Posted on 24 November, 2008 By 94 Comments

Google Page Rank – A Sudden 3 Point Drop!!!

 

Rank Advertisement (by Kevin Steele)

I’m not that bright

I will be the first to admit that I am ignorant about SEO, backlinks, page rank and all of these important things that assist in getting indexed by google and a good position in search engine results. I didn’t know anything about this sort of thing until September when Ajith wrote, Google Page Rank update – DollarShower.com is PR3 now!, and I discovered that I had a PR3. I then became slightly more interested in the topic and became a regular reader of his site. I also started emailing him questions. I also installed the Firefox add-on Search Status, which tells you the PageRank and Alexa Rank of any site I am visiting.

And much like Twitter, rankings don’t really matter to me. But I liked being a PR3 and was hoping to move up to 4. And PageRank seems to matter from a monetization point of view and I suppose it gives a site credibility.

PR Drop

Last Friday I still had a PR3. Late that night, however, I dropped to PR0. I don’t have paid links or write sponsored reviews. As far as I can tell I haven’t done anything on the google no-no list. I have not been blacklisted, am still indexed by google, and am getting the same amount of traffic from google that I am accustomed to.

Panic!!!

The first thing I did was panic. I even felt sick to my stomach. I emailed Arjith and he took a look and said the only problem he could find is I am not using nofollow and am allowing my rank to leeched out (my words, not his). It never occurred to me that I should use nofollow. I did some research about this and read Matt Cutts on Nofollow, Links-Per-Page and the Value of Directories. Apparently Matt Cutts is the go-to guy for this issue. I wish I knew him. I have started following him on twitter, @mattcutts, but don’t really expect a follow back.

Don’t Panic

I then encountered ProBlogger’s article from two years ago, What should you do if your Google Ranking Falls and you lose all your traffic?, where a similar thing happened to him but in his instance he did lose search engine traffic. His first piece of advice was “Don’t Panic” so that calmed me down some. I read the rest of the article and realized that no one is immune to this happening.

Additionally, a big PageRank drop happened a little over a year ago. Again, ProBlogger was impacted by this and he wrote, ProBlogger – PageRank 4. Could something similar be happening again?

Reconsideration Request?

I am signed up for Google Webmaster Tools and other than the nofollow issue I haven’t found any problems.

What I can’t decide is whether I should submit a Reconsideration Request or not. ProBlogger recommended to sit tight but that is a two year old article. Should I wait a little bit or should I submit it immediately?

As anyone, who isn’t writing paid reviews or buying links, had this happen recently? And does anyone have the ear of Matt Cutts?

photo credit: kevinsteele




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94 Responses to “Google Page Rank – A Sudden 3 Point Drop!!!”


  • I am no expert in this, but I see that the hover message that I get on your webssite is – “Current Page is Not Ranked by Google”.

    On a PR 0 website, the hover message you get is – “PageRank is Google’s view of Importance of this page (0/10)”

    (I am using IE 7)

    It seems to me that those are two different things and your PR has not dropped, it has stopped showing temporarily due to Google Dance.

    Here is a link that may help you:
    http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/238877.html

    All the best!


  • Hi Manshu – Yes, the internal pages are unranked – that’s something I was starting to work on. The front page was PR3 and that is the one listed as 0. I should have made that clear in the article.

    Thanks for the link :-) That article mentions a problem for a couple of hours – this has been going on since last Friday so I don’t think it’s the google dance.


  • I am disappointed to hear that it is not a simple fix for you. All the best.

    Manshu´s last blog post – Why is Deflation bad?


  • That would make me crazy. Good Luck!


  • In fact, as long as you have plenty of pages indexed by Google, it is not as much an issue. But your monetization plans – if any – might suffer. I am hopeful that you will hit PR4 on homepage in the next update :)

    Btw, my pages indexed by Google came down by 50% over the last one week :( Not sure if it’s because of paid reviews – which i have done only twice or thrice in the last 8 months.

    Good luck anyways (and there’s a little typo in my first name :lol: )


  • this is weird… but to be honest, if i were you, i wouldn’t care whatsoever. your blog is very nice, people are interested in what you do and since indexing of your pages is not halted then all is good. the only harm i can see is ad-wise (i am thinking of monetizing my self (a couple of ads to support my server)) and i see the problem there. but other than that all you need to focus on is your content where you do an excellent job!

    stratosg´s last blog post – Search comments with “Search Reloaded”


  • @Manshhu – Thank you!

    @Matt – It did make me crazy when it first happened on Friday. Then I read ProBlogger’s article about something similar happening to him and his first piece of advice was “Don’t Panic”.

    @Ajith – Oh gosh – sorry – I fixed it. See, you’re such a good friend I can’t even spell your name correctly ;-) I thought I was going to be hitting 4 too – now I’m not so sure.

    @Stratos – Thank you so much! That is so nice of you to say. I only have ads on the blog part of my site but not on the services or portfolio sections. While ranking doesn’t really matter I’m concerned that someone might not want to hire me because I don’t even have a ranking page. It is weird though because I am in indexed and traffic is increasing.


  • I haven’t gotten the PR thing yet. I guess I’m still a beginner in all of this SEO business. I got to do more research!

    Carla´s last blog post – Holiday Gift Ideas | Not Buying it


  • @Carla – I’m slowly learning more about it. I’m not that interested so I resist learning about it. Think Dave was reading SEO for Dummies so I’m going to borrow that from the library.

    Your blog’s front page is PR3 – that’s really good for a new site. :-)


  • I wish I could help. I have no idea. I stumbled and tweeted this, so maybe we’ll get more relevant response. I’m pretty sure I would contact Google, though. It can’t hurt.

    Vered – MomGrind´s last blog post – Desperate Fifties Housewives


  • Either Google messed up or they are devaluing your links. Pretty much crappy in my book, but I can’t think what else it’d be. I know some big-name bloggers have had problems with Google, so don’t put too much stock in it.

    I think your website is great!

    Dominick´s last blog post – Dear Barbara Walters…I’m a Trans Guy, Too


  • @ Kim – Thanks for checking! I’m glad all of my work is starting to pay off. :)

    Carla´s last blog post – Holiday Gift Ideas | Not Buying it


  • Bummer; one of the reasons I would have mooted would be the do-follow on comments but you seem to have remedied that.

    I would recommend grabbing seo platinum for a bit of ‘sculpting’, this will help not indexing tags and archives… this prevents duplicate content, as well as guiding the PR to the articles.

    Also have a look seo smart links…helps with internal link building.

    Submitting a sitemap to google also cant hurt :p (its in webmaster tools)

    Donace´s last blog post – Automated Video Sites


  • Don’t panic is the right thing to do. It could be a glitch, it could be a temporary thing, it could be anything. If you change anything on your site now, and you bounce back, you will never know whether it was those changes that triggered the bounce or whether the glitch got fixed. Like you say, it’s quite irrelevant anyway if you’re not wearing a black hat.


  • @Vered – I’m trying to determine if something is bigger is happening before submitting the Reconsideration Request. Thanks for sending the article around :-)

    @Dominick – Thanks for visiting and commenting. I’m starting to think that something like that may have happened. Thanks for the compliment about my site :-)

    @Carla – You’re welcome.

    @Donace – I’ve removed a bunch of do-follow. I really didn’t know it mattered. I have the sitemap in the Webmaster Tools – I’ve been doing that since the beginning.

    @David – I was hoping you would stop by :-) I have made some changes with the do-follow, which I think was a problem anyway and needed to change. My winter hat is gray with a poof-ball at the end of it. ;-)


  • My 0.02. Forget about it. Probably just a glitch that’ll sort itself out eventually.

    Of course it could have something to do with all that shiny new advertising you’re displaying.

    Dave´s last blog post – Marketing trick 103: make your customers smile


  • @Dave – Why would they penalize me for displaying their own ads? I had considered that but haven’t come across any articles saying it’s a problem.

    Do you think I should remove it? I had a recent money freak out and added them but I have to say I not that pleased with them. I’ve already filtered out more than are displayed.


  • There’s a very important lesson to be learned when people are getting worried by what Google is doing in terms of their site: If you’re business/traffic/income depends on just one company, then you’re not a business at all, you’re an employee (without the benefits).


  • Perhaps it is a hiccup in the system as I didn’t think it was time for another PR update. As for the no-follow, my blog was d-follow from day one and on the first PR update it got a PR2 so I am not so sure that your sudden drop was related.

    Sire´s last blog post – Plugins Make WordPress So Versatile


  • @David – I like that way you put that. And I agree. No one should depend on one revenue stream, especially online.

    @Sire – Perhaps. It’s all purely speculative at this point. When we examined my site this weekend there was over 270 links from the front page alone. That seems like a lot of follow to me. On the other hand I’ve been doing things the same way for 6 months …


  • Gee, I don’t know nothing about birthin’ no page ranks. i think i did find out what mine was…it was either a 3 or a 2. don’t know how it got there. lemme go check. i won’t worry too much over it though, like you said…if it’s not done for money, then hey…

    if it meant my income, i would find out.

    NaTuRaL´s last blog post – Being Human In the Age of the Electronic Mob


  • I’d wait a few days. Might be a hiccup.

    And why not send a tweet to @problogger pointing him to this post of yours and asking for advice?

    Ari Herzog´s last blog post – Social Media Best Practice: Dave Fletcher on E-Government


  • Be careful using that SearchStatus, Kim.

    “For every web page you visit while using SearchStatus (excluding secure domains and those you have configured as private), certain information, including your ip address, the url of the web page you visit, and general information about your browser and computer’s operating system will be transmitted from your computer to Alexa. Some of the url’s you visit, which are transmitted to Alexa, will contain information that is personally identifiable.”

    Yikes… that’s a bit creepy.

    Wesley´s last blog post – Haha. Typos.


  • and exaggerated actually. do you know that a default Windows XP comes with an Alexa “Trojan”? How do you think alexa actually collects all this data and browsing habits? Don’t get me even started :)

    stratosg´s last blog post – Don’t use a cannon…


  • @Natural – I wish I didn’t care. I do and I don’t, I think what bothers me the most is not being able to discern the logic behind it. And as always, you are cracking me up :-)

    @Ari – Well, I read Darren’s articles about earlier incidents of this so I don’t think bothering him about it is the best idea – he’s a busy guy. I hope it’s a hiccup.

    @Wesley – Hmm … sounds like most cookies or something most scripts could do.

    @Donace – What Wesley said is exaggerated? I’d like to get you started :-) Do you have links or additional information about that?


  • @stratosg Is that right, Alexa is built into a default XP install. I’ve not seen it, but then I’m in the UK, maybe it’s not in UK versions?


  • @ Vered Good luck with getting any response from Google! I spend hours researching for answers and usually get in one of their loops and give up.

    @ Kim I’ll have to check out my rank and actually research what all this even means to me. Goody, now I have something to do.

    Dee Langdon – BloggerNewbie´s last blog post – The Wise Sheep


  • well if you fresh install windows and do a spyware search with a program called “System Mechanic” (it could work with others i don’t know but this is top notch imo) then you will see it’s there! I was shocked the first time i saw it too o_O

    stratosg´s last blog post – Earning the costs


  • @David – I’m curious about that too.

    @Dee – Hi! I’m sure you needed something else to do ;-)

    @Stratos – Thanks for the info. Can it be removed?


  • According to one post I found Alexa was included in IE6…no one is using that now, surely?


  • David – Not many of my site visitors but you would be surprised. It’s very sad :-(


  • well it could be removed with the program i told you. also IE6 is used by 5% of my blog’s visitors… :S

    stratosg´s last blog post – Earning the costs


  • I hear IE6 is what MS is working on for the next “upgrade” to Windows Mobile. That’s laughable innit? IE6 is almost 8 years old. Welcome to the modern digital age, Bill.


  • Hi Kim – I can’t help you with this either, but I would be curious to find out what caused it, when discover the reason.

    Barbara Swafford – Blogging Without A Blog´s last blog post – NBOTW – An Explorer Of Life


  • If NoFollow is really the reason for PR drop, then it makes sense as to why I don’t have a PR for any of my pages! I have been using commentluv since beginning (well, almost) and it makes your comments section “do-follow”. It is a sad thing really, when you have such a good blog and strive to make it spam free and Google punishes you by taking away the PR completely, plain ridiculous :|

    Raju´s last blog post – FREE 6 Months Subscription for ESET NOD32 Antivirus


  • btw, I blogrolled you :) more backlinks now ;)
    Lets hope you get back your PR very soon!

    Raju´s last blog post – FREE 6 Months Subscription for ESET NOD32 Antivirus


  • @Stratos – I’m surprised it’s as high as 5%

    @David – LOL – That is advanced technology.

    @Barbara – I don’t know if I will discover the reason. I’m kind of sitting tight and I may fill out the reconsideration request after 10-14 days. There is some rumbling going on in some webmaster forums that google is up to something.

    @Raju – Are you unranked or at 0? You can set commentluv to be nofollow – though right now I’m not sure which plugin it is – Nofollow or Robots Meta. I’ve currently set to be nofollow until someone leaves a comment x number of times. And my Top Commenters are follow. I am going to have to decide and write up a comment policy.

    It’s just a theory. I’m going to take both David’s advice and not really worry about it.

    And thanks for the link :-)


  • Since you are not selling any paid or text links, do go for reconsideration request. Many bloggers have got there old page rank back by that. And PR is becoming more confusing every day. I used to have PR 5 once. Then it came down to 4 , then 0 , then 3 , now 2 even though the traffic is rising.

    Madhur Kapoor´s last blog post – Remove Partial Software Installations with Windows Installer Cleanup Utility


  • @Madhur – Have you ever sent in a request? While I’m not glad that your page rank has fluctuated so much, it makes me feel better that it’s not an abnormal occurrence. Does it even bother you anymore?


  • I have not sent any request till now. I dont really think it has use anymore. My traffic has remained the same despite the drop. Infact my soccer blog which i havent updated in months and it hardly gets any traffic has got a Pagerank of 2.

    Madhur Kapoor´s last blog post – Remove Partial Software Installations with Windows Installer Cleanup Utility


  • Kim, I can well relate to that panicked feeling. I remember the first time that I
    checked feedburner stats in the mornig and had gone to 0 subscribers. Of course they all return in the afternoon. ;)

    I wish there was something more definitive on this no follow/do follow debate. Recently I went completely do follow by installing the badge and plug in and running the list of other do follow blogs on an internally linked to page. It’s been like that for two weeks now and my page rank is still a 4.

    I’ll go an read what Matt has to say. I obviously want no leeching.

    Tom Volkar/ Delightful Work´s last blog post – An Authentic Approach to Making More Money


  • @Madhur – So, it really doesn’t make much logical sense does it?

    @Tom – I have to decide on how I’m going to deal with follow/no-follow. If it were affecting your site, it would take more than two weeks to drop.

    I was following every single link and sometimes there are a lot of links in my articles. I’m nofollowing most of them now unless I want the link to be followed – like when I’m highlighting someone’s site or something.

    The top commenters are followed as is my blogroll. The comment links will be followed after the individual comments a certain number of times. I haven’t decided on a number yet – I don’t want it to be too low or too high.

    That Feedburner drop is frightening when it first happens. It’s a little sad actually – I don’t really trust any of the numbers that it reports.


  • Holey Comments on this post! I had to scroll forever to write something. Phew. That’s a good thing. I’m not sure I 100% the ranking but I know I would freak right out. Why? My advertising and status is partially dependent on rank and increased ranking so dropping who give me a slight heart attack. Good for you to stay calm. How has it all worked out?

    Sommer´s last blog post – Recycled Ideas at the Green and Clean Mom Community


  • @Sommer – I was pretty freaked out at first. Mostly because I can’t figure out why it happened and I don’t think I will ever know. If I relied on advertising I would be a lot more upset about it.

    I’ve received such a variety of information about this that I’m just as confused as ever. I’ve decided to take SEO and keyword stuff a little more seriously but otherwise I’m not going to do anything. My traffic has gone up incredibly at the same time the rank dropped …

    I’ve got a lot more visitors now and some articles get a lot of comments. This is one of the top ones though.


  • Kim,

    Worry less about page rank and more about ranking for the keywords that are important to your blog. For example, if “social development blog” are the keywords that you think will bring you traffic, then go to Google and search for those words and see where you come up.

    Think about this: Are your visitors worried about your page rank? No way. But do you want to continue to attract new readers? Of course. And that means you have to appear on Google page 1 for your main keywords.

    The best way to do that is through creating good keyword-rich content and well-crafted meta-tags, not through backlinks.

    So, yeah, stop freaking out about page rank and just continue to write good stuff. :)


  • I’m going to say a few things. One, I’m betting that if you check your stats you’ll find that your blog isn’t’ getting most of its visitors from Google anyway. In that case, page rank means nothing to you, because it’s really visitors you want more than that. For me, Google traffic is less that 5%, so I don’t worry about it all that much, though I’ll admit I like the little “3″ that I have.

    Two, since traffic is really what you want, having a dofollow blog really helps with that moreso than going nofollow. Having said that, having “link juice” leaking from your blog because people are getting dofollow credit on your blog isn’t going to make your blog drop 3 points at once, even if that’s valid. I mean, you’d have to have 300 comments on every post to have it start to affect you more than that.

    And three, every once in awhile there’s a one or two day aberration with page rank. I know one of my websites dropped to zero once, and it came back within a couple of days. I didn’t necessarily like it, but I saw that my site and some of the pages were still cached by Google, so I felt it was all good.

    Not sure if that will help or not, but I guess I’ll go with Ajith on this one; relax. It’ll all be good.

    Mitch´s last blog post – Javascript Can Wreck Havoc With Blogs


  • Say Mitch, that made perfect sense, so much so that I am scratching my head wondering why I didn’t come up with it first. Like you I am going to keep my blog as a dofollow blog as I reckon I get heaps more interaction that way and that’s something that I really look forward to.

    Sire´s last blog post – Blond Bombshell Finds The True Worth Of Vanity


  • I have my moments, Sire. lol

    Mitch´s last blog post – Book Writing Series Part Four – Telling A Story


  • @Kim will you check that link to Matt Cutts inn the body of your post. It never connects for me?

    All – in searching for some definitive answers on this whole debate I came across an announcement by Cutts of a Google help center dedicated to collecting all of this no follow/do follow stuff in one place but then I’ve never been able to locate it? Anyone have the link to that help center?

    Mitch I like what you have to say as well and I agree. My blog is about community and conversation first.

    However that does not solve this debate. There ought to be definitive information that clearly states whether it’s best to follow or not. This whole leeching of page rank stinks of fear based thinking. Where does Google state that leeching actually occurs? If you watch who you are giving do follow links to, can anything bad really happen?

    Kim your comments lead me to believe that less do following is some how better. I’m confused but determined to find some clarity.

    Tom Volkar/ Delightful Work´s last blog post – An Authentic Approach to Making More Money


  • @Susan – Thank you for visiting and commenting. I have decided to concern myself with keywords and meta information because that is something I can control. I can worry about page rank but it’s not going to end up being a very productive use of my time. I was actually working on keywords and analyzing that aspect of my site last night when you commented :-)

    Do you know anything about the follow / nofollow issue?

    Thanks!

    @Mitch – Thanks for visiting and commenting! That makes sense about follow / no follow. I really need to make a decision but it’s really hard to find a definitive answer. I do know that someone will have to comment a couple of times before the link becomes followed.

    I do check my stats. 50% of my traffic is from search engines and 47% of that is from google. So, my search engine listing and indexing does matter – I wouldn’t want to suddenly lost 50% of my traffic.

    I was reading SEO for Dummies and it says that a follow link doesn’t really “leak” anything. It’s more of a vote for the linked page. It recommended doing a lot of internal linking if you had a lot of external links. I’m starting to question that follow was the problem unless I was accidentally following a link to something spammy.

    And other than the page rank drop things have really been improving here so perhaps changing anything is unwise.


  • @Sire @Mitch – Carry on ;-)

    @Tom I just tested the Matt Cutts link and it worked fine so I’m not sure why you can’t access it. Oh – it probably opens in a new window – I’ll change that. After rereading it this morning, I’m not sure if it really is that helpful after all. The main recommendation is to not have more that 100 external links per page because it can cause an indexing/crawling issue.

    I think this is the google help info you were looking for.

    http://google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=96569

    It doesn’t really say too much.

    I’m actually starting to think that follow is fine as long as the link is trustworthy because by linking you are vouching for it.

    I don’t think there will be any clarity on this issue. The more I talk to people the more I’m finding that no one really understands it.

    I think I have decided to continue as I have been.


  • Tom, I’ve read through Matt Cutts blog, and some of the comment sections have been pretty thick with questions and answers from Matt. However, it seems he dances away from the question, first saying Google doesn’t penalize for certain things, then saying people can do whatever they want to, and Google can do whatever it wants to; that’s paraphrasing, by the way. So, there is no definitive, and I was really searching for it as it pertained to blogs, where there’s the best chance for getting lots of extraneous links.

    That’s why I say there’s no point in worrying about it; Google will do whatever they wish, so we have to do whatever feels good for us.

    Mitch´s last blog post – Book Writing Series Part Three – When And How To Write


  • Kim, I’ve been on a project of going back through some of my posts and seeing if I have other articles to link to from within. And with all of my newer posts, I end up linking them to older posts. So I have the internal linking thing covered. lol

    Mitch´s last blog post – Book Writing Series Part Five – Editing


  • Kim – I’ve written about DoFollow a couple of times. I follow links in comments automatically (but have the option to override that if I want to on an individual basis) so that people who participate at my blog are rewarded a little extra for doing so. (I, too, have it set to follow after their first 2 posts.)

    I do not follow links in my pages or post text automatically, but have the option to on an individual basis, when I want to give a little ‘link love’.

    Is all this optioning more work? Yes, but I think of PageRank (when it comes to do follow/no follow) as a kind of slush fund. I want to see my slush fund (PageRank) grow, and I want to share it with those I deem worthy. But following or not following is only one piece of the PageRank puzzle, NOT the only piece.

    PageRank is about relevance and authority. (Does Google, through it’s mysterious and complex formula, see you as knowing what you’re talking about on your particular topic?) So, the tighter your focus on your site, your pages, your posts overall, the better Page Rank you’re going to have. And, of course, ‘topic’ leaves a lot of wiggle room. Google.com has a PR 10. No surprise. Yahoo has a PR of 9. Hmmm…what are they “an authority” on? Search, most likely. Click on ‘Answers’ in their menu at the left (which is a section of their site housed in a subdomain) and the PR goes down to 8. Click a link to an internal page or article, most are unranked.

    Lots of other things affect your PageRank, so I don’t think your Do Follow or No Follow decisions are wholly responsible. I’d recommend following links to commenters like you do, and not following links from pages or posts, unless you purposefully want to “vouch” for them. I’d also recommend you use the SEO Smart Links plugin that handles a lot of this for you and also makes all your internal linking follow. (Always “vouch” for yourself.)

    That’s my two cents, anyway.

    Suzanne @ vAssistant Services´s last blog post – Using DoFollow Is Like Signing a Letter of Reference


  • @Mitch – That’s the conclusion I seem to have come to as well. There is no definitive answer so we should do what we want as long as we aren’t using any black hat techniques.

    Do you go back to older articles and link them to newer ones? I try to link my current articles to relevant older content but hadn’t thought about doing it the other way.

    @Suzanne – Thank you for visiting and commenting. And thank you for your detailed response. You’ve given me something to think about – especially about following links from pages and posts. I think that was a problem because I was following everything.

    A three point drop seems excessive to me though.

    I’m going to take a look at that plugin and see what it does. I do all of my html by hand so I might not need.

    Thanks again!


  • Whatever algorithms Google uses for establishing the PR of a site, it sucks. I’ve seen sites with a PR that don’t deserve it and sites without one that do. Sure if Google decides to give me a PR I will make a big deal about it, but only because it impresses a whole lot of people. It doesn’t impress me.

    If I was an advertiser who was going to pay for sponsorship on a site I would much prefer the traffic rank than the PR any day.

    Sire´s last blog post – Blond Bombshell Finds The True Worth Of Vanity


  • @Sire I never said anything about my page rank til I lost it ;-) I never even knew there was such a thing until Ajith mentioned mine in an article. I’m going to right a follow up article about all this for next week.


  • Kim, I actually do go back and try to do that with some of my posts, but it’s harder to do for the very old posts because my style of writing is much different now than when I started, even though it’s still in its first year. However, from pretty much May on, I can usually find something to link with. After all, you never know if someone is going to visit the blog on an older post first, and I’d like them to know where they could go for a relational post, if they’re so inclined.

    By the way, we were talking about plugins elsewhere, and a good one to have on your blog would be the Threaded Comments plugin. ;-)

    Mitch´s last blog post – Book Writing Series Part Four – Telling A Story


  • Hi Mitch – Ok, that sounds reasonable. I only started this blog in May and already my writing has changed quite a bit.

    Threaded comments wasn’t necessary until recently – last month or so – because I wasn’t getting that many comments. Threaded comments are going to be built into WordPress 2.7, if the comment form is ready for it. So, I’m updating my comment form in order to take advantage of that feature. It doesn’t make much sense for me to install the plugin at this point.


  • Hi Kim,

    The same happened to me about 10 days ago. I used to have PR 4, then it went down to a 3 and a ) in the same day. It occurred at the same time I changed my blog theme and put a 301 redirect onto my domain to link to the blog. (the main domain was previously just a PR 2 and outdated).

    I did have over 60 % of search engine traffic and was ranking on position 16 for a highly competitive keyword. Suddenly that is gone to nowhere and like you I have no clue what is going on.

    I actually contacted Matt Cutt through his blog because I was desperate. But he didn’t care and never replied. Here is my post about this if you like to read: http://www.thewritersmanifesto.com/blog/2008/11/26/the-proof-is-in-the-pudding/

    Like you I’m doing everything by the books and am totally at a loss as of why this has occurred.

    Monika Mundell´s last blog post – Fast Track Your Article Writing Time


  • Kim, you just keep doing what you are doing because as far as I can tell you are getting a good following and once you have that the process of ‘word of mouth’ will only make it better.

    Sire´s last blog post – Wassup’s Bloggers Forum Adding To The Blogging Experience


  • @Monika – I don’t think your new theme is responsible but the 301 redirect may have something to do with your issue. It can take 3 weeks or 3 months for the PR to come back – usually the next time google ranks.

    I didn’t leave a comment on Matt Cutt’s blog. Today, however, I did submit a Reconsideration Request – not because I think it will do anything but I wanted to see what happens with the request process.

    I’m sorry that this happened to you too – I know I feel better knowing I’m not the only one.

    I also left a comment over on your site.

    @Sire – Thanks :-) I’ve made some minor changes but nothing drastic – I’m going to write a follow up article next week (I hope).


  • Hi Kim,

    Just answered you over there as well. Great to get to know you. :) I’m sure it will turn out good eventually. :)

    Monika Mundell´s last blog post – Do You Need A Freelance Writing Gig?


  • Hi Monika – I’m hoping for the best :-) I’m really glad we’ve encountered each other through Cath even if it was a bummer of a reason.


  • The worst thing about Google is that all it takes is one little thing to really hurt your website. I remember launching a new blog at the beginning of the year. And it was indexed by Google, and receiving traffic, all within 2 weeks.

    Anyway, we were using an older version of WordPress… 2.2 something… And one flaw of that version is that it pinged Google every time a post was published or updated. We realized the problem too late… After a week of regular tweaks and edits to content, we found ourselves dropped. It took 6 weeks to crawl back into the index.

    As for your situation, it is likely something temporary that will probably be soon adjusted. After reviewing your website, I can’t imagine anything worthy of a ban.

    Good luck.

    Shirley´s last blog post – WordPress.org, Where Is The Love?


  • @Shirley – Thanks for visiting and commenting. Thanks for sharing your experience with google. It seems that one little thing can cause them to “punish” you.

    Thanks for taking a look at my site and your kind words. I haven’t exactly been banned. I’m still indexed by google, which is the most important thing, but the rank dropped three points.


  • Just sit tight Kim. I suffered even worse. A PR drop from 5 to 0 and a -950 penalty. i.e. traffic from google is zero!

    I waited for three months, removed all unnecessary backlinks and then it all get back to normal. Nobody can explain what happed, but it just happens. :)

    Hemanth´s last blog post – All Blogs Upgraded to WordPress 2.7 “Coltrane”!


  • @Hemanth – That’s terrible :-)

    My page rank returned to 3 around the 1st of the year. I’m not sure if was due to my reconsideration request or not. It’s funny that it returned after I kind of stopped caring.


  • I think I got hit around the same time as you, although mine has yet to return :(
    I was at 4, PR4! and now im a stingy 0.
    Traffic and links from google remains the same…


  • @Relequestual – Thank you for visiting and commenting.

    Have you submitted a reconsideration request? I did – I don’t know if it helped but around when I stopped worrying about the issue my page rank returned. Maybe the request helped.

    I’m sorry that this also happened to you :-(


  • I think I went to before, however I cant remember if it went through or not. How does one submit a reconsideration request again?

    Thanks

    Relequestual´s last blog post – WOSB – Recover From Hibernation Or Standby On Your Timetable


  • @Relequestual – It’s part of Google Webmaster Tools. There’s a section called Talk to Google and one of the options is Request Reconsideration.

    https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/dashboard?hl=en


  • Believe it or not, Kim. I used to lose my blog’s PR too, from PR3 straight to no page rank information in the last PR updated! However, I’ve appealed the problem with Google webmaster tool. Guess what, I gained my PR back (PR2) after a week afterward…(Although it’s no longer PR3, but I still glad with it!)

    So, what you’ve done here is the right and proper ways to gain back your site’s PR.

    wilson´s last blog post – Your Body Type Determine Your Healthy Condition


    • Hi Wilson – Thank you for visiting and commenting.

      I’m starting to think that this may be the way that page rank operates. After submitting the reconsideration request it took longer than one week for my page rank to be restored but it eventually was. I did get the same rank back (although part of me was wishing that it would be higher). ;-)


  • Kim,
    Thanks, to this post, I have now signed up with Google Webmasters Tools! I have always put off worrying about page rank, SEO, and the like, but it is something webmasters have to keep in mind.

    Regarding the nofollow, I am now wondering if I am doing the right thing using the WordPress Lucia’s Linky Love plugin… I have set it up to create a dofollow for users that leave more than 3 comments. It seemed a nice thing to do… just wondering… I shall inquire more about that.

    Thank you for this very useful information, I love your blog!

    Palma | Buddha Trance´s last blog post – The illusion of being stuck


    • Palma – I sent google a reconsideration request and my page rank was reinstated after about 5-6 weeks. I didn’t change much about the way I was doing things. I was following every link in my articles because I didn’t know any better – even my flickr images were being followed. Now I only follow certain ones.

      I’m not taking the follow away from loyal commenters though. I will follow their links after 5 comments. And the list of top commenters are all being followed.

      How old is your site? You don’t have archives listed – your page rank is 2, which is really good – especially if you site isn’t that old.

      And thanks so much for the compliment! I love you site too. It makes me think about things that I don’t normally thing about. :-)


      • Right, good point about looking at the outgoing links in posts and flickr… I will check my set up, and definitely leave the linky love.

        Yes, I checked today my page rank, for the (*cough*) first time, and it’s 2. The site has been up for years, but every time it was as if I was starting from scratch, because of all the changes, different setup, different pages, old links, etc. And it was a static site, at first. Now it’s up and running for good as a blog, and loving WP.

        … and your site makes me think about things that I don’t normally think about too! lol

        I am glad that Google reinstated your page rank!

        Palma | Buddha Trance´s last blog post – The illusion of being stuck


  • Kim, I’ve enjoyed the ongoing discussion here. One email I always open. What do you mean by this?

    “I’m still working on moving content in subdirectories to their own domain.”

    If I’ve missed the how-top in an earlier post or comment please point me in the right direction.

    Using wordpress do I even have subdirectories?

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s last blog post – Fearless Living


    • Hi Tom – You know what? My response to Palma was probably only clear to Palma. I’ve had this domain for a long time, which probably gives me more traffic and and a higher page rank than the age of this incarnation of my site deserves. I have / had other sites in sub directories with their own wordpress installations. For example, my site about elephants was at http://www.kimwoodbridge.com/elephant and has recently been moved to it’s own domain http://eleblognews.com

      I have an even older site in a subdirectory (not WordPress) that gets a lot of traffic and I’m in the process of moving it.

      But, ultimately, this isn’t something you need to worry about. You have wordpress installed at what is called the root level. You could install wordpress again in a subdirectory called “stuff” or “alligators”.


      • Kim, about moving some content in their own domain… I am just wondering about the following points… saying this because when I set up my separate section about blogging on the same site I considered these factors:

        1 – In favor of creating a separate entity, and maybe even have a blog on blogging on wordpress.com, separate from the main blog, I thought that it could be good to keep different topics separate + the linking power between each separate blog

        2 – In favor of keeping all the content under one domain only, was the fact that above all things (unless I am wrong on this one), Google loves words, loves frequent updates, loves a lot of new content… which makes that one site more lively and active, and indexed by Google.

        Both have pro and con. Personally, I chose #2, giving priority to the main topic, and using the section as a side topic.

        I don’t know if this info can help you, sharing it just in case…


  • I have a some problem it seemed, my pr drop from 4 to 3, today. i am not so sure whether its because my fifth reviews? if yes how to make it back to 4 or greater?

    dede´s last blog post – Win an investment wine portfolio worth $10,000‏


    • Hi Dede – Thank you for visiting and commenting. Are those paid reviews? That could cause your page rank to drop. Make sure the links
      are nofollow.

      There isn’t too much you can do until google has another pr update.
      You can, however, not do paid reviews and have paid text links, if you do,
      and then submit a reconsideration request through google’s
      webmaster tools.


  • Google Remove pagerank databases on webmaster tools. Don’t try to overkill yourself building pageranks google said haha.
    .-= AgentMango|PC Holics´s last blog ..Three Killer Steps in Advertising your Blog for Free =-.


  • Kim, just found this post.
    Just curious what you said in your reconsideration request, and if google gave any detail in the reply (or do they even reply?!)

    PS how are you going in your world cup watching?
    I’m totally adapted to South Africa time and only missed 2 games so far:)
    I love it, but like you I have one eye on July and some well earned sleep (while its dark!!)


    • Hi Sean,

      I don’t remember what I said exactly – I just asked them to reconsider it because I couldn’t see any reason for it to happen. I did not receive a response or an explanation. At the next page rank update, it went back to what it was before.

      In in EST and the times for the matches are working out great for me – 1 or two in the morning and one in the afternoon. If I’m half interested I sort of watch while working or if it’s one I’m really into I watch it. My work hours have been odd but it’s been so worth it :-)


      • OK, I was wondering as a couple of my pages have dropped from PR 1 or 2 to Unranked, though my main site is still PR2, so I might just leave it rather than anger the Google Gods :)

        You are lucky with the time zones – currently the games are at 12 midnight and 4am here in Australia! I have had to adjust my bodyclock to fit in, luckily I normally work from home anyway so can manage it just about!


  • Hi Kim, I just ran across your post when searching for the same issue. As of last week I had a PR6 but it has now doped to a PR3 as well.
    As far as I know I haven’t done anything spam related that that would warrant this type of drop in PR either.

    I notice your post was from a couple of years ago and am curious as to if your could share some insight into how your got your PR back up to what it originally was.

    Thanks so much,

    Ben


    • Hi Benjamin – I submitted a reconsideration request but I don’t know if that ever did anything. When the next page rank update happened it went back up to a 3. I didn’t really do much of anything – maybe the request helped but I have no way of knowing.


  • I know it’s kinda late to jump in (just discovered your blog), but a reconsideration request, in my experience is pretty useless. They just glimpse over your site it seems and don’t bother to tell you if they “fixed” the issue or not. As for Pagerank, i wouldn’t worry about it since Pagerank is not everything – it’s the traffic that counts, as long as you are ranking for a good group of keywords, don’t worry about Pagerank.
    Henway´s last post ..My Colonix Experience


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Kim Woodbridge is an accomplished Information and Technical Consultant specializing in the entire implementation of a WordPress based website including installation, theme design, upgrades, unique customizations and ongoing site maintenance.

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