Last month Google changed the Page Rank algorithm, a move which upset many bloggers, including major players, who saw their PR drop over night. Now, it’s changed again, as it seems a host of blogs and bloggers who have used PayPerPost and similar services have seen their PR drop to a big fat zero.
Bloggers put a lot of stead in their Page Ranks, with the ritual update done every two to three months keeping everyone on the edge of their seats as they wait to see whether they have gone up, down, or merely stuck where they are. So this latest move to reduce some blogs to a zero is a move which will see Google come in for a fair bit of criticism from those being affected.
Taking part in PayPerPost type services is somewhat of a moral grey area, and you’ll be pleased to hear Blorge has never gone there. But there are a great many bloggers who do, and they are the bread and butter bloggers looking at a way of making some money from their online activities.
Through being a blogger who works for a couple of different networks, I was adversely affected by last month’s move to punish networks for interlinking, and artificially driving internal traffic. I saw one blog fall from a 5 to a 3, and saw another being given a 2, which I felt was harsh. But for all this, I can see Google’s reasons for the move, which were to try and make the blogosphere a fairer place to be, with the big boys not dominating by artificial means.
However, I’m not too sure about the reasoning behind the latest move, especially after hearing what IZEA, the owners of PayPerPost, have had to say on the matter.
CEO Ted Murphy, speaking on the IZEA blog, claimed foul play, and opined that Google is at the heart of a censorship conspiracy:
“Google has proved that PR has little to do with blog traffic, influence or relevance and everything to defending their monopolistic stranglehold on search and online advertising.”
“It is no coincidence that Google has gone after some blogs that utilize PayPerPost and many of our competitors services. We offer a very attractive alternative to AdSense and are leading a charge to provide real monetization for everyday bloggers. Unlike the Google AdSense black box, we are palms up when it comes to revenue share and give bloggers the lions share of advertising dollars that they deserve.”
“I find it laughable that high profile bloggers like TechCrunch aren’t being penalized in the same way. Perhaps it’s the fact that they use AdSense. Perhaps it’s the fact that they are silicon valley insiders and are invited to special Google events.”
They are certainly harsh words, with the claims of monopolization, and favouritism quite brutal, and probably slightly on the side of being fairy tales.
Whatever Google’s motives may be, this is sure to adversely affect PayPerPost’s standing as a way of making money. I can see a lot of bloggers ditching the service in an attempt to drag themselves back in to Google’s good books, and reclaim their Google Page Rank.