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 venukb.com/blog while Google was searching for it on venukb.com. I had manually set to venukb.com 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 !
I fixed the issue and even then I see that 0 pages from sitemaps are included in the search index.
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 ?