7 Authority Sites With A PageRank Penalty
Image credit: google pagerank
Google really got serious about giving out PageRank penalties in October last year. Andy Beard was at the centre of attention and the following post, a long with a couple of others that he did got a lot of traction:
The 7 in the title of this post is not a fixed number. I want to put together a big list of all of the most important sites/pages on the net that appear to have PageRank penalties.
Normally PR penalties are applied to sites selling text links outside of the Google guidelines, but in some of these cases I couldn’t find any paid links. The sites may have internal linking issues or there might be other reasons. I just have a feeling that all of the following sites should have a higher PageRank score:
Environmental News Network is and environment news site and hub that has been around since before 1997. The website currently has a Google PR of 4/10, I am guessing it should be 8/10.
Possible reason for penalty: Up until very recently this site had spammy text links in its footer. These are gone now so maybe the site is due for an update. Or maybe there is another reason.
Update: I am pleased to report that Enn.com appears to be no longer penalised. The website’ homepage now has a PageRank of 7/10.
Fark is a very popular social news site and forum, which was established in 1999. The Fark.com homepage currently has a Google PageRank of 5/10, it should most probably be 8/10.
Possible reason for penalty: Unknown, anyone who can work out why this website is penalised will be given SEO god status – they nofollow everything. The only thing I can think of is the partner links – someone at Google may have mistaken these for payola.
The Independent is a very popular Irish newspaper. The website currently has a Google PageRank of 4/10, I guess it should have a Google PageRank of at least 7 out of 10.
Possible reason for penalty: Website has dofollow text links to commercial sites in a drop down menu in the top nav. which says more services.
Update: Someone has just pointed out to me that the sites that are linked to via the drop down menu are owned by the Independent, so it is possibly a mistake on Google’s part if those are indeed the cause. Even if they explain on a reinstatement that they own those sites, Google may still keep them penalised – purely because of their anchor text choices and the fact that they are linking from a trusted news source to highly commercial properties.
The Wall Street Journal is beyond important. The homepage of this site currently has a Google PageRank of 5/10. I am guessing that the site should have a PR of 8/10.
Possible reason for penalty: Unknown
According to Wikipedia in 1997 Starting Point was the 7th most trafficked site on the net. Sometime during the 1st few months of 2008 the sites PageRank dropped from 7 or 8 out of 10 to 5/10. At the April 2008 PageRank update the sites PageRank again fell, this time to 4/10.
Possible reason for penalty: It looks like the website may have been penalised because of the directory of websites it has. Website owners can pay $99 per anum to have their website reviewed for a listing. IMO the directory is well maintained, but they need to make an effort to add more BOTW sites themselves.
The Times of London is one of the oldest and most well read and respected newspapers in the world. Website currently has a Google PageRank of 5/10 on its homepage, I am guessing it should be an 8/10.
Possible reason for penalty: Unknown, but there maybe some text links on the site somewhere that are leaking PageRank. I would say that if there is that it is probably just a mistake and not intentional.
Update: I am pleased to report that The Times is no longer penalised and back to a PageRank of 8/10.
Far more geeky then the rest of the sites, but equally important. The internet has been built on information provided by websites like this. Website homepage has a PR 5/10, I am guessing it should be an 8 or a 9/10.
Possible reason for penalty: It looks like the website may be selling text links..
If you know a really important site that has had its PageRank reduced just leave the URL, why you think it is important, your name and your website. If it is a good one it will be added to the list.
Update: Drew Broomhall from The Times has been in touch with me. Some unintended paid text links were the cause of the penalty. These links were nofollowed a long time a go, but the penalty remains.
I told Drew what he needed to do to get it back, but he did not seem overly concerned. He knows that PageRank penalties do not effect rankings or traffic. I have a feeling that now it has been talked about, it will get fixed.
Random thought: I have been trying to think of some reasons why a PageRank penalty could be bad for a website. Obviously for people in the SEM industry it is quite important. If you have a poor PageRank score, people might think that you are not very good at what you do. But what about other industries?
I have studied the effect of links from PageRank and -40 hit penalised sites and one thing that I am sure about is this: if the visible PageRank is not there then it cannot be passed. I am not suggesting that links from penalised sites do not work, because in some instances they definitely do. I believe that links from PageRank penalised sites do not pass as much trust and authority to the sites they link to.
So here is the only potential drawback for the publisher that I can think of: If you own other websites that you link to, then those sites will not be getting the credit they deserve in the search engines.
June 26th, 2008 40 CommentsBoth comments and pings are currently closed.