A couple of days ago, several bloggers reported that Google has dropped the PageRank of some high profile websites for selling links. Today, WebProNews reported on it as well. It seems that none of the sites who lost PageRank saw any corresponding loss in traffic. This news tells me two things:
- PageRank and traffic are not really connected. You can have a high PageRank and low traffic or vice-versa. You can have high PageRank and high traffic or low PageRank and low traffic. One does not lead to the other, therefore, why are link prices connected to PageRank when the only real benefit you get from buying links is the traffic. I mean, seriously, PageRank is nice and all, but traffic can lead to more dollars. PageRank can’t.
- The other thing this tells me is that Google is serious about link sellers. They don’t like them. This is understandable since some link sellers are really selling PageRank. The reason they do this is because many people perceive that the PageRank of a linking site is worth something. To be fair, it used to be. That was before link selling grew to be as popular as supply-side economics.
Since link selling is frowned upon by Google and links really are valuable as traffic sources more than for anything else, web owners who would pay for a link should carefully consider where they buy them. The days of buying a link so you can piggyback off the PageRank of another website in order to increase your own link popularity are all but gone. I’m not saying don’t buy links. Just buy links, if you’re going to buy them, from high traffic websites that can send you the kind of traffic that will make you money – that is, relevant traffic.