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I noticed a few days ago that the pagerank for has suddenly dropped to zero, and as the site has far more links to it than it did in the last PR update, I guess the “mighty Giigle”, in their infinite wisdom, have decided that I’m selling posts or links on this blog..

They’re wrong, I’ve never sold any posts, reviews or links on this blog, I don’t even have any “paid” advertisments, but it seems that doesn’t really matter to them. :roll:

I assume it’s probably because my blogroll links didn’t have the rel=”nofollow” tag on them, so in their “all knowing wisdom” they’ve come to the conclusion that they must be paid links.

They’re not for course, they are in fact links to other sites of mine that are related to this blog, and to other sites that have useful resources and services that I use and recommend. It’s called affiliate marketing, but perhaps “Giigle” have decided to start penalizing affiliate marketers too, or maybe they just don’t like to see anyone other than themselves making money from a website..  :twisted:

anyway, what I think of their current stance is irrelevant if I want to get the PR back, which I’m going to “try”, as it’s still seen as a form of “social proof” for the value of a site.

so I decided to add the rel=”nofollow” tag to all my blogroll links and submit a reinclusion request, but I then discovered that WordPress doesn’t include an easy way to make blogroll link ‘nofollow’ed.

There are a whole bunch of other “XFN” relationship tags available, but non of them are going to help with getting my PR re-instated, so I went looking for a solution.

I found one on the blog from a very switched on guy called Zain.

it’s a pretty simple wordpress hack, and it must be simple as I managed to do it myself without messing anything up.

I thought that I’d do a video showing just how to use Zain’s code so you can do it as well if you need/want to, so the video is below…

This video is a bit longer than my usual videos at just over 9 minutes, but that’s largely because I’ve tried to cover the whole process to make it nice and easy to replicate.

you can grab a copy of the code needed from my useful free stuff site,  where I’ve alsoo included the link for the webmaster tools page, which is where you can submit a reinclusion request if this has happened to you.

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Comment by make money blogging
2008-02-12 05:49:26

Hey matt. I had a similar problem. Google dropped my blog from the index (main keyword) because I had a TLA banner in my side bar. Took a while to figure out this was the cause of that. THEN when I removed the TLA banner my blog magically re-appeared where it had been sitting. Big G is definately whacked.
I recently removed the rel=nofollow tag from my side so it will be interesting to what happens. NOt that I really care.
Im focusing on building my RSS numbers as a defense mechanism against this sort of thing. I havent seen a PR dump yet. Im lso getting the idea that G likes to see higher numbers in the referring sites stat VS organic numbers. ANyone have any ideas on this idea?

Comment by Parimal Patel
2008-02-27 22:43:22

Great information!
I hope it works on mine.


Comment by Carole DeJarnatt
2008-07-06 18:41:06

Thanks so much! I have a couple of niche sites and it works great!

Comment by RickH
2008-09-13 18:54:00

I notice you don’t have any confirmation that your PR was whacked because Google was assuming you were selling links. Nor that adding the “no follow” tag will help. But I also notice your PR (for what it is worth) is back. So good good. I realize these are techniques made necessary by Google’s holier-than-thou attitude about what is acceptable and what not acceptable. It just makes me a bit sick to think we are forced to do this kind of stuff because Google tells us to do it. Personally I think the “no follow” thing is a bit degenerate.

Comment by admin
2008-09-14 19:58:14

Hi Rick,
nope, google don’t ever tell you stuff like that, in my experience anyway, but the fact that the PR cameback on both blogs within a week or so of adding my new plugin suggests my “assumption” may be valid.
it’s google’s game, so we just have to try and play by their rules, unfortunatly.
Matt Garrett

Comment by Greg
2008-10-13 15:20:23

Hi Rick, just grabbed your NOFOLLOW plugin – works great, thank you!

I was Google slapped to PR0 as well…and sadly I will fully admit that I did accept text link advertising. I can honestly say that, being new to the internet-business game, I had no idea that it was illegal in Google’s world. In fact, I was excited when I was approached because I did not want a bunch of ugly banners on the site, I actively pursued text link advertisers until I found out that it was a no-no.

Now I’m just waiting for our advertising agreement to expire (rather than offer a refund) so that I can fix this. Lesson learned. Other than less people wanting to link with you, are there any other negative implications with having a PR0? I am still indexed (so far) quite well for my keywords.


Comment by swollenpickles
2008-10-26 21:27:16

I’ve been slapped also. Selling text links isn’t ‘illegal’ though. It’s just something that Google don’t like, for what reason, I’m not sure.
I’m sure they’d say publicly that it’s because the practice might affect there SERPs, but I wonder if they would change their tune if they were able to act as the broker and take a sizable cut of the action?

Comment by admin
2008-10-27 14:19:22

Google don’t like it because they view it as a way of “cheating” a sites SERP’s position, even though it’s basically just another form of advertising at the end of the day. Google are already the biggest advertising company in the world and their version (adsense/adwords) is a little more sophisticated, I guess you could say that they just don’t want others getting a part of the action…

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Comment by Digits
2008-11-07 01:51:56

I hate Google because of this. My PR dropped from 4 to 3 after I began selling text links – but they are RELVENT to my content. This is why I loathe Google. They claim that they are “irrelevant” or frequently give the examples of Poker or gambling sites being sold as links on, oh a site having to do with gardening.

here is why it’s crap.

NOW…in the footer of sites you will see gambling links and their pharmacy links and their make money now links. I see these on a lot of “free theme” sites. for example… © Copyright 2008 | Theme by BlogTactics | a Mat4 network site is where their unrelated links would be. However Google doesn’t have a “tattle” policy on them do they? Course not. And even if they did I would still not tattle. I think that’s loathsome too. Alas, Google counts on your greed to WANT to bring your “competitors” down so they want you to tattle.

Then when I engaged with Project Wonderful [without adding nofollow] I got dropped to PR0. I took Project Wonderful off and now I have to wait and see.

I LOATHE the power Google has. They could arbitrarily decide they think MyBlogLog has too many spammers so MyBlogLog widgets better not be on your site or penalty of PR0.

They have blacklisted Text Link Ads even though TLA allows you veto power. Try to find TLA on Google. God I hate Google.

Comment by walt sargent
2010-07-26 10:19:58

Does Google really assume all outbound text links w/o ‘nofollow ‘ are paid links and therefore penalize the domain?

I have a page full of outbound text links on my ‘songwriter’ site. I don’t make any particular effort to optimize the site, but it still has a PR of 3 (not bad considering…). I am happy to promote the sites I am linking to. They belong to friends or musicians I admire. I don’t care if I “leak” a little SEO value, but I don’t want to get whacked for it.

In any case, I certainly understand resenting Google for dinging sites with Text Link Ads.

Comment by admin
2010-08-17 08:13:07

Hi Walt,
nope, Google doesn’t automatically assume all links without the nofollow tags are paid links, especially if they’re on a dedicated “links” page, they tend to be more suspicious (imho) of links in the content of a site itself.

Comment by Bruce
2010-09-05 17:48:16

The same thing happened to me. How long did it take to have your PR back after you made the change?

Comment by admin
2010-09-14 09:36:52

the PR came back a lot quicker than I expected, within a couple of weeks at most from memory.

Comment by Andrew
2011-01-20 20:04:09

May I ask, did you submit a reinclusion request or your PR just came back by itself?

I was hit by PR0 penalty as well, but it was totally my fault. I didn’t sell any links, I was working on a brand new website (design, etc) and it took me a long time to finish everything. I loaded the site with dummy text ( to see how the design looks when there’s some content on it. In the meantime I already started building links to it from my other blogs, etc.

The site got PR3 at some point but then was hit by PR0 penalty (not during PR update, that’s why I think it’s a penalty). Now months later after launching and adding proper unique content, building some links to it and after January 2011 PR update, it’s still PR0.

I was wondering if it’s worth submitting reinclusion request?

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Comment by admin
2011-01-20 20:14:33

It was a while ago now, but I don’t remember submitting a second request, I just waited to see what would happen.
In your case I’d say it is probably worth submitting a request, along with an explanation of what you did in the first place, just don’t expect a quick reply… 😉


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