|Looks like Google dropped my PageRank for non-existent link selling.|
I am an SEO who saw my blog PageRank drop from PR4 to PR3 during last week’s Google PR update, which basically penalized all blogs and sites they considered to be selling links. Google, the world’s largest seller of advertising links, has decided that no one else should sell links unless they use a link condom, either a redirect or a no-follow tag, to prevent PR from flowing.
Google has been warning us that this was coming. Lots of big sites were hit, including Washington Post, Forbes, etc. who were selling link advertising. Whether you agree with Google or not (I don’t), Google has the right to do what it wants with its search engine, including going in and hand editing PR.
Here’s the deal on my blog, though. I suspect I had my PR dropped because I had a “Sponsor a blog post” link on my blog (Since removed). I was soliciting free blog posts to build up content and fill in when I was too busy to write posts myself. I was using a WordPress plugin which included options for paying for posts with more links and longer posts. There was no way to configure it so that only the “free” option would come up in the pop-up window. If I could have dropped the pay options, I would have.
I never sold one post nor a single link on my blog. Not one. I suppose Google thought I might, but I had no intention of doing so. All I wanted was an easy way for contributors to the blog to make posts.
Perhaps Google was taking a preemptive strike approach. Recent history should teach us the folly of that approach. Look what that, uh, person in the White House has done with a “preemptive strike” mentality – two wars (threatening a third), record deficits, gas prices through the ceiling…
Our president’s list of “preemptive strike” attempts goes on. This miserable failure (sorry, couldn’t resist) wants to do the same thing with gay marriage. He wants to amend the Constitution to ban it. Hello? It’s not even a right! How can you do away with something that doesn’t exist?
Which is my point. Link selling doesn’t exist on my blog. Google penalized me for something that doesn’t exist.
Get with it, Google. You’re like the Greek god Zeus hurling thunderbolts at mere mortals as punishment for mythical transgressions.
And we all know what happened to the Greek gods…
Update: I went into the plugin code and did away with references to “Sponsored” and also discovered that if I entered values of $0 then the “sponsored” fields disappeared from the options, leaving only the free selection. Sooooo, Google, hope you’re happy now. No more free “sponsored” posts on this blog. They’re now “guest” posts. Of course, they always were!