On Sunday this week I noticed that Phoenixrealm had reduced from PR6 to PR5, strange as I was not aware of a general Google PR update.
Lots of posts have been written on this subject this week here is a paid link debate roundup.
Some believe that this is purely a Google glitch, but the majority believe that Google has given a -1 PR penalty to sites that it believes “guilty” of selling links.
I have only ever sold one link on Phoenixrealm and that expired and was removed some months ago, so that cannot be why I have received a penalty.
I did have some client sites listed in my blogroll, so I am “guilty” of sharing some “link love”. Google may have looked at these links, and as they were to unrelated sites, and incorrectly guessed that they were paid for, thus the penalty. Maybe in the future if I feel it appropriate to link to unrelated sites, I will do so using a nofollow.
The main thing is that my SERP positions have remained constant, as has traffic, so nothing to panic about.