Thanks Google!

Imaginary conversation going on in the blogosphere right now:

Dude 1: “Hey man, did you hear that Google lowered the Page Rank on a bunch of popular blogs?”

Dude 2: “Yeah, I did… Engadget, ProBlogger, Copyblogger…

Dude 1: “What’s up with that? Copyblogger? That guy has never bought or sold a link!”

Dude 2: “I know. As far as I know, he’s done nothing but put out valuable, original content like Google says to do.”

Dude 1: “Yeah… he even preaches about writing for people first.”

Dude 2: “Weird.”

Dude 1: “Wait a minute. Didn’t that Copyblogger guy just put out a free report saying we should move away from business models that rely on Google?”

Dude 2: “That’s right… he did. That’s a strange coincidence, isn’t it?”

Dude 1: “Isn’t he releasing a training program too?”

Dude 2: “Yeah, when is that going live?”

Dude 1: “You know, I think it goes live today.”

Dude 2: “That is just too much of a coincidence. I think this Clark guy got together with the Google people, and this is some sort of massive publicity stunt to promote his training program.”

Dude 1: “Ummm… sure dude. He lives in Dallas, too. I bet he’s the one who shot Kennedy.”

Dude 2: “Wow… Really?”

Dude 1: “No, stupid.”

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Comments

  1. Apparently you can’t have a site that has anything to do with internet marketing anymore. It seems like everyone got hit this morning. Problogger, John Chow, Yaro Starak, Andy Beard, Search Engine Guide, and a lot more sites got hit with -2 or -3.

    Don’t even worry about it because PageRank isn’t even relevant anymore.

  2. Hey Brian

    That cracks me up, thanks for the link through

    I have been talking about going the membership site route for a while, and also “Why Blogs Suck”, but some of my previous plans fly out of the window if social proof disappears.

  3. That is funny! I hope investors are watching.

  4. Big brother is watching. The definition of Big Brother has changed over the years, hasn’t it?

  5. This deserves a LOL!

    So let’s see where’s the program now?

  6. Morten K. Holst :

    Brilliant..

  7. Liking your work, as ever, Mr C!

  8. Your squeeze page for your free report is the most beautiful I have seen.

  9. Ha! I love it!

    Thank you for introducing some levity into the chaos. One website actually showed my PR as -1 today. I think I need to find a way to incorporate that into a tagline somehow. That’s credibility right there, people.

  10. Lol… that was funny =)

  11. Thanks, made my morning

  12. I think the Text Link Ads banner could mean you are selling links. Maybe that’s why Google changed the PR.

  13. Don’t think so Alfredo… none of my sponsor links are “natural” so they don’t pass juice.

    It’s likely because Copyblogger is part of b5 Media… the hundreds of thousands of other links I’ve attracted don’t matter apparently, I must be wrongly benefiting from links in the sidebar of other b5 business blogs < / sarcasm >

    The great thing is, this affects me not one bit. In fact, my search traffic is higher than ever.

  14. Keep up the great content, and don’t worry about the rank. Copyblogger is absolutely making a difference in the blogging world.

    Jim

  15. I was just thinking this morning that while many of the sites hit may not have been selling links alot of them were discussing Google in less than favorable ways…looks like they got PO’d that bloggers were firing back. Keep it up…they are squirming!

  16. I’ve also been working on ways to get around Google. They are getting too powerful — what with jaiku, google docs, google analytics, Grand Central, search. I’m working with my clients to build their traffic development from other sources. Also, if Google is not going to give me the results I want, then I’ll use another engine! I searched on “John Chow” and could not find his site! Ridiculous.

  17. >> Dude 1: “What’s up with that? Copyblogger? That guy has never bought or sold a link!”

    >> From RSS:
    Sponsored By: Publishers, Get Paid With TLA! Offer Text Link Ads on your site and start making more money today.

    That’s what I would call irony. ;-)

  18. I wish they would just kill page rank. Waiting 5 months to move out of PR n/a. At least Google can never do anything about RSS subscribers….. yet

  19. That’s what I would call irony. ;-)

    Sorry, but there’s no irony. I don’t sell links, TLA just pays to advertise on Copyblogger. And that link runs through an ad server, so it does not pass Page Rank.

    This site is disgustingly squeaky clean. But it just goes to show you that you can’t depend on an arbitrary outside company for anything.

    And that’s why I don’t.

  20. Yeah.. Page Ranks now been manipulated by Google..
    So just ignore and build network among us..

  21. Getting dissed after riding high is a bitch but it can be a refreshing eye opener too – makes you strengthen the channels that can be counted on.

  22. Hah.. that’s great

  23. Brian,

    Yes, maybe the links from the network was the one that affected the PR of your blog, problogger and other blogs that have links in their own network like engadget and autoblog because it has the same anchor text and stuff.

    But anyway, I don’t care even if they give you a PR0. You’re still one of the best blog out there that gives quality, hardcore, original content or like what Dude 2 said ;)

  24. I had a three-day exile over the weekend where Google barely referred anything to my sites. However, though there was a dip, I could clearly see valuable referrals coming from Live and Yahoo! and a score of social media sites and other blogs.

    Brian, you’ve hit the public consciousness at the right time with your training programme. Best of luck with it, and may this be the end of the ‘Google Whores’ era!

  25. Hey, maybe Google should subscribe to Brian’s blog and try to learn how to market themselves properly. They should embrace the way social media is affecting (their) marketing. Brian, you should forward them your Radiohead blog so that they may learn something.

  26. As I read the free report I wondered if there might be some kind of backlash from Google. Its just like the Bush Administration and Valerie Plame all over again.

    But just to echo many of the comments already posted, Copyblogger delivers consistent, quality content that I look forward to reading everyday. I couldn’t care less about your page rank.

  27. Brian,

    In the end, Copyblogger is and always will be some of the highest quality content on the web, bar none…

    Like you said, your traffic is higher than ever…the page rank seems to mean very little any more.

    Joseph Ratliff
    Author of The Profitable Business Edge 2

  28. It really does seem like Google is just attacking anyone who writes about Internet marketing. Because, you know, those damn web marketers are telling people that Google isn’t god anymore! They are telling them about social media marketing, and other alternatives. We need to bring them down before it’s too late!

    As people have already said, PR is almost meaningless, so I doubt it’s much to worry about. Still, it is strange that you’d be penalized, considering that you seem to follow all of the “rules.”

  29. I think this is a very bad move for Google. If people like me were still thinking to build their online businesses based on organic search, now they have the proof that this is all moving sands, demostrating nothing but the fact that your report is right.
    I’m more than ever willing to join your program :)

  30. And thus the Internet evolves yet again… in its strange and mysterious way… through methods we cannot begin to comprehend…

    I’d love to have something even barely resembling a possible close mark but not really to the traffic that Copyblogger and some other great sites get (well-deserved traffic, make no mistake!) I think you’re doing great, strange page ranking aside. Quality counts.

  31. You’re right, your site is disgustingly clean in comparison to 90% of the blogs out there at the moment (points finger at myself).

    And can’t wait to see the teaching program go live ;)

  32. Google could have been the Radiohead of the online world (ok-not the best metaphor, but you know what I mean), but they’ve completely blown it. I can almost picture a bunch of little power-hungry nerds sitting behind a huge computer screen plotting to take over the world by knocking page ranks.

  33. Maybe I got up too late this morning and missed everything, but copyblogger.com shows PR 6 in MY Firefox Googlebar, and so does problogger.net and others…

  34. Remember the IBM executive that gave Bill Gates the great deal because he thought all the money was in the box and not the software? One of the biggest mistake in history.

    This will be Googles “IBM” Moment, thinking all the power is in the engine and not the people. (IBM of course standing for the “Instigated Blogger Mutiny”)

  35. Brian, i just got done from telling my sister, who is at Columbia Law school, but doesn’t know a thing about social media or valued content, all about you and what you are doing–as well as Chris Brogan and others…

    THEN, i came on here and saw what Google did , or was it a weird coincidence that they lowered your page rank?

    Either way, it drives home the point that you need to write content that matters. To people. Period. Then people will come to you no matter what Google does.

    Thanks again for making things clearer for me. Really. I am indebted to you.

  36. Pagerank changes and soon you will be back to your normal rank.

  37. Shane — that IBM comment was priceless. Well done!

    Brian — great post. That’s why you’re a top blogger ;-)

  38. This is funny!

  39. I think it is debatable that your ad links pass no juice just because they go through an adserver. The redirect involved is a single temporary 302, which I do not believe is conclusively juice-free.

    Also, my understanding of Google’s initiative here is to affect the perception of the value of buying links from theses high PR pages, not the actual value, because affecting the actual value means messing with the algorithm.

  40. Wow, Google is getting funnier and less useful every day.

  41. Everyone keeps saying this will be the downfall of Google, but Google has the number 1 search engine. So, they will dictate to web sites that want to be in their results what the rules are. As long as people love the results they return, then we’ll have to follow their lead.

  42. I certainly didn’t suggest it would be the downfall of Google, but I wouldn’t be surprised if negative sentiment has a dampening effect on share price going forward.

    If I was AOL I would remove Adsense from their blogs and see how Google like it.

  43. I imagine running an expensive AdWords campaign might help … ahem … restore some PR.

    Of course, I have no proof of this.

  44. Good post – LOL!

  45. so cute, just had to comment!

    keep them coming dude!

  46. PageRank as you see it in the toolbar is a horrible indicator of search leverage. Have your rankings fallen? That’s the real question.

    Unless your PR falls to 0, I would ignore it. Google’s considered doing away with the toolbar pagerank altogether because of the FUD is causes.

  47. Brian, let me share the real secret with you….you are not using Google Adsense!

    Start using it and your pagerank will come back!

  48. not using adsense may seem like the reason, especially because problogger and john chow recently cut out adsense, and their ranks dropped, too. however, darren said today that the rank on his digital photo blog also went down, and that site has plenty of adsense.

    the good news for you, brian, is that john chow traffic seems to go up whenever google penalizes him!

  49. Thanks for a good old-fashioned belly laugh!

  50. It seems as all penalized sites regularly have entries with tons of outgoing links. Anyone noticed also Smashing Magazine got punished?

  51. K, I’ll try one more time:

    If your rankings didn’t fall, you’re not being penalized. Toolbar pagerank is not, nor has it been, an accurate measure of anything. For years and years and years…

  52. Ian, that’s right. My search traffic has been getting stronger lately, and it’s strong right this moment.

    I think Google should just ditch PageRank altogether. I don’t believe it means much of anything at all.

  53. Well – I signed up and bought the training courses! Can’t wait to get started!

  54. I ignore page rank these days. The only thing that it is good for is negotiating advertising dollars, and with the way that it is being gimmicked about I don’t think that it is really good for that either.

    If the search results don’t actually change, then don’t worry about it. It should just go away.

  55. What’s the big deal with PageRank, anyway? To me, it’s just hot air.

    -Nick

  56. I saw this link on another blog that linked to a great article. I have the site bookmarked ever since. Don’t care for bannings and other G tricks. People who need to find the site do find it. I don’t use G to search for good sites since the SEO is so messed by some that I get many spam/MFA sites. I would rather follow a good link in a webmaster forum or a blog to find quality sites. This worked flawlessly ..

    Best of luck .. can’t wait to see what’s next

  57. Too funny.

    I’m looking forward to reading more and will check out your free report at a minimum.

    I don’t work for Google, but I’m sure they say “You’re welcome”.

  58. Dammit, and one of my (semi-abandoned) blogs just got TBPR of 5! And now everyone tells me it’s meaningless!

    Life’s not fair.

  59. Brian, you have one of the best writing styles I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading — you really should get into fiction writing. :)

    Sorry to hear about the Google PR drop, but as others (and you) have said, it’s not really about Google — it’s about catering to your audience and leveraging other means of building traffic/relationships.

    I’m sure that when the dust settles, Copyblogger’s PR — along with many other blogs which were unjustly punished — will be reinstated and the blogosphere will be flurrying with the news all over again. :)

    ~ Teli

  60. “Yeah.. Page Ranks now been manipulated by Google”

    Hmmm, almost as if they *invented*, *own* and *manage* the concept, huh? :)

    Can we move on now?

  61. It’s time for people to stop using Google as their be all and end all. Focus on your niches, sell your ad space as you see fit.

    Don’t let Google dictate how you do business. Let your niche be your guide.

  62. I would’ve thought that you CopyBlogger is ok with the pagerank update.

    Does anyone know what google is doing with SEO and pageranks???

  63. yes but you have 2 flipping link seeling adds next to thi spost doesnt that strike you as funny

  64. That is incredible. It sounds like a big brother…

  65. If you say that your search traffic has been getting stronger lately, and it’s strong right this moment, then why this post was written? Why give a damn about Google? Just continue providing us your valuable and original content as what Dude2 said!

  66. I wrote it because I thought it was funny. :)

  67. I am showing you with a PR6 here in Kentucky…. were you a 7 or 8 before??

  68. LOL

    This was enjoyable… I live in Houston, gotta love a Texan being successful!

    – Not the football team :(

  69. Someone needs to draw this picture. Picture Google as the medieval castle with a large moat surrounding the perimeter. In the moat swims Google’s human editors. Outside the castle, us Webmaster Peons (we’re proper) just trying to get some of the kings bread. Wait, where are their engineers in this picture? Down in the dungeon, where else.

  70. So basically Google is telling us what we can and cannot do on the internet now? So much for the “do no evil slogan”. They flexxed a muscle and it sent ripples across the web to many.. Scary if you ask me.. Btw.. Love your blog!

  71. This is what they called doing no evil motto… actually
    an evil can do both good and bad things to deceive the public…

  72. I read a couple places that the Google Dance will happen soon. Is this just “softening up the targets” as the military likes to say?

  73. I give this LOL x 100
    can’t stop now ROTFLOL.
    Hahaha

  74. I’m sure I heard that conversation when I was buying my paper…

    Seriously it is annoying that everyone seems to be losing pagerank but as you say Brian your search results are as grand as ever and that’s most important.

    This site is the people not for Google and we’re definitely sticking around.

  75. I think that after this, lots of people will start getting away from Google, maybe some already started.
    Yahoo, Alltheweb, etc. should use this “Google issue” to get a bigger slice of the cake.

  76. You back to 7 now. I went from 0 to 4, so I’m happy. I’ll bet everyone who has been writing about PR being worthless will change their tune again, lol.

  77. My site page rank jumped from 0 to 4. I’m so happy….

  78. Interesting, how much time it will takes for community to figure out that current Google PR showing temperature on Mars?

  79. Also Google revert youtube.com PR back to 8 (from 3).
    I think that was done manually.

  80. I have to say something here. THis ws my first visit to your blog and I actually plan on being a regular here in the future. I also believe that PR is pretty meaningless myself.

    While I have a blog on my website it is not the main source of traffic as I do not push it as much as I should.

    My website actually took a hit on this last PR modification and lost one point(From a 3-2). It may not sound like much to many on here but I have immediately seen a reduction in traffic from the google search engine. As it stands now I am actually getting 3 times the traffic google sends me form Yahoo.

    I have since started to work on my SEO parts of my website to try to improve my traffic levels.

    I was highly disappointed when I found out that many of my competition were not effected by this as they use JavaScript for their linking needs. Reason being is they actually are selling links and also have a means to require links of their members to their website as well.

    I believe I will learn a lot reading this blog on a regular basis.

  81. thanks google that you are searching sex sites for me

  82. PR seems to be a combination of FUD and disinformation to get folks to focus on what big G wants them to focus on.

    I think BH SEO’s have it right–ignore PR and concentrate on traffic generation. My anecdotal support for this logic: my other blog that’s sat with “Hello world” for 30+ days got a +1 PR.

  83. This is completely true. I had PR4’s go to PR1’s. Google has become complete trash. I am really upset at them to be quite honest.

  84. This is the first story of this kind i hear about google. I thought google being such a big company they would not rely on this dirty tricks. thats bad for business

  85. What is Google doing with PageRank? My site’s been reduced to PR2. Can this be as a result of a free web directory that links to my site being stripped of its own PageRank? I certainly haven’t bought or sold any links.

  86. Will this lead to a bigger push for people to use Yahoo and MSN over Google? So many business models relied on adwords and direct linking.

  87. I think google knows there is a lot of text link buying going on of high page ranks and they don’t want the engine to be compromised obviously. So, page rank is not as important as it once was. Just check top pages for a competitive keyword. The top is usually not the highest PR.

  88. I think the same that PR does not have that importance as it used to have before people were selling PR not the actual domain, however I believe that PR is a good way to value a domain from marketing perspective.

  89. Well I don’t rely much on PR now, concentrate much more on my traffic flow. Btw, this is LOL :)

  90. Thanks for the article Brian. I guess I should say thanks to Google too!!

  91. LOL.. That’s what they tell if you messed up with google. Never mention the word ‘google’. Anyway, we should thank them for inventing this PR thing. Without it, we never can measure or differentiate between sites performance, traffic, backlinks etc. Thanks for sharing. This is really LOL.

  92. I think Pagerank is not as important as search engine ranking or branding. Brian, Google lower your pagerank, but they rank you well in search engine, nothing to lose right? Your brand is good enough to drive million of traffic a day or a month.

    You always provide great and unique content to your readers (such as me), that’s why I’m one of your regular readers.

    Regards,
    Lee

  93. I quit trying to figure Google out, long time ago. I don’t worry about PageRank, because it will happen on it’s own. I just focus on writing good page copy that ranks well in the search engines. That, gets me a nice amount of targeted traffic to my site. So far, it works for me.