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You may have noticed this blog is back to a PageRank 6. Back in October 2007 my site was one of the blogs hit with a PageRank penalty because I had paid links. I dropped from a 6 to a 5 and then later when the big sweep happened, down to a 3.
This article sums up my speculation during the event and lists some of the other blogs hit at the time – Possible Explanations for the PageRank Penalty Sweep.
After some thinking I decided, at least on this blog, to add ‘no follow’ to any paid links and succumb to Google’s wishes. I added the no follows, submitted a review request with Google at their Webmaster Tools and then sat down and wrote this – Frustrating Yes – But I Want Google To Be My Friend.
Nothing happened for a month, but I thought Google might need longer so I let it sit. Little did I know that Google simply doesn’t tell you whether you have successfully adhered to their requests or you still need to do more to have the penalty removed and apparently I hadn’t done enough.
Another victim of a PageRank drop was Wendy Piersall from eMoms at Home. Wendy was relentlessly monitoring what was going on with Google as she attempted to have her PageRank restored to it’s original status and every now and then she updated me with details on what she found.
A couple of weeks ago she finally found what she was looking for – a blog post about people who had submitted requests to remove the PageRank penalty to no avail. The post itself didn’t have the answers, it was the comment stream after it that presented the solution, or should I say it was Matt Cutts, Google’s blogging rep who provided the answer because he was diligently responding to comments to the post.
Matt went so far as to even personally help some of the bloggers who asked for Google to go look at their site because they were certain they had removed or nofollowed all paid links.
I read the comment stream, determined that I hadn’t been liberal enough with no follow tagging and then went into my blog archives to rectify the situation (I’m just glad I haven’t done many paid reviews, I can’t imagine how much of a job this would be for someone who actively does paid reviews). After I submitted another Google request to have the penalty removed and a week or so later it was done.
I owe Wendy a huge thanks for keeping me up to date with this – cheers Wendy!
If you still have not had your PageRank restored and you are prepared to follow Google’s rules, check out the post above, the answers are there.