By now I can’t imagine very many people not having at least heard about the latest round of “Google spankings” where blogs all over the Internet are suddenly being dropped to a zero PR.

There’s a lot of speculation about why this is being done but it comes down to brass tacks, Google has changed their pagerank algorithm.  In this change they have sharply reduced the value given to any link that they believe is paid along with any page that they believe contains paid links and by extension, any page that has links to it from such a page.

It doesn’t matter if it IS paid or not, just that Google believes it.

The result of this is that bloggers and advertisers all over the Internet are taking some major Pagerank hits.  The PR for this blog dropped in recent weeks from a 3 to a 2, and then yesterday it dropped again to a zero when according to all of the “pagerank prediction” tools I’ve been watching it should have either stayed a 3 or moved up to a 4.

Granted, I know that “pagerank prediction” tools are largely guesswork and don’t guarantee anything, yet some of them have always been reasonably accurate in the past.

All this means that any site that uses pagerank as one of the metrics they use to determine what blogs and websites have a shot at what paid links or sponsored posts are going to have to stop using pagerank if they want to have a reasonable selection of blogs and websites eligible.

By punishing sites for doing paid links or talking about paid links, Google is using their pagerank value and their Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) to censor blogs and sites that sell advertising other than their adsense links.  Google is free to run their search engine the way they want, but at the same time, using their very powerful position to punish websites and bloggers into submission is wrong.

I think it’d be better that PR not be a factor in this sort of thing at all anyway.  So far as I’ve always understood about PR, it was supposed to be a ranking based largely on the number of links to a particular page.  It’s never been representative of traffic in any way because there can be a zillion links but what good are they if nobody clicks on them.  Actual traffic, and the relevancy of content are the real factors that matter.

I think that the thing to do is move away from pagerank.  Besides, it’s a better practice to write blog entries and whatever web content for the visitors to the site and not for search engines anyway.  Instead of pagerank, I would instead be more concerned about increasing inbound links, gaining new links from as many different (yet relevant!) places as possible.

Other than that, I strongly suggest that if more people will use search engines OTHER than Google.  I suggest checking Ask.com, it really is as good as the Tv. commercials make it look.

I am going to do an entry soon that will show how to set Firefox to use different search engines besides Google.

Google needs to feel the results of trying to mess with Bloggers.  Remember, there are more of us than there is of them!

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