Websites caught selling links that pass PageRank will face a penalty, according to Matt Cutts. Google’s head of search spam reiterated the consequences for webmasters should they choose to sell paid links.
In response to baffled brands that have suffered seemingly unexplainable losses in PageRank, Cutts reminded webmasters that sites facing drops of around 30-50% are likely the result of a PageRank penalty issued by Google.
The PageRank penalty is a direct response to Google’s loss of trust in a site. Penalties attached to a particular site will prevent them from ranking well and ultimately result in a loss of traffic. 1997 saw a number of authoritative sites hit with PageRank penalties, including newspapers.
Warnings for Link Buyers: The Impending Penguin Update
Following the Penguin update earlier this year that penalises sites with poor quality backlink profiles, SEOs and webmasters are anticipating the next update to unveil further penalties. Sites that have avoided PageRank penalties previously are likely to be caught out by other discrepancies in their link profile should they have purchased links themselves. Sites with low quality, irrelevant links will face similar drops in rankings, lose traffic and in some cases could be de-indexed altogether. As a result, it pays to monitor link building activities both inbound and outbound in order to avoid such perils.
How to Remove a PageRank Penalty
PageRank penalties can be removed should the affected site remove the paid links and follow Google procedures for a reconsideration request. Google will determine whether the site now complies with their webmaster guidelines and can remove the penalty that is detrimental to PageRank.
- Determine if Site Affected by PageRank Penalty
- Identify & Remove Links Passing PageRank
- Ensure Proper Disclosure of Links
- Submit Reconsideration Request
If you are concerned about the PageRank penalty or the impending Penguin update, The Web Marketing Group and Ingenuity Digital specialise in helping sites regain their rankings, traffic and conversions by implementing a successful SEO strategy.