Google Penalty ?

by Gary on October 12, 2007 · 5 comments

in SEO

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.

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Marc Levy October 12, 2007 at 2:54 pm

Google may win the paid links war in the short term, but in the long run I do not see them winning this one. Google have gone from being the friendly, intuitive search engine to one that suddenly thinks they are g0d. Someone will eventually come along and take over…

Google are guessing too much with their paid link algos, if someone has blatantly purchased a link with text link ads then fair enough. But if it cannot be proved, Google should keep away.

Why should you have to no-follow your clients? They are your clients and you have every right to promote them, both on an SEO level and regular traffic level. Just because their site is not directly related to yours doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to share some link love – after all it maybe an amazing, site with great content that you want to share with people!

I am just going on a massive rant! This stuff really gets to me.

Joost de Valk October 12, 2007 at 8:35 pm

A little bird told me they penalized link sellers 😉

SEO Carly October 13, 2007 at 2:04 am

I don’t know Joost, seems more like a glitch to me. I’ve just seen too many -1PR sites that don’t sell links, nor do they have paid link characteristics.. One blog that took a drop doesn’t even have a blog role, so the only OBL is to Wordpress.

Also blatant PR sellers that have so far gone completely unscathed.

The other thing too is most site’s i have reviewed with a -1PR havn’t missed a beat in the SERP’s, alot have even risen in rankings… So if the little birdy is right, Google has done such a sloppy job at this whole scheme they may as well not have bothered.

Who knows, maybe the birdie has been told to whistle the wrong tune so everybody tears their links down. Remains to be seen i guess.

ADAC Video February 3, 2008 at 12:57 am

I agree with SEO Carley

These drops in PR do not seem to have a corresponding drop in the SERPs at least with any of the site i do SEO on.

I think Google is just trying to make it harder to sell links by dropping the PR, but are not at this time really penalizing the site.

A 1 PR drop will not really affect the visitors view of most sites. In fact if the visitor doesn’t have their own site, so that they are concerned with PR , most visitors don’t even know what it is or how to figure out what a sites PR is.