We accidentally found another reason that you shouldn’t take PageRank at face value. This blog went from PR0 to PR3 to PR0. It kind of makes you wonder how it got up to PR3 and dropped back down to PR0 huh? Was the PR fake? Nope. Did we anger Google by selling links? Nope.
Top Commentators Rule
I have a few blogs that I read regularly and I often leave comments. Two of them were PR3/PR4 and ran a top commentators widget. Well, we happened to be one of the top commentators on both when Google was doing their PageRank dance.
This site had about 100 lower PR links before then. It went to having about 400 higher PR links overnight because the top commentators showed up on every page of those sites. Oh yeah, those were dofollow links too.
So why am I telling you this? It’s not because I care too much about our PR. It’s more of a warning (or if you’re a little shady an opportunity).
Could You Replicate This?
There are a lot of old, semi-abandoned blogs out there. It isn’t hard to be a top commentator on one when it doesn’t have much traffic. Once you find a handful like that, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes a week to get those links.
Do Your Homework
As soon as I discovered this, I thought of a bunch of ways to manipulate it. So double-check the backlinks for site-wide links and, if you see some, try to find out why they’re there.
I started thinking about this again because we’re in the process of buying a couple of existing sites and domains (I’ll write more about this later). You could really get owned if you think you’re buying a high PR site or domain, only to have it disappear with the next update. The same thing could happen when buying advertising, exchanging links, etc.
So don’t just look at PR numbers people.
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