Matt Wardman has an interesting post on the Economist having its PageRank cut by Google (translation: Google punishes Economist for unknown transgression by giving its website less importance and therefore, probably, lower ranking).
Here’s what he says:
It seems that they have made a basic mistake of selling text links on the home page, which bear no real relation to the content of the page – and then by leaving simple “links” in place which will enhance the position of those client sites in Google.
Here is a screen shot of the bottom of the Economist home page this lunchtime:
The list of advertisers is areas which are often found trying to gain advantage in the search engines by link buying.
… multiple links to the same site, a mass of keywords, and they are simple links that pass pagerank.
… There seem to be several
- Text links being sold to advertising Clients not particularly relevant to the page. Bearing in mind that the practice has been under fire from Google for some considerable time, that was asking for trouble.
- To do this with Credit Checking Services and “Cheap Loan” Finance companies seems – on top of the above – to be like running a red-flag up the flagpole for the sake of it.
… The moral? Take great care when you implement adverts and text links: you are in bed with an elephant.