As many of us has experienced, Google has finally slapped everyone who has paid links on their site. PageRanks have been stripped off by as much as 2 on most sites. A good example would be this site which has been penalized from PR4 to PR2. I am not complaining, since I never have any good chance to analyze my site to abide by all of Google’s quality guidelines.
This event makes me think on how PageRank really matters for websites. It matters because all of us make it so, by acknowledging the authority of the scheme. Hell, I know I will be happy if my PageRank gets a certain boost.
Google has announced for quite some time now, that they don’t like paid links. This is understandable because this kind of link will effect the PageRank and search results. However this is a critical move for many bloggers who makes money via paid posts where they are not allowed to include the
rel="nofollow" tags in the links inside the paid posts. And to make things worst – there is a cyclic dependency: PageRank will be lower for paid bloggers, and paid bloggers are ranked by PageRank.
Being an occasional paid post writer myself I realize that many paid post operators uses and acknowledge the authority of external ranking systems such as PageRank and Alexa. The higher their rank, the better chance they get to grab those high value posts. Alexa is still alright, since it is based purely on traffic but stricter schemes like PageRank is sure a pain for those who have been seriously blogging for money.
And do not forget: advertisers seeking to put paid links on your site will also look at your PageRank! 😉
Once obvious thing for this site is the occasional paid posts, and the sponsored links. For now, I shall only put links from advertisers who agrees to allow the
rel="nofollow" tag on their links. This way they will benefit from clicks and not from search engines. When I have the time I think I’ll look into the guidelines and use the Google Webmaster tool to ask for reconsideration.
How about you? How much does PageRank matter to you?