Pagerank 0, the new Leprosy ?

I have a game site http://www.gamesonline4free.net on which I do lots of experiments. It currently has a PageRank of 0 due to Google's penalizing it. Here is the reason: 6 months ago it was a PR4 but that was also the time that I decided to experiment with the Digital Point CO-OP network and the TNX network. DP CO-OP is essentially a link exchange network that serves links on your site and serves your backlinks in other's sites. TNX is more like a paid links network.

Both of them ended up serving some very unrelated links (financial links in a game site do look fishy don't you think ?). Google caught this and on the next PR update (sometime around January 2008) lowered the PR to 2 just to warn me. I only realized that was a warning when on the following update (which was probably in March ??) the PR dropped to 0. That is when I realized that google was trying to tell me something and as I was not too fond of the financial links myself decided to get rid of DP CO-OP at first. The next update in the beginning of May did not see any improvement and thus I got rid of TNX links as well. Hopefully by next update the right PR will be restored.

Mind you, PR lowering was the only penalty. As for google traffic and rankings (SERPs) things have been improving day by day. The google traffic has steadily been growing to an average of 900 visitors a day with the majority comming from the search for free online games. The site is usually found in between positions 9 - 26 in the results pages for that term. 6 months ago it was only getting an average of 300 visitors per day from google and the site was below the 45th position for free online games.

Why PR0 is to be avoided

A few days ago I decided to do some more link exchanged for it and visited some of my favorite webmaster forums to make a post to find some willing webmasters. I explained all the circuimstances that led to PR0 (not in as much detail) and also explained the current favorable positions in google. To my surprise most webmasters were not willing to exchange with me. They were afraid that their site will be penalized and did tell me so.

Are their fears justified ?

Triplefun.net A long term link exchange partner has not been penalized (still a PR4) and we both get to send to each other about 50-100 visitors each month.

With this experimental site and other observations I have concluded that PR does not affect rankings which is the desired result and that webmasters willing to exchange based on PR alone are not right.

Will you link exchange with such a site ?

What is your take on PR and how it affects SERPs ?

I am REALLY interested to find out what you ALL think.

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29 Comments

I link to PR zero sites all the time on many of my sites. What's important to me is whether or not someone visiting my site would find the other site useful. To me, it's much more important if the site is something more than a collection of stolen and/or poorly written spider-bait articles than it is if they have a bit of PR or not.

It's long past time for Google to abandon this failed experiment of theirs and find a less manipulatable and arbitrary way of evaluating websites.

I link to PR 0 sites and many PR 0 sites link to me.
The content is importend, not thr PR.

igor

I don't do reciprocal links.
I think I got kicked off the index for it as well.

Getting penalized to PR0 makes you feel like having a bad reputation on online world like crime guilties :)

TNX is bad news. Only use them if you have nothing to lose. Like if your already sandboxed and going nowhere and willing to try anything.

yeah wouldnt go near something like TNX, its all very shady.
Kinda like a swimming pool site with links to UK fireplaces haha.

Having PR of 0 is fine for new site. But only an issue if your going backwards

I have s ite that was hit buy a bunch of porn spammers and scammers and it went from PR6 to PR0 in a week. I cleaned up the mess but the site has never recovered. I have alos banned registrations from ny one with a free e-maill like gmail and ymail.

HI i need your help i really want to create my own website/web page but i dont know how to go about doing it so can you please help me out

What kind of help ??

I see you already have a site !!
Learn how to take care of that and time and practice will teach you !!!

Well, I had a PR0 and for a few key terms one of my site was above than PR3 even PR4 sites. It might be due to fact of more back-links for me for that keyword.
I was researching on keywords, and though i am not playing on it, but if you may get top 5 position for above mentioned keyword "Free game..." you will require to a lot of bandwidth :)

because its manipulation of links. you arnt using your good content to make links you are just paying people to put your links on.
>_>

Well I definitely think that it is all about anchored links

I had a PR2 with Anime Underground and all of a sudden it has 0. I don't think I was penalized, the only fact that I can say for certainty is this... there aren't many people on the site and it isn't active. That is all.

To think though, sometimes we wonder how does google calculate their PR. I've got a friend who dropped from PR 2 to PR 0 while I dropped from PR 1 to PR 0.

Google holds the ranking system on the web for now, until something else comes out

I f ully agree with you on this. Here are some more interesting findings that I also found out while getting penalized from PR4 to PR0.

It's all about linking that's kind of penalized. I've been penalized to PR0 for more than six months now from PR4 down to PR2 and then PR0 :(

I use to visit a lot of sites and blogs everyday, including .org .gov, and .edu sites. however lots of those sites are PR=0 and it's stragne that such prestigious sites of american universities have been penalized by Google, I concluded that PR has not the last word and that we should stop approving Google to say which site is better than the other, I know that it's done to control spam but I just don't like the idea of Google monopoly of internet.

GiorgosK, it a very good experiment. But I am also bit worried about link exchange. I believe you, but is it worth doing link exchange on the ecommerce website, becuase that website is the business for me. If google penalizes my website I will loose all the business.

getting links formi different websites even if they're PG = 0 is good for a website, it is certain that google results when consulting Google Annalytics will show that your website will have not a high PR but it's obvious when you consider the source.

Why would someone like to create back links on a PRO? what are the benefits of linking to it?

based on the transcript of this forum, it looks like PRO sites are new sites and those banned and penalized, is that right?

keep comments coming folks!

Legendre you don't need to do anything ...
just keep on building content and links and soon google will realize maybe it was a mistake ...

I did not do anything in particular and I am back to PR4 ... same with other domains that I own ...

I recently dropped from PR1 - 0. The website is a couple of years old so this was disappointing. I've been playing around with ways of getting backlinks to the site and I think google penalised that. How can we get back to PR1???