Less PageRank Floating Around In SEO Niche

by Donna Fontenot December 2nd, 2007 

Matt Cutts says in a comment over on a pretty interesting post at SEOmoz – we did do a full PageRank update several weeks ago – there's less PageRank flowing around in some areas (e.g. search and SEO). Vanessa Fox's site dropped by one as well, and for her as well, it's just a case where less PageRank is flowing in some niches of the net. PageRank doesn't always monotonically increase.

There's lots of other good info from Matt over there too, but that one bit about there being less PR flowing through the SEO niche got me wondering…

Some people have been saying that the Toolbar PR penalties we recently saw were not "real". In other words, they were for show only, but didn't reflect real behind-the-scenes PR. I think those people might be wrong. If the PR losses were real for all the SEO folks who had link-selling PR penalties applied, then those losses would likely affect the flow of PR across the SEO niche. And that would also explain why the SEO niche in particular would have less PR flowing through it, as opposed to every other niche out there.

I certainly concede that I could be wrong, but it seemed like something that should be thrown out there as a thought for an early Sunday morning.

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13 Responses to “Less PageRank Floating Around In SEO Niche”

  1. Dave Dugdale says:

    Wow, I missed that one, thanks for picking that up. Very interesting indeed.

  2. [...] wrote a piece today entitled, "Less PageRank Floating Around In SEO Niche". The post was based around a comment Matt Cutts made on SEOmoz having to do with the fact that [...]

  3. Mack says:

    @Donna "I think those people might be wrong. If the PR losses were real for all the SEO folks who had link-selling PR penalties applied, then those losses would likely affect the flow of PR across the SEO niche."

    I too agree, and you could apply this theory to any niche. Hard to pin point who was actually penalized, but penalizing 10 or 15 in each niche would create a domino effect.

  4. [...] as I thought,? PR seemed to have dropped accross the entire seo niche. Why? Well that's probably where most of the paid-for-links originated from. Take out a couple of big "hot sites" [...]

  5. I think PR penalties less page rank floating around SEO pages because the related information is just not for now but you will see in the next future .

    cheers

  6. Matt Cutts says:

    Let me see if I can put it another way. Websites that are selling links can lose their ability to flow PageRank. That can have an effect "downstream" of that site.

    Take Vanessa Fox's site, for example. It's a great site; it's also closer to the search/SEO niche. So if less PageRank is flowing around two, three, or four hops upstream in the web, that can mean that a little less PageRank ends up on Vanessa's site.

    Of all the niches around the web, the search/SEO niche is one of the areas that would be likely to reflect that "less PageRank flowing around" phenomenon.

  7. DazzlinDonna says:

    Isn't that what I said?

  8. Rental Dave says:

    I was going make another puppet video for this week's PubCon show where Matt Cutts would play Santa and tell who has been naughty and nice this year.

    But since Matt said the SEO niche has less page rank floating around I decided to skip it.

  9. Alan Gray says:

    My newspaper went down a point from 7 to 6. We don't buy or sell links, so either upstream links dropped and that flowed on to us or google thinks we do buy/sell links. Or maybe we lost a link from a good site – its too hard to know – and thats probably a good thing.

  10. Matt Cutts says:

    DazzlinDonna, that is what you said. I was just confirming you were right because I saw the comment you left on Michael's blog and wanted to say that you were both right.

  11. DazzlinDonna says:

    Ah, gotcha, Matt. Thanks for clearing that up.

  12. mvandemar says:

    DazzlinDonna, that is what you said. I was just confirming you were right because I saw the comment you left on Michael’s blog and wanted to say that you were both right.

    Matt, I understand that pages can be blocked from flowing PageRank, but that's not exactly what Donna was saying (at least, that's not the bit I had provided a counter point to).

    Just for clarification, are you confirming that the PageRank drops we saw in the SEO niche recently, the ones that so many assumed were penalties for PageRank selling, were in fact more than just visual drops in the toolbar to deter pricing based on it? Actual PageRank drops accompanied those?

    Thanks. :)

  13. Hi Donna:

    By the way, thanks for the Stumble on the link building article, but in addressing this topic, this confirms the proverbial bottom falling out of the majority of search results as of late.

    I just covered it in a post about the search results in Google running lean and now I am glad to see that it hit the press.

    Essentially it's almost as if certain terms that were cornered in the past have had their significance removed. From my research the word company for example vs. services no longer carries the same weight (this appears across the board).

    SEO was another term that was once in the 180 million page range, now a measly 23,000,000 competing pages (likewise with search engine optimization now has results of 2 million search results).

    This is either (a) a beneficial edit were they simply took out the garbage or (b) an obvious ant SEO tactic to shake the SERPs up a bit by making anyone who may have invested time and energy in link building start from zilch (mainly SEO companies and their clients).

    Or am I just way over the top on this one?

    On one side, less competition in the SERPs, but on another how will the internal edit of value affect relevance for all searches?