The Google Toolbar PageRank update has officially taken place. The total time between full updates was a new record at 179 days, which is nearly 6 months. Can you believe it?
There is no debate as to whether or not it’s actually happened, and it’s been preceded over the past two weeks by a manual lowering of TBPR on many of the Web’s most popular websites. Most people (ok, everyone) believ it was done as as a slap on the wrist for selling links.
My initial indicator that something had changed came when I looked at Sphinn this morning, where instead of a PR zero, like they have been since launch, I was greeted by a PR 6. Wow! Nice bump, huh?
This instantly made me jump to my own sites interior pages, which have been sitting at a lowly PR zero since launch in June, and now all but one of them have a little link juice, showing PR 3. (I’ve never obsessed about PageRank before, but I do hate showing a zero!)
I find it comical that the only page not to get any TBPR in my entire site was one where I talk about paid links, and where I have an affiliate link to Patrick Gavin’s Text Link Ads. How funny is that? Coincidence? I think not!
Clearly, Google is concerned about the integrity of its algorithm and the ability of savvy webmasters to manipulate rankings via passing of link juice through text links, and that was demonstrated by the myriad of websites that lost TBPR this past week.
Take a look at this list of penalized sites on Andy Beards site, and check them for yourself. Copyblogger went from a PR6, penalized to a PR4, and is now back up all the way to a PR7! Wow, what’s that all about?
Others have now been slapped again, like one of my favorites Search Engine Roundtable. They went from a PR7 to a PR 6 last week, and this morning they are a PR4. Wow, that really sucks. Total bullsh*t.
In my opinion, this manual lowering of the visible toolbar PageRank was a “shot across the bow” to let website and domain owners know that if they sell links and are caught, then they will have their TBPR get lowered. To me, that’s an unspoken threat that rankings might be next. Fear Uncertainty & Doubt – FUD
I guess Google practically owns the Web, and can do whatever they want to keep advertising dollars going where they want them to. That would be directly into stockholder coffers, and not into the pockets of small webmasters around the world.