This site was PR5 a few days ago and due to the recent google pagerank update it is now PR3. Andy Beard's recent post about his blog's PR fluctuations has prompted me to write my own opinion on the subject of PageRank drops.
I love google for all the great services they provide but sometimes I don't understanding it/them.
I am selling advertising and I suppose google disapproves it, and this is my punishment. I have been selling links to advertisers that want to get a chance at driving GeoLand's visitors to their own sites. They must have thought that GeoLand visitors might be valuable for their own sites. I have not searched for them or posted about my willingness to put advertisement on my blog; Most advertisers have found me on their own.
I have been selling links for almost a year now. I never tried to hide the links from google with cloaking or any other trickery. I am not selling PR to the advertisers and I suppose they know it too, it was not a big deal of a PR anyway, just a PR5, and its not like it was earning me a fortune .... There are places that have been hit hard though. Aviva Directory and Alive Directory are now PR0 but a few months ago they were at PR7; Meanwhile the Yahoo directory is still at PR7. This is not the only example of Google's preferential treatment. I know lots of places that sell links from their High PR pages (and its obvious) that, not only did not get their PR dropped but actually raised since last update. I am not going to name any URLs, I am not an informer (i.e. nark, rat, stool, tattler) its not in me.
But, I am not willing to change my ways either. I am not going to put a nofollow attribute to declare non approval to the sites I am linking to. Not because Google has decided to punish me. If I put a nofollow its like accepting I was at fault, its like declaring to be google's marionette. I believe I did nothing wrong, google should actually see this. I do endorse the sites that I link to. I would not accept advertising a site that I don't approve of their content. Putting a nofollow on an advertisers link would not convince me to advertise a site I would not approve of. I have refused advertisers because I did not want to link to their websites. I would not want my visitors to see such links next to my posts. If I don't screen the advertising links I am going to loose the (little) respect that I have from GeoLand's visitors. If I put nofollow on the links I will be respecting neither GeoLand's visitors nor the advertisers.
I am not sad though, I knew google's thoughts on paid links and I knew it was coming but I could not betray my beliefs.