Nov 022007

I first came across some rather frightening Google rumors at Google Lady’s blog, yesterday. Then, in my hunt for further verification I came across the original post at The Google Rumor Mill, from a couple of weeks ago. I’m not familiar with the history of either of these sites, but considering the post (identical on both sites) starts with “During a recent meeting with a Google engineer it was revealed to me…” Just like an urban legend the lack of a reliable answer to the question of who was in the supposed meeting leads me to believe that this is all just someone’s idea of a prank or a grab for attention. But I figured I’d share the following rumors with you anyway-

  1. “The infamous PageRank (PR) is going to be no more. All toolbar PR data will be reset to zero and PR will never be coming back (this is why we have been waiting so long for the update).” Supposedly this will be occurring in mid-November, but these two unreliable sources seem to be the originators of the story, so I’m not too worried. I just got my PR3 and am pretty happy with it. I’d much rather have PR go away completely then to have mine reduced. At least if it’s gone forever the advertising companies that determine the value of your blog based on PR will have to find a more realistic measure of success.
  2. “With the increase of click fraud and invalid, unintentional clicks, Google are bringing in a system designed to prevent someone clicking on an advert unless they actually want to. The system they are implementing will mean when someone clicks on your AdSense ads a box will appear telling them that the link they just clicked is a PPC advert and it will ask them if they want to visit the sponsored link.” This seems patently ridiculous on its face. Why would Google make it MORE difficult for people to click on their ads? This would cost them much more money then it would the Adsense publishers.
  3. “Google are removing all backlink data from the search engine and from Google webmaster tools and analytics.” This one just doesn’t make any sense at all. What would be the benefit of doing this? Removing useful features that your competitors also have is not a way to increase market share.
  4. “Unfortunately not many people used the rel=”nofollow” attribute and it kind of died out. So in november Google are replacing it with a rel=”dofollow” attribute which will tell the Google bot what links you DO want it to follow. It will simply ignore all links with no attribute or the rel=”nofollow” attribute, it will only crawl rel=”dofollow” links.” First of all, “nofollow” is far from dead. It’s used all over the place. Second of all, this is essentially saying that Google will ignore 90%+ of the existing links on the internet. What would be the purpose of this? It would only lead to the complete abandonment of any site not built primarily for SEO. Relevance would become irrelevant and would be living the dream of being the next Google.

Wait! I think I just discovered the answer. This whole rumor is just a trick by to undermine people’s faith in Google. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Now I must go iron my tinfoil hat…

  2 Responses to “Dismissing Google PageRank Rumors”

  1. […] PageRank ratings have been goin’ a bit crazy again tonight. Is it possible the Google Rumors I scoffed at a couple weeks back were actually true? Some people seem to think so. I guess […]

  2. I saw a little blurb on this rumor as well and decided to check it out. I have yet to see any verification from the Google site itself (Google > About > Search This Site), the one place that would surely have something on this issue if it were true.

    The last time Google went crazy with the massive changes around the holiday seasons, it sent many sites that were in top positions in the sandbox which caused great public relations nightmares for them. I doubt they would make such dire changes at this time of the year again because it might make other search engines seem like a better option in usage.

    The whole thing about having surfers click on Adsense ads only to click on another link to verify they want to see an ad would only serve to make honest people using Adsense look for another context ad program, and believe me I would be the first to jump ship if they ever did that. If someone came to my site and clicked on such nonsense, I doubt they would even come back to my site thinking I might be up to something.

    But what about the advertisers who would lose potential customers that are turned off by this gesture? They would lose advertisers as well as webmasters. Google would be a fool to take such drastic steps at this time of the year when all they have to do is create different algorithm patterns and security check points that do not require interaction from the target audience that doesn’t benefit from the Google/Advertiser/Webmaster triangle.

    Google would not merely leak out a story like this without some PR to deal with the rumors.

  3. Welcome, J!

    Well, considering this rumor came out more than a year ago and not a single one of its predictions has come to pass I think we can all rest rather easy that it was all BS from the get-go.

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