How I Got My PageRank Back

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.

The blog post is here – Matt Cutts, Why Am I Still Being Punished? – and kudos to DazzlinDonna from SEO Scoop for asking the question.

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.

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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  • Congrats, Yaro 🙂

    My blog was also penalized by Google three months ago due to selling of text links and my PR dropped from 3 to 0..

    I decided to stop selling these links and send Google a reinclusion request and my PR resumed to 3 after two weeks =)

    I also talked about this in my blog two months ago. One thing to note is that my SERP also dropped during the penalty period..

  • Thanks for sharing Yaro. Back in December my friend Lynn Terry said good by to Text Link Ads.

    I’ve found this whole thing quite interesting and yet I can see alot of people have probably lost income due to all of this.

    Thank goodness there’s alot more things one can do to bring in income. 🙂

    You can read Lynn’s post here…

  • Yaro,

    Thanks for bringing light to this issue. So simply, what should beginners do to avoid page rank issues before they get stung like you guys did?

  • The important question is:
    What is the problem with having low PR, if your SERP do not change?
    Or will they change?

  • Your SERP will decrease with lower PR.. that is my main concern when my site was penalized.. PR is part of the algorithm of calculating SERP.

  • Quick and possibly stupid question. How does Google know if a link is paid for or not? What if I simply link to a site/service that I like? How does Google know that the link has been paid for?

  • @Jeremy Killian – Google assumes a link is paid based on human judgement. One of my other blogs did a review of a product that wasn’t paid for (nor even solicited by the company). Because it looked like a paid review (which admittedly, it did), they dropped the site to a PR of 0.

    Regardless of appearances, the author wrote that review because she thought her readers would benefit from the information. This is a serious problem with Google’s approach to this problem – in fact, they are penalizing some people who are in compliance and NOT penalizing some people who aren’t.

    What can I do about it? Nothing, except go NoFollow the links Google wants me to NoFollow, whether or not they are paid for.

  • WOW Yaro!!! Your RSS Subscribers EXPLODED today!! Yesterday you had 6750 subscribers!
    TODAY, YOU have 17596 subscribers!! You REALLY know how to hit those HUGE communications channels!!

  • I’m just waiting for my first pagerank. My blog has been around for three months and getting moderate traffic, but still my PR is 0. Just gonna keep working on quality content and working to increase traffic. Eventually Google will throw me a number.

  • I submitted to the Yahoo Directory and my page rank jumped from 1 to 4 almost overnight! It was the best $299 I have ever spent! You should pay the $299 Yaro and watch what happens!

  • I also noticed that your RSS numbers are significantly greater than when I saw them last time. What’s going on??? Are you just signing yourself up with tons of free Yahoo accounts?? C’mon you can tell us!

    Anything to do with the improved page rank maybe?

  • To add on to what Wendy Piersall has mentioned, Google knows you are selling links when someone reports you as well. You will be surprised how many of our competitors are doing that.

  • This pagerank thing is curious. Google is my browser default page. A few days ago I glanced at the pagerank it was giving itself and noticed that it was less than “10”. After refreshing I checked a few more times throughout the day and noticed that it had indeed penalized itself. What a hoot.

    Today it is back at “10”.

  • Very glad to see you have your page rank back again Yaro.

    And that RSS explosion is incredible. Surely the two aren’t linked in any way? Mind you I’d believe anything in this crazy blogging World.

  • Yaro,

    Thanks for bringing light to this issue. So simply, what should beginners do to avoid page rank issues before they get stung like you guys did?

  • Hi I was browsing about how to restore my page rank when I stumble by here. Anyway Congrats to you and Thanks for the info you posted here. I hope I can be able to get my PR back soon too.

  • i also lost my PR3. how, i wish i could get it back again. it’s just a good thing my other blog got PR2.

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