Matt Cutts, Google’s lead of search spam, wrote a blog post named “Why did our PageRank go down?”
The post is a reminder to webmasters that selling links that pass PageRank can lead to a Google penalty.
Back in October 2007, Google officially came out saying selling paid links can hurt your PageRank and then shortly after, Google dished out the PageRank penalties to many web sites, including some major newspaper web sites.
Matt shared the email he sent to the publisher about why their PageRank dropped. In short, he said “PageRank drops by 30-50%” typically are due to “selling links that pass PageRank.” Matt went on to explain they detected, not sure if it was automatically or manually, links labeled “sponsored that passed PageRank.” Matt added that Google “received a outside spam report about your site” with details on different paid links on other sections of the web site.
Once the site removes the paid links or makes sure they do not pass any PageRank, Matt said you should submit a “reconsideration request” to remove the manual penalty.
As I noted at the Search Engine Roundtable, John Mueller in a Google Hangout yesterday said the same thing. Here is the video, it should start 40 minutes 32 seconds in:
- Official: Selling Paid Links Can Hurt Your PageRank Or Rankings On Google
- What Can We Learn From The Latest Brand To Be Called Out For Paid Links?
- Google’s PageRank Update Goes After Paid Links?
- iAcquire: We’re Abandoning Paid Links
- The Big Paid Link Debate Roundup
- Google’s Action Against Paid Links Continues: Overstock & Forbes Latest Casualties; Conductor Exits Brokering Business
- Dilbert Cartoon: Caught For Paid Links On Google
- Google Chrome’s Paid Link Penalty Now Lifted
- The 2007 Paid Links War, In Review