Major Sites Taking PageRank Hits

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Google is penalizing some big-name publications and blogs, including the Washington Post, Forbes, and Engadget. Over two dozen have seen their toolbar PageRank drop by a factor of 2 to 4 overnight.

Major Sites Taking PageRank Hits
Major Sites Taking PageRank Hits

The leading theory is that these sites sell links that pass PageRank and that Google is enforcing its policy. However, some claim they do not sell links and that Google has singled them out for a different reason.

Just what that reason is varies, and includes some conspiracy theory about recent posts the company may not like.

"Many of the reputable sources that have received a penalty are part of extensive blog networks, and they have one factor in common," writes blogger Andy Beard. "They have massive interlinking between their network sites."

Over at Copyblogger, Brian Clark claims to have never bought or sold a link, yet was busted down two spots anyway. He wonders if it was something he said, and relays what it might have been in skit form:


Dude 1: “Wait a minute. Didn’t that Copyblogger guy just put out a free report saying we should move away from business models that rely on Google?”

Dude 2: “That’s right… he did. That’s a strange coincidence, isn’t it?”

While that seems unlikely, other bloggers have mused about whether this is the end of PageRank relevancy, or just a slap against marketing publications.


"Shoot I’m honored to be on the list of sites that got hit because they are the best internet marketing sites in the internet," writes Courtney Tuttle. "Come on Google, you’re going to slap Problogger? If you’re going to slap Darren and me on the same day I’m feeling like a pretty big deal right now."

Whatever the reason, a few note that the decrease in toolbar PageRank has not affected traffic yet. "My search engine visitor levels have stayed the same," says Hyder Jaffari. "I presume the blogs affected by the PR drop are also experiencing the same thing."

Here’s a list of the online publications affected, gleaned from several blog posts:

·    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ PR7 to PR5
·    http://www.forbes.com/ PR7 to PR5
·    http://www.suntimes.com/ PR7 to PR5
·    http://www.sfgate.com/ PR7 to PR5
·    http://www.statcounter.com/ PR10 to PR6
·    http://www.masternewmedia.org/ PR7 to PR4
·    http://www.autoblog.com/ PR6 to PR4
·    http://www.engadget.com/ PR7 to PR5
·    http://www.problogger.net/ PR6 to PR4
·    http://www.copyblogger.com/ PR6 to PR4
·    http://www.joystiq.com/ PR6 to PR4
·    http://www.tuaw.com/ PR6 to PR4
·    http://www.searchengineguide.com/ PR7 to PR4
·    http://www.searchenginejournal.com/ PR7 to PR4
·    http://www.johnchow.com/ PR6 to PR4
·    http://www.quickonlinetips.com/ PR6 to PR3
·    http://weblogtoolscollection.com/ PR6 to PR4
·    http://andybeard.eu/ PR5 to PR3
·    http://www.seroundtable.com/ PR7 to PR4
·    http://www.blogherald.com/ PR6 to PR4
·    JohnTP from 6 to 4
·    Coolest Gadgets from 5 to 3
·    New Scientist from 7 to 5
·    Seattle Times from 6 to 4

Several weeks ago it was paid directories that were being targeted, apparently to send a message. That message was received loud and clear, but it doesn’t seem these sites were hit for the same reasons.


Major Sites Taking PageRank Hits
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  • http://www.internetsolutionsireland.com Kamil

    Well..it is a part o Google’s policy. They don’t want anybody to influence a search engine results. Be aware of that where you link to and who links to you.

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    Great article Jason, I enjoyed reading it.

  • http://www.m4s73r.com/ Internet Marketing Indonesia

    thanks for your article. Very help me. I will more like visit to webpronews site. :) Fantastic

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