Google PageRank Deductions
Date Published: 29 October 2007
There’s a great deal of discussion going on this month about recent deductions Google has made to Toolbar PageRank (not real PageRank) in October 2007. ASPAlliance.com, a well-respected developer site (IMHO) with a ton of content, was dropped from a TBPR of 7 earlier this month (which it’s had forever) down to a 4 (ouch!). Apparently this is shared by Forbes.com – hardly nefarious black-hat sites here. Based on a variety of sources, the issue seems to be that the site has a few sponsored links to relevant related content, such as ASP.NET shopping cart and charting controls and web hosting. Sadly, Google is strong-arming publishers into compliance with this action, which for ASPAlliance at least will require us to cease using sponsored links as a means to support the site (which actually spends more on hosting and content than it makes in advertising, most months). The nice thing about these text links, for our users, is that they were not as imposing as many of the larger ad formats.
Note that I’m not suggesting that Google is doing anything unethical or wrong – they’re free to use whatever algorithm they want for their PageRank. But given their market dominance and monopolistic position (and the fact that the majority of traffic to ASPAlliance and most other dev content sites comes from their search engine), I can ill afford to get on their bad side, as it were. And for others (fortunately not me), this is likely a huge loss to their core business.
Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.