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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Google Updates PageRank and Drops Old Penalties

Posted by @ 6:52 pm

Last Friday, Matt Cutts (Google’s head of webspam) announced that Google was updating its PageRank (toolbar) over the weekend, and more importantly, some of the older penalties were being dropped.

As with all PageRank updates, site owners are reporting movements up and down as the full update takes effect. Some of the key PageRank measuring tools (e.g. SEOquake) are still not reporting consistent figures.

While PageRank isn’t a definitive guide to Google’s ranking algorithm, it is still viewed as one of the key indicators.

The toolbar update, which tends to occur every 3 to 4 months, is only Google sharing a snapshot of the dynamic PageRank which it uses in its algorithms. As matt points out:

“It’s more accurate to think of it {PageRank] as a floating-point number. Certainly our internal PageRank computations have many more degrees of resolution than the 0-10 values shown in the toolbar.”

Of more interest in the announcement post by Matt Cutts, was the removal of some old penalties. While Matt doesn’t disclose exactly which penalties have been dropped (obviously), some of you might see some unexpected improvements in your results.

Last year saw many sites hit with penalties due to certain link acquisition strategies and a lack of new link acquisition. If you were affected by these, chances are you might get some reprieve from the new update.

Matt has provided some good feedback to commenter’s questions and remarks (over 230 comments at the time of writing this post), so pop over to his post if you want to digest the entire conversation.

If you’ve seen any movements in your PageRank, share your tales with other readers via our comments below.

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

Discussion (7 - comments)

Pr2 to Pr3 this time

By Anonymous - July 29, 2008

We did recently notice an increase on PR on a modern design blog that we operate. Hopefully it’ll either remain as such or increase!

By Anonymous - July 29, 2008

We got PR1 in this update before that it was PR0.

By Abdul Basit - July 29, 2008

I know a site with PR0 (it was PR3) and its subpage with PR4 (it was PR3 also). It is a small company’s site.

By aydos - July 29, 2008

My www2 site :-
Still PR0, Always PR0, but amazingly gets plenty of hits, how does that figure?

By VicSilver - July 30, 2008

I went from a 3 to a 0 and cant figure out why. Its a solid site that sells a single product. No link farming no spam, nothing but good referrals from sites like

This sucks – all of a sudden I’ve lost my search results and have no idea why. uggghh

By Anonymous - July 31, 2008

No change on any of my sites that were penalized for selling text link ads. Some of them dropped from 5 to 3 and have never recovered, despite high Alexa ranking and thousands of organic inbound links from quality sites.

By Tim - August 3, 2008

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