Wednesday, October 31, 2007

October's Triple Google Dance: eliminating Paid Link industry?

Google Dance is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) professional term referring to the period of time when Google indices are tuned. According to Wikipedia Google Dance often cause "both a fluctuation in index size as well a significant change in a web site's search result position." A week ago, on Wednesday morning October 24, the world was witnessing an electronic Tsunami of reports from around the web reported about famous websites and blogs having their Google PageRank value significantly decreased during the recent performance of the Google dancer., a Seattle-based SEO blog and a hub for search marketers worldwide, followed-up and put up this list with some prominent websites that got hit. A few examples would be (from PR6 to PR4), (from PR7 to PR5), (from PR7 to PR5), from (PR6 to PR4) and the famous blogger who now has to get up in the morning to a new PR4 blog, rather than the PR6 he was used to.

So what is going on?

According to the most reasonable explanation for the recent change, that seem to be going further than we use to, is that the losses are "primarily a result of Google's continuing public relations campaign against paid linking." Opening the doors for corporate capital to override "people's voice" which is how Google have always seen their PR algorithm, Paid Linking is everything but how Google want to see their multi-billion dollar machine ranking Internet pages. I stumbled up this explanation in a few more blogs. Some even suggest that, as opposed to how things are usually done with Google, this time there seem to be some kind of manual override and that some websites are simply "being punished".

It is not clear if Google indeed seeks to eliminate the entire Paid Link industry. Yet, I agree with Loren Baker of that "if Paid Linking houses use PageRank as a pricing metric, then eliminating or devaluing PageRank will devalue paid linking" so this is definitely an option here. Furthermore, Techcrunch reported yesterday that even though, normally Google update page rank once every three months, sometimes not that often", the recent PR "downgrade" of a broad range of blogs was in fact the third Google dance in October 2007. This never happened before and something is definitely going on with Google PageRank.

Above image is sourced from More about possible future scenarios for the Paid Link industry in this article by title The Future of Paid Linking and more about Google PageRank on this Wikipedia article. Oh yes, this recent PR "zetz" was actually pretty good for my blog as it was upgraded from PR2 to PR3. I guess one's loss can sometimes be someone else's cause for celebration. Is that a cruel world or what?


  1. I actually dropped to a 4. I tla inter post paid text links. My Darfur blog didn't drop - it has no paid links. The personal blog has four to five times as many back links, more traffic and in general more everything so I do suspect the paid linkage. I don't think google should be the boss of us though. ;)

  2. I took a hit...went from PR3 to PR2. But I don't do all the paid link stuff. My site was originally a webhosting company and I bought the domain off of ebay so I'm not to mad about it because my PR3 was based off of them.

  3. Cooper, Kdub: thank you very much for your comments and for sharing this information with me and my readers.

    As you can read in some of the sources I quoted (e.g. in the fact your PR gone down does not necessarily means less organic Google search traffic or even a results ranking downgrade.

    Personally I am not looking to earn a single cent from my blogging. I do it for pleasure, so I don't host any paid links or even Google AdSense (even though I have an active account and played with it just for the "education" of it).

    This said, even though none of us wants to be controlled by Google, PR is and probably will stay an important factor in Google's ranking system so speaking with my marketing hat on (rather than my "internet-activist" one :)) it is strongly recommended to paly the game by Google's rules and not against them.

    Just my two cents.


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