Artificially reducing the PageRank and importance of sites just because they’re selling links is absurd. I understand why they did it, but they’re not doing it the right way. For the love of God, they dinged Forbes something like 2 or 3 PageRanks. Are they any less of a reliable source just because they sell links? Absolutely not, yet Google is considering them reduced importance, as well as many other big name sites. They reduced ProBlogger.net’s PageRank from 6 to 4. They’re still the leading source of blogging tips and information. But not according to Google, because they inter-linked their blog network.
The speculation as to why the sites were “dinged” is all over the board, and we don’t know that it’s for the above reasons. However, this point still remains:
One of Google’s main problems is that they’re artificially manipulating results. This is ridiculous. For example, let’s say you’re looking for JohnChow.com but are for some reason searching on Google. If you type in “John Chow” the first result is some lame review of JohnChow.com, not the actual website. You won’t even find it on the first few pages! Are you freaking kidding me? If somebody is searching for John Chow, they obviously want the John Chow home page, and Google doesn’t give it to them. Google used to rant on about how the user experience is #1, but that is clearly just bullshit to make themselves sound better. Artificially manipulating results like this degrades the user experience, and it’s all because they want to whine about paid links? I used to be a raving Google fan, but not nearly as much anymore.
Google has pissed off most of the blogosphere by dropping PageRank of many of the blogs on the internet. Some say it’s because they were selling links, some say they were network inter-linking, and there were plenty of other guesses, but the truth is, nobody knows for sure. Regardless, PageRank has all but completely lost it’s value.
What are we to do? I say we stop conforming to what Google tells us to do and take a first step by removing all ‘nofollow’ tags from our links. This was Google’s method of scaring us by telling us we had to add this tag to all paid links and all comments, and all sites not vouched for, blahblahblah. Screw it. Removing this tag could alter Google’s search results in a negative way, perhaps reminding Google not to bite the hand that feeds them (webmasters.)
Is Google on a decline? Perhaps, I’ve noticed their search results are nowhere close to as good as they used to be, and Yahoo and MSN have really gained some market share in search.
If Google keeps this crap up, they’re going to kill themselves, plain and simple. Webmasters keep them afloat. Stabbing us in the back like this is going to do nothing but piss us off. Maybe I should stop using AdSense completely. I’ve already started using Yahoo search more, and for the first time, it’s more accurate than Google. Maybe it’s all some sort of master plan? Who knows, but I do know that Google sucks at communication and customer relations. Just let us know what’s going on! What’s so difficult about that?