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Recent Page Rank Mayhem

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The latest round of page rank scoring by Google has hit many good web sites very hard, in that the bigger list of A level blogs, and big blog companies like Weblogs.inc have seen a sharp decrease in their page ranks. This is leading to speculation that some of these sites will soon be joining the Web 2.0 dead pool, or have to reduce staff via layoffs.

Many of the reputable sources that have received a penalty are part of extensive blog networks, and they have one factor in common. They have massive interlinking between their network sites. They may also sell links or advertising that passes PageRank on some of their less visible properties, but those properties benefit from the high pagerank sites that link to them, with sitewide links. Some of these sites have been known to add or knock millions off of the price of Apple shares in the past, what do you think it is going to do to Google? Source: Andy Beard

Some sites were totally overlooked, but makes you wonder just how effective or how dangerous it is to own multiple blogs and link in between them, it sounds good on paper, but the penalty might be excessive if you are using page rank as a key metric to monetize your blog or blogging system.

With all the concerns about Web 2.0 driving quality traffic, and the general question about the viability of web metrics in general, page rank has opened itself up to some serious questioning at this point, and while it is Google’s game, they seem to have created a firestorm of controversy. Because it was not just blogs, it was sites like Forbes, The Washington Post, SFGate, and other reputable news sources that also took the hit.

Another hard hit concern were PayPerPost participating sites, those sites that choose to monetize by using PayPerPost as a way to make a couple of dollars here and there, or start off on PPP campaigns as a way to generate revenue and buzz for their product. There are a lot of PPP posts that are not worth writing about, but for those who use PPP judiciously, they are also being penalized.

Text Links, paid links, news papers, A List bloggers, depending on what they were doing saw a drop of 1 to 3 points in their page rank, and in the world of trying to arrange advertising, this is a significant drop. It means that Download Squad would not be eligible to write for PPP on some of the higher paying gig’s anymore (if they use PPP, this is just an example of the carnage this morning).

While we all know and respect the results that Google Gives us, but to have Google Analytics have a page rank of 10, and the Washington post a page rank of 5, well this opens the door to a lot of questions, and not many answers. Google does not have to explain, but people have a right to monetize their blogs, and Google has the right to drop the page rank of those sites.

This time around it is not link farms, splogs, and others that were hit, this recent page rank drop hit at the core of reputable web sites, with no further explanation from Google.

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About Dan Morrill
Dan Morrill runs Techwag, a site all about his views on social media, education, technology, and some of the more interesting things that happen on the internet. He works at CityU of Seattle as the Program Director for the Computer Science, Information Systems and Information Security educational programs. WebProNews Writer
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