Google Brings the Smack Down with PR Changes

There is a Buzz in the air, and it isn’t very good . . .

It seems that in the past few days, Google has changed their PR algorithm, affecting major corporations, webmasters and bloggers alike. In this case, size just doesn’t matter . . . everyone from The Washington Post to Problogger to Engadget to me has been affected by this.

What Was this PR Change All About?

Not sure. The word on the street is that sites are being penalized for selling links. Experts contend that Google has been manually reviewing sites and changing PR as a result of what they find. Has the Big G verified this? There might be evidence, but it seems that no one is 100% certain.

Bloggers and others have been theorizing that this is a ploy by Google to further consolidate power and to force people to use them for advertising, but that’s just one of thousands of theories out there. Until Google comes out and tells us what they have done and why, we have no way of knowing anything.

What does it mean?
I don’t think anyone really knows yet. As PR is one of many factors in Google’s results, this drop, in theory, should have major effects around the globe. So far, it seems, the experts contend that this has not affected traffic or AdSense. On the other hand, as many advertisers and ad networks rely on PR for setting prices, this could have a devastating effect on the revenues of websites around the planet.

Sounds all negative. Are there any positives to this PR Change?
I’ve been reading up on this for 2 days now and have yet to hear anything good about this situation. I have heard rumblings from people that they have seen PR upgrades, but haven’t found any proof. I’d love to hear from anyone who has seen an increase. Maybe we can learn from exploring these sites what has really happened.

What Next?
Keep reading! As time goes on, we’ll certainly learn more about this major update. As Google is the 800 pound gorilla in the world of search, every move they make can have major effects on everyone online. This is an event that is going to be talked about until Google’s next major move.

Is there anything you can do to avoid being harmed by moves like these?
Common sense would say to rely less on Google for everything, but that is not an easy thing to do. Sure there are other Search providers out there, but until one of them starts to seriously compete with Google, the smart thing to do would be to diversify, but also focus on what we’re all doing to make the beast angry. With so much power in the hands of one company, we are all forced to comply or suffer, it seems.

Important Reading on the Topic
If you’re interested in the topic, these articles should give some insight on the developments I’ve just written about:


15 thoughts on “Google Brings the Smack Down with PR Changes”

  1. I also suffered a PR drop more than 2 months ago and traced (possibly) the cause to incoming links in the form of spam URLs resulting to 404s on my site. In a matter of days, Google reported 3000+ 404 errors on my site so I decided to take action on it. Now my PR is back up to PR4 – still one notch less from the original PR5. Full details of what I did can be found at

  2. I have heard that google is discounting the weight of directory links. That is the most popular form of paid link building. I would have to say that most of the time people are buying page rank on the directories and I know it is a good business for some but it does help to level the playing field to devalue these links.

    I guess you can tell I don’t buy links.

  3. Hi Josh,

    Last week I noticed my ActiveRain blog drop from PG 4 to 3, however my website which was only a PG2 went to a PG3…go figure. Perhaps you are onto something with all the backlinks in blogs..? Keep us posted…I’m counting on you;) L~

  4. Well people flip out whenever they hear about a PageRank change one way or another, people link to warez sites and wonder why they dropped from a PR3 to a PR0, etc. It is just visual pagerank people, not the thing that they are actually ranking our sites based on ;)

Please share your thoughts.