Forgive Me Google For I Have Sold Links

Filed as Features, Guides on February 20, 2008 4:56 am

Get Your Google PageRank BackI am not one of those people who worships at the altar of Google. Their green bar of power has not had any impact on my life before now. Unfortunately I am forced to kneel before the mighty G and ask for forgiveness.

You see, on one of my blogs I sold text link advertising. My DSLR  Photography Blog had a PR of 6 so I thought I would make some cash off the fact. Google doesn’t like that. Messes with their heads. You can guess what happened next …

So Google did what Google does. What Google giveth they can take away. Bye bye green pixels. Of course the idea is if they devalue your commodity then you will likely stop selling it. Good plan.

Strange thing though, my text link customers did not go away. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Mr Cutts!

If their downgrade of green didn’t impact my bottom line, why am I doing the mea culpa shuffle? It turns out I have had another offer to buy the site, but at a much lower price than when it was PR6. This customer is not bothered at all about PageRank, but they are concerned that this drop is a sign of a hand penalty.

It’s the whiff that I might have been flagged that has reduced the asking price. My traffic and subscribers are up but no buyer will take the risk that Google is going to handjob you out of the search results at any moment.

This leaves me cap in hand, calling for forgiveness, asking for mercy, for something that wasn’t a sin in the first place.

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  1. By Guilherme Zühlke O'Connor posted on February 20, 2008 at 6:00 am
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    Timely enough for commenting on this post, this week I was called by clients who received a google email saying they were blacklisted for at least 30 days because they had too many keywords on their pages.

    While it is true there were many, any closer look would reveal that they were legit. Not a good design option, but nothing dishonest either.

    I’m starting to worry about google’s influence on the democratic nature of the web

    Reply

  2. By Trench Reynolds posted on February 20, 2008 at 7:43 am
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    I was running text link ads at two of my sites and was then banned from using Google Adsense on those sites.

    Reply

  3. By Andrew G.R. posted on February 20, 2008 at 8:57 am
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    I was spanked from a PR5 to a ZERO. Despite months of “good behavior,” will my blog ever recover? Or is this blacklist a lifelong punishment?

    Reply

  4. By Rom @ PR4 Link Directory posted on February 20, 2008 at 10:03 am
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    Have been in your shoes already :(

    I learned it the hard way that seeling links or ads should be for traffic concern only…

    Reply

  5. By Lindsey posted on February 20, 2008 at 10:07 am
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    Same boat here. I was a pr 6, now have a 0. :(

    I have removed the text link ads, and will only use the almighty google ads, and whatever banner ads I have in the queue. But will I ever see a pagerank increase again?

    Oh well, at least I’m mostly doing it for the fun, and not the profit so it doesn’t effect me as much as it has other people I am sure.

    Reply

  6. By Ebony posted on February 20, 2008 at 11:47 am
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    Excellent post.

    Funny too.

    Yeah, I’ve been slapped and penalized by Google and recovered as well.

    Some of my sites lost PR, a few are back to 4 and 3s.

    One still sits at zero.

    We’ll see when the Big G blesses me with that PR7 someday.

    And I ain’t talkin’ about Google

    Reply

  7. By Abe Olandres posted on February 20, 2008 at 12:37 pm
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    Hi Chris. How about telling the potential buyer that once they bought it from you, they can remove the link ads and then request for a reconsideration/reinclusion?

    Reply

  8. By Ann posted on February 20, 2008 at 2:45 pm
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    Chris, I had one blog up to PR4 and the rest were from PR 1 to PR3. Now, they’re all at 0. I’m tired of G telling bloggers what makes good content or a quality blog. It’s insane that anyone even pays attention to that particular ranking system anymore.

    Reply

  9. By posties posted on February 20, 2008 at 8:31 pm
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    I’ve been rather shocked nobody has taken to suing Google yet. I’ve seen a PR6 drop to PR3, two PR4′s drop to PR0. All this during the time the FTC saw no problem with Google’s DoubleClick acquisition.

    Reply

  10. By Sam Stevens posted on February 20, 2008 at 9:54 pm
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    I had a couple of sites stripped of PageRank, presumably because I am selling Text-Link-Ads space on them. My traffic was not affected, and I think I only lost one or two link buyers.

    Frankly, I’m baffled as to why Google would have a problem with this. I only sell text links to websites that are completely related to my content. Why should we be penalized for selling advertising? After all, Google is built on advertising dollars, and they created the culture of link buying to begin with.

    I’m not taking down advertising space just because Google suggests I should by stripping my sites of PageRank. As long as traffic remains steady, I’ll just ignore that little meaningless green bar. Smart advertisers also know that PageRank is not particularly important.

    Reply

  11. By Sam Stevens posted on February 20, 2008 at 10:12 pm
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    SEOMoz has a good post from today on this topic as well, from the buyers’ side of the issue: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/i-dont-buy-links

    Reply

  12. By brettbum posted on February 20, 2008 at 10:59 pm
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    It strikes me that getting a website appraisal before and after the google gestapo handjob would be a good way of determining an amount for damages caused by Google.

    :)

    Reply

  13. By Chris Garrett posted on February 21, 2008 at 3:34 am
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    Thanks for the comments everyone. Unfortunately if I am going to auction the blog I need to make sure it looks 100% clean, nobody will take my word for it, that means having green pixels. The offers that have been made are only speculative (until a contract is drawn up or the money is in the bank it’s not a done deal, right?) so that means seeing what interest there will be. TLA to their credit have been very helpful.

    Once TLA delete my account I will head over to Google webmaster tools and request they take another look at my site. Should get my green back as I never did paid posts, just sold some links in the sidebar.

    Reply

  14. By Mark from Bloglyne posted on February 21, 2008 at 7:21 am
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    Does this mean we will need to turn off dofollow, as well? Do they penalize us for that too?

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  15. By Chris Garrett posted on February 21, 2008 at 10:38 am
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    I hope they don’t penalize for do-follow but you never know with the big-G

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  16. By T1 quotes Integrated T1 Lines posted on February 23, 2008 at 11:35 am
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    Google = Monopoly = Bad for the internet!

    Reply

  17. By Content Writer posted on February 25, 2008 at 10:55 am
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    I have been reading about the PR penalizing since quite some time. Who Is google to command on how I want to stream my Income , by using their Adsense or selling links on my sites.
    But I am afraid these penalizing does not effect ORganic Search Rankings.

    Reply

  18. By Lea Charlton posted on August 19, 2008 at 12:44 pm
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    You sure told them! LOL. Especially when you said, “Strange thing though, my text link customers did not go away. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Mr Cutts!” – I have not had this happen yet, though I am with the same sentiment. They don’t want anyone to make a decent living any more. Once would think that they would have some consideration for the smaller companies (in competitive regions & terms – like Los Angeles Limousine) that really need the organic seo because they cannot afford to pay those lousy PPC rates their up to. Some one needs to tell them that even Bill Gates changed his evil ways and went philanthropist – do you think that Google had something to do with that, too? :)

    Reply

  19. By Obat Demam Tinggi posted on December 18, 2013 at 2:11 am
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    thank you very much :D

    Reply

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