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How Did eMoms at Home Come Out of This Page Rank Scandal Unscathed?


Edit: I have noticed that my blog is still showing a page rank of 0. I believe we have not seen the end of this Google “update” - especially because there are no reported increases at all across the board. All I can say is brace yourself for whatever is next.

As many of you probably already read today, several of my peers and mentors were slapped by Google today with significantly lowered page ranks - as much as from a PR7 down to a PR4 in some cases.

Andy Beard and Daniel Scocco are providing ongoing coverage of the sites taking a hit. And it’s not just popular blogs - even the Washington Post and have gone from PR7 down to PR5.

The good news? Everyone seems to be reporting the same or more traffic from Google SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).

I was at a PR5 yesterday. I’m still at a PR5 today. I’d like to point to the things I did differently than people like Darren, Brian, and even the team over at BlogHerald - but I really have no clue. I believe we all have focused on bringing quality, relevant content to our audience and have always put the reader experience first before revenue. I believe we have all sold links at some point (though I turned down a cool $1000 for some text link advertising in August because of my Google fears…).

Theories are everywhere - some suggest the fact that being part of a blog network has hurt some of the sites, or perhaps that the incoming links are being devalued.

Frankly, I’ve been rather tight-lipped on the whole subject, mostly because I am not at a point in my business in which I can afford to rock the Google boat. I guess you can say that their scare tactics have worked on me - and I feel rather sad about that.

At the same time, I’ll be the first one to admit that I don’t understand Google, algorithms, nor could I pull off anything black hat if my life depended on it. I’m certainly not implying that anyone who has been hit is engaging in black hat tactics - far from it. I’m just saying that my level of SEO knowledge, though pretty advanced for my audience (work at home parents) is far less than that of my peers in this industry.

Perhaps it’s my relatively simplistic SEO implementation that has helped me skirt under the radar?

I’d really love to hear what you think about the issue:

Do you think Google is doing the best thing for their own users?

How could this be hurting their users?

How could it help?

And what are your predictions about Google’s intentions? Why do you think they are doing this and where do you think they are headed now that they have taken steps down a road that is certain to make quite a few (large and small) businesses angry?

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    On October 24th, 2007 at 10:24 am, Randa Clay said:

    I think Google is basically rendering their page rank system useless and untrustworthy by jerking everything and everyone around so much. If they want to be a trustworthy system, it seems a little more transparency would be in order.

    On October 24th, 2007 at 11:29 am, Mike said:

    Randa - transparency and Google are not two words I am used to reading in the same sentence…

    On October 24th, 2007 at 12:31 pm, Court said:

    Well done Wendy. ;)

    The two biggest theories right now is that they’re doing it to sites that either 1) sell PageRank in the form of text links or 2) interlink heavily with their network of sites.

    You seem to not fall into either of those categories. I just put up a new post with some other theories (I put it up after your visit today) that you should look at if you have the time:

    It will be interesting to see how the industry changes after all of this. This is going to really affect the text link business, I’m afraid they don’t have a model anymore.

    On October 24th, 2007 at 12:36 pm, Debbie said:

    I think Google keeps trying to outsmart the SEO experts. Then the SEO experts come up with a way to outsmart Google (some of it blackhat, some just ingenious). Then Google catches on and the whole merry-go-round takes another turn.

    It seems like we’re moving to everything just being about content that’s perfectly matched to keywords with little or no overt salesmanship.

    On October 24th, 2007 at 1:08 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    Court - Although I do think there is some truth to the interlinking theory, the KnowMoreMedia network wasn’t hit at all. So that exception has made me even more curious as to what the #@$% is going on!

    On October 24th, 2007 at 1:11 pm, franky said:

    It’s all about the number of entries with tons of outgoing links. All punished sites have participated to this.
    Smashing Magazine also got penalized. ;)

    On October 24th, 2007 at 1:51 pm, franky said:

    Hmmm, you just pierced my theory. :p

    No actually, I still think it has to do with how people link out: many penalized blogs it was a regular feature with heavy link out concetration, often to people participating in a viral link exchange principle but not necessarily related, ProBlogger fe.

    Other blogs, had a regular blog post/feature with tons of outgoing links: Copyblogger, BlogHerald (I suspect the WP Wednesdays here), aso. Maybe those all linked to related sites, but I could imagine an automation process in the algorithm checking on both frequency/regularity and link concentration of those entries, which could pull the trigger to be alerted at the GooglePlex and penalize manually.

    If only I could understand why Mashable was not hit with their linklists, but Smashing Magazine is (aren’t they just elaborated link lists), maybe I could strengthen this theory some more.

    On October 24th, 2007 at 1:55 pm, Court said:

    That’s pretty interesting Wendy, I wasn’t aware of that network. I hope this doesn’t happen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t over. I think Google tried to hit some of the bigger networks to create all this buzz we’re seeing.

    I think they probably want to put a stop to selling links altogether, and they will keep hitting until they are able to make it happen.

    It’s funny that they hit me two weeks ago and I took my links down. I then introduced an ad program that has nofollows on everything. I still got hit again this time, but it’s probable that Google didn’t get to my reinclusion request that explains that yet. I don’t have any ad programs that can pass PageRank at all!

    On October 24th, 2007 at 2:04 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    Court - you have been wronged on so many levels - I saw you mention that earlier today.

    But I won’t even go there. I only rant when I can offer a solution - and I really don’t have one, so I won’t rant. But know you have my support!!! :)

    On October 24th, 2007 at 5:34 pm, Opal Tribble said:

    I originally started out as a PR of 5 in April. In the last update it went down to 4. I got hit twice in the past few weeks. A little over a week ago it was down to a three and today I noticed it was down to a two.

    I created my newer websites and have been making sure that my main website not dependent on Google. I receive a lot of traffic from sources besides search engines. My newer websites receives the majority of their traffic from other sources.

    I honestly don’t like how they operate so I thought outside the box they were attempting to put me in.

    My traffic has not been affected, actually it keeps increasing, the money has not changed. That’s increasing also.

    It’s my website. I paid for it. I’ll link to whomever I want like. A few of my newer websites get scraped regularly according to the Big G that’s a no no sense they also have adsense on their website. I and other webmasters have reported them but they are still allowed to operate and they did net dinged with their PR.

    I’m hoping, eventually, that people will get tired of jumping through Google hoops.

    On October 24th, 2007 at 5:53 pm, Mike said:

    “I’m hoping, eventually, that people will get tired of jumping through Google hoops.”

    Amen to that

    Mentions on other sites...

    1. pamibe » Blog Archive » I’m not alone. on October 24th, 2007 at 11:52 am

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