

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ADD 200 POINTS TO YOUR CREDIT SCORE October 24, 2007 at 10:24 am

John, looks like you cut the Google cord at the right time!

Blogging Experiment October 24, 2007 at 1:01 pm

Lol he didn’t cut the Google chord, they cut him although John does preach not having all your eggs in any one basket.

Steve October 24, 2007 at 1:15 pm

I believe the poster was referring to John getting rid of adsense on his site.

Collin - Your World Gallery October 24, 2007 at 2:55 pm

Well I guess I am not going to put to much faith in them. I don’t sell text links but I guess that don’t matter much anyways. Just need more traffic period!

Pajama Mommy Community October 25, 2007 at 6:04 am

I dont know if you noticed john but you’re down to a pr 4 the same thing happened to problogger and the same thing happened to me. if it continues to go this way i think google is removing its page rank..

Blackysky October 24, 2007 at 2:59 pm

maybe the pagerank number won’t be a random number that anyone can trick…New blogs will have a real chance to beat the big names with accurate information :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
It’s a new era !! a google era :evil: :evil: :evil:
Everyone went to google because of microsoft .. Now you give all the power to google. Enought power to create a new word i’m googling pouahahhahahah :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

I heard that : this is only the phase 1 .. 2008 will be worst :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: so do your thing now later it will be too late :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

David Wilkinson October 27, 2007 at 6:11 am

Dude – You feeling okay?!?!?

SEO Optimization October 24, 2007 at 5:13 pm

Well it could be :P

But if we believed that those blogs got drop in their pagerank without a reason than we are eating the BS they have to tell us.

Read, Google is not penalizing ONLY those that sell links or buy links, Google is penalizing THOSE that try to TRICK their algorithm, and by PUBLIC ALLY asking for people to link to your site in a contest to win a price is what I would call tricking the system (apparently thats what Google thinks too). So if Darren wasn’t selling links he was clearly asking for backlinks and giving prizes in return, thats not what Google likes.

So a reason like “Did i got penalized because I removed AdSense” is not what makes much sense to me, isntead “Yeah, i got penalized because you guys linked to me cause I asked and was giving prices for linking, not because you liked my content on whatsoever”.

What I do like are people like John Chow and his lovely comment “better a PR5 than a PR0″ as I mentioned on my post in regard of this pagerank horning round. John was clean and did not made noise because he knew there is a reason (but he doesn’t care, hence why I keep reading his blog daily).

Sudarshan October 24, 2007 at 10:28 am

Congrats for 13,000 Milestone….It was expected though :lol:

Tyson Williams October 24, 2007 at 1:51 pm

Indeed – congrats a load of new subscribers!

ImamKhalid October 24, 2007 at 3:30 pm

Yeah you’ve beat shoemoney!

kenny October 24, 2007 at 10:29 am

Looks like Google is just making the PageRank # a bit more accurate. Many of the sites that were knocked down are part of larger site networks that contributed to their high PRs. Other sites were all part of linking schemes such as the various link trains, and memes that go around the net.

I don’t think this change will affect text link sales at all. :mrgreen:

Making The Money October 24, 2007 at 12:54 pm

It will affect price though because lots of people want to buy page rank, still.

Blogging Experiment October 24, 2007 at 1:02 pm

Um you need to keep looking around. Lots of sites that were hit don’t fall into any of the categories you just listed.

Chris Jacobson October 24, 2007 at 10:34 am

They took down ProBlogger by two points as well. Something is definitely going on at the evil Googleplex.

Chad October 24, 2007 at 10:39 am

I’m glad PR is pretty much irrelevant for 99% of what I do.

Bujes October 24, 2007 at 10:42 am

My PR didn’t change.
And I think, your PR is now 4 and not 5.

roc21 October 24, 2007 at 10:43 am

PageRank is just a number, i agree

Blogging Experiment October 24, 2007 at 1:04 pm

Well no kidding! :roll: PageRank has always been a number. It’s simply a snapshot of the “real” PageRank that Google uses in it’s calculations. However, by the time it updates, the snapshot is months old and thus no longer really tells you a whole lot.

investorblogger October 24, 2007 at 10:48 am

When Google was a much smaller company without a monopoly, it could get away with things like this. But now Google is affecting not just small blogger, but big companies with reputable websites. And it’s hitting them where it hurts. In their pocketbooks.

Don’t be surprised if you see lawsuits about Google becoming a monopoly and abusing their position. It happened to Apple, Microsoft, and a number of other 600lb gorillas. History tells us that customers don’t like monopoly type companies throwing their weight around like this.


bloggernoob October 24, 2007 at 5:04 pm

Even if Google gets hit with an antitrust case it will spring back. they all do. MS, At&t, all major corporations play the legal game and spring back as another monopoly. look at the telecom industry. they had to break up At&t. then all these little companies grew. and now look. At&t just buys it back. can’t stop goliath

Neil Galloway October 24, 2007 at 10:53 am

The change in Page Rank is always interesting. I had Google basically remove me from the search results in April and they killed my traffic for over a month. Don’t know why. A lesson in removing a blog’s dependence from them. They are just so convenient though.

Rick October 24, 2007 at 11:00 am

Wrong. The buzz today is all about Google’s F*ck up with adsense earnings and reports.

Rick October 24, 2007 at 11:00 am

Wrong. The buzz today is all about Google’s F*ck up with adsense publishers earnings and reports.

revenuerobot October 24, 2007 at 11:05 am

Congrats for 13,000…! that’s awesome… :mrgreen:

Caribbean Web Development October 24, 2007 at 11:07 am

any word on new sites getting a pagerank for the first time?

ADD 200 POINTS TO YOUR CREDIT SCORE October 24, 2007 at 11:08 am

So does this mean this is the end of text link ads? What are all the smaller sites who rely on that revenue going to do now?

Tyler Cruz October 24, 2007 at 11:16 am

I’m PR3 now! w00t!

Ronaldo Camacho October 24, 2007 at 12:42 pm

Talk about irrelevant!

Tyler is PR 3 and my highly unimportant blog with lesse than 10 visits a day is PR 4.

PageRank is becoming a joke.

Blogging Experiment October 24, 2007 at 1:22 pm

It’s definitely hit the joke stage. I’ve got sites that out PageRank A-list bloggers. Way to go Google! :roll:

Nomar October 24, 2007 at 11:22 am

still at 5, hope it will remain there

revenuerobot October 24, 2007 at 11:23 am

i’m still at a PR4.. nicccce

mlm Jedi October 24, 2007 at 11:28 am

hi guys, I am new and my PR is 0 haha. So please enlighten me, whats d benefits of high PR ? you can sell links at higher price or you can attract more ads ? Thanks .

Court October 24, 2007 at 11:36 am

Crazy Crazy! I got hit by the update too, and wrote a post that has a theory that other people haven’t really come up with yet. Here it is:


Would love to hear what you have to say if you have the time.

Blog Contests October 24, 2007 at 11:54 am

I bet TLA are pissed!

Jeremy Steele October 24, 2007 at 12:05 pm

I’m still at PR 3 and search traffic has gone up quite nicely the past few days. I’m working on a little post tomorrow about my theories on the drop and how the whole PR system can be fixed… I suspect a lot of it has to do with low quality links and viral marketing.

Frank C October 24, 2007 at 12:13 pm

My new since April blogs still don’t have rank yet. My mini-sites that have been around for a few years are still at 3 or 4, no change there.

John Chow is my Hero October 24, 2007 at 12:20 pm

Last week my organic traffic got chopped in half from Google but stayed the same from Yahoo!, MSN search, msn live, etc. I reconfigured my pages, added some “noindex follow” and straight “nofollow” tags to many pages and many single links on those pages and the traffic bounced back bigger than before.

My PR hasn’t changed, I don’t run a typical blog however, I use wordpress as my current choice of cms mostly and replaced comments with a forum feature.

Starfeeder October 24, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Hmm interesting..

I wish google would remove those pages that just have tons of google ads. Example all those pages that come up when you mistype a domain name.

jennifer October 24, 2007 at 12:59 pm

My firefox page rank addon is showing you at 0. My blog is still at 4. and my new blog is at 5.

Domtan October 24, 2007 at 1:14 pm

The wrath of Google. John, dropping from 6 to 5 is that bad. Some sites were dropped from PR 7 to 3. Ouch.

James October 24, 2007 at 1:15 pm

Long live RSS and no need for Google?

Ades October 24, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Lost my PR7… but it’s not the end of the world, isn’t it?

Strategic Internet Marketing October 28, 2007 at 9:12 am

Truly understand your feelings! :shock:

Lizard Wisdom October 24, 2007 at 1:28 pm

We are still waiting to be page ranked so that we too can fall from grace! :shock:

Is pagerank really that important anymore? It seems like the more Google messes with it, the less relevance people (advertisers) will be placing on it. Or at least that is what we hope!

Congrats on reaching 13K RSS readers. It will be interesting to see what happens after your contest ends…

Eric Barnes October 24, 2007 at 1:35 pm

I feel your pain we had a lot of sites drop rank but our sites with no advertising at all seemed to stay the same. Of course I am not saying that is the reason but it is food for thought.

Ckacey October 24, 2007 at 1:37 pm

Why is everyone rolling over for Google? Isn’t the Internet supposed to be the “great equalizer?” And ,why can’t Google be as “transparent” as the rest of us are supposed to be, instead of being so…covert? That would be in my ever-so-humble opinion, good business! The only reason for not giving an explanation for your actions is because you’re doing something evil. Otherwise, you would shout it from the rooftops. I had high hopes for the Internet but it would appear that the Internet like the government is owned and operated by the Corporate Fat Cats. :evil:

Sean from Blogumnist.com October 24, 2007 at 1:40 pm

I’ve recently given up my day job to try to earn money from blogging. I’m only in the early stages and to me gaining a good PageRank is very important. It’s a bit worrying therefore to see how variable it is once you do gain it. Google certainly does have a lot of power over your life if you’re trying to make a living from this.

weird biz October 25, 2007 at 7:38 pm

you don’t need pagerank to make money, just traffic.

Ronald Lewis October 24, 2007 at 1:41 pm

I kinda of figured that you’d take a hit, JC. Fortunately, ronaldlewis.com still remains at a PR 5, so no impact for me. Regardless, does PR really matter? It’s really about execution and driving traffic to your site and monetizing it — Much like JC has succeeded in doing.

Pajama Mommy Community October 24, 2007 at 1:41 pm

I’m sorry but I went from a pr 6 to a pr 5 and It hasn’t effected my ability yet.

Fashion Network October 24, 2007 at 1:45 pm

nice trick John I like how every person who types RSS turns into a link for your feed…how did you do that?


Tyson Williams October 24, 2007 at 1:50 pm

Hmmm – I am still showing at 5 :!:

warzone October 24, 2007 at 2:07 pm

Yeah I noticed that its gown down to 4. I was kinda shocked. from PR6 to PR4. Thats a massive leap. Anyways. Best of luck for the contest.

Malignition.com October 24, 2007 at 2:21 pm

Looks to me that Google likes to play games. One of my sites went from a pr 2 to a pr 0. Wonderful, given the fact that it has tons more backlinks than it previously had. I wonder what we can expect next from Google.

Collin - Your World Gallery October 24, 2007 at 2:57 pm

So what happens now when you have places link Pay Per Post what base what reviews you can do on your page rank?

Mike October 24, 2007 at 3:07 pm

It’s crazy the way google think that they predict what is popular on the web. If people goto a site and keep coming back it’s got nothing to do with google. It’s the page content itself.


Mike October 24, 2007 at 3:09 pm

Oh yeah I forgot to say congrats on all of the new subscribers. I think you wiped the floor with shoemoney. Well done.


hellyeahdude.com October 24, 2007 at 3:43 pm

I am starting to not like google.
Lets go ASK.com!

Market Matador October 24, 2007 at 4:41 pm

Google constantly changes their PRs internally, so you shouldn’t any difference in traffic.

Jacob October 24, 2007 at 4:48 pm

I have been able to make plenty of money with all my sites at pr n/a so I dont really care about PR.

Carlo Selorio October 24, 2007 at 5:25 pm

I guess you John don’t need to justify your popularity and credibility with a pagerank. It goes to show that you have influence and a following that will last for a long time.

Carlo Selorio

Nick Sullivan October 24, 2007 at 5:29 pm

Ha, nice post John. Google are getting too big for their own good, someone needs to knock em’ down. Though I don’t hate Google as I don’t go round hating popular people or companies for the sake of it like some do, I think Google are awesome. But what I don’t like is their sneaky backdoor tactics and lack of communication. Personally I couldn’t care less about PR, I never have, it’s a number. Nothing else. And I don’t sell links.

danielctw October 24, 2007 at 7:44 pm

This Google PR has really damaged a part of the community. Especially those doing paid post. But funny, some sites that don’t use text link ads are also affected.
Let’s see for a few days.

One Buck Wiki October 24, 2007 at 8:22 pm

Hmmm… This could be very crucial for a lot of bloggers…. :cry:

Nick October 24, 2007 at 10:08 pm

Hmmm, they must be releasing the new pagerank in waves or stages or something because I’m still showing as a PageRank of 0….unless Google just thinks my blog sucks that bad….or maybe it does :???:

maurizio October 25, 2007 at 12:22 am

I went from 3 to 2 and I don’t even have Text Link Ads.
I did some PPP reviews though.

Marhalim Abas October 25, 2007 at 12:34 am

Google’s Revenge? Anyhow, you win some, you lose some, thats life…

Emanuele October 25, 2007 at 1:38 am

I think this is obvious.

There are tons of “How to make money with a blog”, and almost all of them are just a cut/paste of hte only 2 or 3 sites that really make money with a blog.

Obviously Google does not know how much you earn from a website so it’s going to “punish” them all.

jennifer October 25, 2007 at 1:46 am

I guess my firefox is messed up too on the page rank thing because it is now showing a page rank of 4 for johnchow.com

Ckacey October 25, 2007 at 2:40 am

I have an idea..John should start a Google clone :twisted:

Matt Ridout October 25, 2007 at 3:46 am

Looks like you’ve been taken to a 4 now :shock:

Eric L. October 25, 2007 at 6:37 am

The focus on paid links only draws attention to part of the problem. Google is concerned with paid links only as part of its overall concern of being able to detect and weight link schemes between sites correctly. This crackdown on some sites/ blogs may reflect the idea that those SEO sites/ blogs have entered into an excessive number of artificial linking, whether paid or not.

Geiger October 25, 2007 at 7:10 am

I never really understood Google being anti-paid links. If a site is a trusted source and they have links does that make them an untrusted source?

thatedeguy October 25, 2007 at 8:13 am

Hey John, your pagerank is down to 4 now.

Emanuele October 25, 2007 at 9:43 am

ok… a few hours passed and I am still PR7… :mrgreen:

Rhys October 25, 2007 at 1:11 pm

I’m going to blog about this tomorrow :)

Jeff Banks October 26, 2007 at 3:50 am

I seemed to have found no change in my rank i have noticed thought that the green bar of death still says 0 but some pages on my site if you asks to see there google link it gives my home page which means that it must have a page rank of over 4 but no update Chuffing google. Mind you love that they have leveled the playing field a bit.

David Hopkins October 26, 2007 at 3:35 pm

it’s all John Chow’s fault, etc.

hahaha. Nice one John.

Aaron Cook October 27, 2007 at 12:09 am

I moved up to a 4, so I’m at least happy about that.

Okinawa October 27, 2007 at 3:31 am

You said phase one of pagerank drops, is there a phase two?

Costin October 27, 2007 at 4:56 am

I noticed PR4 on your blog. Not 5. :???:

Raj October 27, 2007 at 6:50 am

Problogger got back to PR6 again. I think the slap is especially to those who sell links including you; and Problogger is not, hence got rectified.

Boris October 27, 2007 at 6:29 pm

Many have said PR is on it’s way out… So what’s the big deal… If you haven’t dropped in the SERP’s and it is affecting your bottom line… Then I guess it’s just an ego thing…

Wordpress Themes October 28, 2007 at 4:46 am

The PR update affected a lot of people. Almost everyone got down and it is more difficult to get a high PR now!