Pagerank updated and the site is downgraded !

by venukb on May 2, 2008

There has been another round of pagerank  update and I see that many sites have got a higher pagerank and few of them have even managed to get a PR of 4 within few months !

This site had a PR of 4 from quite some time and even during the last update where few sites were penalized for selling Text Link Ads the PR of this site remained at 4

At that time, I thought that I wasn’t penalized since I was not selling Text Link Ads from my home page (which had PR4) and was only having post level ads (Around 5 post level ads were active).

However this round of pagerank update has taken the PR from 4 to 2, reminding me of QOT’s PR downgrade from 6 to 3 !

I am not sure if dividing existing PR by 2 is the way of Google penalizing sites selling text link ads. I immediately stopped Text Link Ads and in a way it was even easy since a new month just began !

I have also raised a reconsideration request with Google !

But again I am not completely sure if TLA is the core reason behind this downgrade ! I moved my hosting from Dreamhost to MT some time back and one of the biggest mistakes I made was not to check on the XML sitemap.

After the hosting change, the XML sitemaps generator plugin for some odd reason started putting the XML file on while Google was searching for it on I had manually set to and during the move, the option changed to “Automatic” and happened to select the subdomain.

And I realized this only after 3 weeks ! Duh !

The crawl stats also confirmed that the sitemaps were not accessible from quite some time !

Crawl stats

I fixed the issue and even then I see that 0 pages from sitemaps are included in the search index.

google webmaster

Has the PR downgrade affected traffic ?

This site for one gets almost 80% of the traffic from search engines (mainly Google) and I have noticed that some of the high traffic pages are no longer in the Top 10 !

I do see a dip in the number of unique visitors, but after including the landing page, the pageview count hasn’t changed much.

I am hoping the reconsideration request to fix the PR :) And if any of you are running Text Link Ads and also get a huge amount of traffic from Google, you should consider switching the text ads off !

And yes be careful about XML sitemaps when you are moving to a new hosting ! (Though not sure if this is also the reason for downgrade !)

Talking of PR, do share your experience as well ! Has it improved ? Do you see change in traffic with the improved PR ?

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