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Just under a month ago I made a post about how I had just discovered that this blog was apparently suffering from the dreaded “Giigle PR0 penalty” virus that’s been hitting many blogs suspected by the BigG of selling text links.

feb 6th : Google PR0 Penalty

As I’ve never sold any links on this blog I came to the conclusion that it must be because I have a fairly long list of “useful resources” links in my blogroll, non of which had the Rel=”nofollow” link, as it’s not an option in the standard WordPress installation.

I went hunting for a solution and the post included a video on how to hack your WP files to add a “nofollow” tick box option for blogroll links, thanks to Zain of

I realised at the time that while this was an “ok” solution for someone like myself, who’s not totally terrifed (I’m just a little bit nervous) by the prospect of messing around in the wordpress pages code, for the vast majority of wordpress bloggers this solution is against the principle of why they use WP in the first place, they want a simple web site system that doesn’t involve messing around with code and potentially “breaking” things.

Fortunatly I know a pretty damned good WP coder, who’s working on some new plugins for me, and she was able to knock up a much better solution for me to offer as a free plugin, so thanks to Riki!

I installed the plugin and tested it out, and it worked exactly as promised, as I said, Riki is good, it tool her less than 3 hours to send the completed plugin back to me..

so I made a post announcing the new plugin here on Feb 26th:
BlogTactics NoFollow BlogRoll Plugin

and you can grab your free copy from the Plugins page

Now here’s the bit that has surprised me, and is the main reason for this post…

the pagerank for this blog is back.

Ok, it’s dropped from PR3 to PR2, but here’s the bit that has me surprised: –

I didn’t get around to doing a “re-inclusion request” with google, which is apparently (according to what I’ve read on other blogs, including stuff posted by Matt Cutts  himself), what you need to do to get the PR re-instated when you get a PR0 penalty.

Now I’m not going to claim to know why it’s happened that way, and whilst I’d love to claim that it’s all down to my new “nofollow” plugin, I’ve got no “hard” evidence to prove that, other than the “circumstantial” evidence from the fact that this was the only change I’ve made to the blog..

oh, and the fact that my “pesonal” blog that got hit with a PR0 at the same time, and I also installed the plugin on, has also also got it’s PR back., with no “re-inclusion request”.

you’ll just have to make up your own mind, but if you want to grab a copy of the “nofollow” plugin, feel free to do so, and there’s a quick video to show you how it works, it’s pretty simple.

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Comment by Michael Martinez
2008-03-06 16:43:34

Toolbar PageRank changes once every few months so it’s highly doubtful that you did anything to affect what you see in the toolbar.

However, you can easily test the hypothetical cause-and-effect relationship by removing your new plug-in and waiting. If your toolbar PR drops to 0 again then just re-instate the plug-in. If your PR then moves up a second time, you’ll have fairly convincing proof of the connection.

Comment by admin
2008-03-06 19:27:49

Hi Michael,

yup, PR updates happen every 3 months (ish) generally, although it used to be monthly a year or more ago.

I’m not sure why you think it’s “highly doubtful” anything I did effected the PR..?

It dropped to 0 back at the start of Feb, when there wasn’t an general/full update going on as far as I’m aware, and then came back within a couple of weeks of me adding the new plugin.

that doesn’t seem to me to be part of the normal Pr update process, but maybe I’m missing something..?

I can’t say exactly what dates it went to 0 and or came back, as I don’t pay it that much attention, I’m more interested in the actual number of visitors I receive and how they find the blog..


Comment by Seba
2008-05-24 05:24:19

I have the same problem. My long-time blog PageRank was 3. Two months ago it goes to 5 for one or two days and now is 0. I never pay or sell links, use links banks or something similar. In fact, my “SEO” techniques were very conserative adding only my site to directories like DMOZ.

I hope your plugin helps me to avoid Google penalization. Thanks!

Comment by admin
2008-05-24 14:44:20

Hi Seba,

Hope it helps, let me know if/when the PR comesback…
and don’t forget to do a re-inclusion request too.


(Comments wont nest below this level)
2008-03-07 17:49:55

Good for you Matt..^^ but too bad your blog has a no follow attribute..^^..anyways it was an interesting read after all..^^

Comment by Classified
2008-07-10 22:38:56

This page rank 0 thing is a killer. I have a few car based web sites and all the suddon the rank started to drop on them once I started to get a few 2 or 3 users a day. One site was doing real good then I was down for a month when I changed servers etc. now google ranks it as PR0 and no longer can bring in the people like it was doing.

Comment by admin
2008-07-14 15:11:13

yup, if you leave a site “down” for too long Google will hit it with a penalty…

Comment by Adrian
2008-07-17 11:49:37

Hi, i have some problems with my pagerank.. ITS N/A 😐 any ideeas why ?
Here is the link

Comment by admin
2008-07-19 15:47:05

Hi Adrian,
PR n/a would normally suggest the site has been de-indexed for some reason, but the site is still indexed in google, so I’m really not sure what the problem is.
how old is the site?
how long has it been PR=n/a?
what was the pr before?

Comment by Tim
2008-07-26 06:13:43

hmmm very same thing happened to one of my websites and I’m not entirely sure why. Another site went from 3 to 4 and the one in particular went from a 4 or 5 to 0. Neither are WP sites though.

I just hope this is a mistake that will be corrected soon. I guess I’ll also have to recap on SEO and see if anything changed recently that I missed.

Comment by nilesh
2009-04-13 04:39:21

nice article. i wanted to ask if the same thing can happen with blogspot? does google support blogspot and increases the pagerank fast.

Comment by Nicole Feliciano
2009-04-21 20:12:24

Didn’t know about the penalty for selling text links (I do). Yikes. I went from 4 to 0. Is there anything I can do?

Comment by admin
2009-04-21 20:21:40

Hi Nicole,
if you’ve ben penalized for selling text links the only thing you can really do is take the links off and hope the PR comes back.
which system do you use for selling links?

Comment by
2009-09-26 02:28:01

We’re having a similar problem with our site.

Comment by Rich
2009-09-29 10:09:19

This is anti-competitive on the part of Google by slashing your pagerank, what they are saying is, if they don’t make any money on your linking, they will banish your blog regardless of how popular it is.

Comment by poorblogger
2009-11-07 22:49:59

Maybe now I know why my car blog is PR0

Comment by Kim Lovo
2010-01-01 11:40:46

Hi all. I am Kim. I run this blog that has gotten a PR5 just by adding good content that is niched to my readers. But hey, now it has been ranked down to PR 0 … wy do you think?

Comment by admin
2010-01-05 17:26:30

Hi Kim,
there’s no way of knowing for sure, and it’s kinda difficult to even take an “educated guess” without more information.

Comment by walt sargent
2010-07-26 10:32:41

One of my customers got whacked with a PR0 and I have no idea why. The content, and SEO practices are totally legitimate. There is nothing remotely edgy or aggressive about it – just high quality, relevant content and 100% semantically correct markup.

I seems a little paranoid to imagine that the site was directly victimized by a competitor. It is a small local business after all. The other possibility may be blacklisting due to spam with forged originating domain. Other than that, I am at a loss. Googles webmaster’s “tools” tell me absolutely nothing.

BTW I am talking about an traditional site – not a blog. I hope that’s not OT. Whatever causes a site to have a PR0 could affect blogs also, I imagine.

Comment by admin
2010-08-17 08:16:17

Hi Walt,
as far as I’m aware you shouldn’t get hit with a PR0 penalty for the domain being used by spammers, as Google do understand that’s beyond the control of the webmaster.
You can get in touch with google through the google webmaster tools to explain that the site is totally white hat and ask if they can help you to work out what’s happened and why so that it can be fixed, although it is Google, so they may not answer.
I’d have to take a look at the site to see if I can work out any other possible reason, I’ll shoot you an email.

Comment by Kelsey Jenney
2012-09-30 00:38:00

Thanks for your advices. I will try it, and I hope I can get a better Page Rank as soon as possible. One of the most important things is, I must be consistent. Have a nice days… ^_^


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