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Google Goes after the Everyday Blogger

Last night Google decided to go after some of the bloggers in our network, reducing their PR from whatever they previously had to zero. Once again 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. Either way I don't see the difference between a sponsored post in our system or this sponsored post. Both are paid for, neither use no-follow.

While this has only effected a fraction of our bloggers it is significant enough that I have decided to fast track the release of IZEA's RealRank system prior to the role out of SocialSpark. This will cause a slight delay in Alpha key distribution as we need to implement a RealRank option in PayPerPost and that will take some work.

What does this mean for Advertisers?
If you are still using PR as your measure for influence you will be missing out on a lot a great blogs and bloggers. While the general population has maintained their ranking some of our better bloggers have been hit by Google. You may want to consider using Tacks and Alexa instead of PR for future campaigns until we implement RealRank.

What does this mean for Bloggers?
If you have been hit by Google unfortunately there is little we can do. We know that Google PR does not reflect your actual traffic and it is sad that Google chooses to over look that to protect their own bottom line. We now know from some of our friends inside of Google (thanks "bob") that they are now looking for phrases such as PPP, PayPerPost,ReviewMe, Payu2blog, etc. in the text of your post. For that reason I would suggest refraining from using any type of this text in the body of your posts, sponsored or not. When you disclose thank the sponsor, not PPP.

This is Censorship.
One of our programmers actually had his blog de-ranked last night because he mentions PPP often as an employee. He has never taken a sponsored post, nor does he sell sponsored links. He is simply blogging about his day to day experience here. I find this outrageous. I encourage you to write to Google and your Congressmen.


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Comments (RSS)

Jenn said...

Thank you for posting this, and thank you for - as a company - stepping up to the plate to make changes so that we are judged by our actual traffic and other stats, and not Google's snobbish rank assessment.

Nov 15, 2007 11:00:17 AM

Jules said...

I'm just not convinced they are targeting blogs who do sponsored post, regardless of what company they are posting for. My companies website went from a PR4 yesterday to a PR0 today. Do you think they penalized my company, because a "Postie" works for them?

Nov 15, 2007 12:13:19 PM

Amanda said...

"monopolistic stranglehold"

I couldn't have said it better myself!

Thanks for posting this, Ted. I had a severe drop in opps lately thanks to this Google fiasco, and I'm glad you and the PPP/Izea team are working on making things easier for us posties.

Nov 15, 2007 12:32:57 PM

Owen said...

I've been seeing PR fluctuate for a number of sites over the last couple of weeks. Could this not simply be the usual PR dance when an update happens?

Still this "bob" thing is pretty interesting ... I'm sure traditional advertising networks (keke .. can't believe I called AdSense traditional) must be seeing the rise of User Generated Content and paid blogging hurting their bottom line, so guerrilla tactics wouldn't be surprising ...

Nov 15, 2007 12:34:43 PM

Heather in Beautiful British Columbia said...

That's it - I'm removing the adsense nonsense from my blogs - it never paid anyway and is wasting important sidebar space.

You guys rock - thanks for jumping on this so quickly. Love ya all!

Nov 15, 2007 12:46:42 PM

Lisa Renee said...

I agree with Jules, even CNN had a page rank of zero last night and still today has a PR of zero through the 72 Google Data centers and my one blog that has never done a paid post dropped from a 4 to a zero. Sure it hurt to see one of my blogs go from a 6 to a 5 then to a 3 and that could be related to paid blogging since at that time my non-paid blog remained a 4 but something else appears to be going on with Google right now.

Nov 15, 2007 12:50:40 PM

Lori said...

Like I said blog was a PR4, accepted to PPP 2 weeks ago, was only doing ppp on it for 1 week, and then my blog went to a 3 and 0..all in a weeks time. I think it has everything to do with PPP. My nonppp blogs are just fine.

Nov 15, 2007 12:51:54 PM

Teresa said...

I was upset to see my PR5 blog dip to PR4 and PR3 but to wake up today and find it at a PR0 is very upsetting.

As far as I'm concerned, advertising is advertising regardless of the company any of us choose to do it for, whether it's in a posts, in a link, in links in the sidebar or even *gasp* Google adsense.

I'm happy to hear that you all are trying to implement the new ranking system. I hope this will benefit all of us because I know there are so many blogs out there that get loads of traffic but their PR's never reflect that. Some do paid posts and other's do not.

Thanks for all of the hard work you guys and gals are putting in.

Nov 15, 2007 12:52:35 PM

Jules said...

I'm seeing at a PR9.

Nov 15, 2007 12:53:23 PM

Holly said...

Thank you for posting this and helping us blogger who have been effected out.

I agree we should let Google know that this is wrong and I will be writing my congressman because Google is creating a monopoly of the Internet and that as far as I know is illegal.

Nov 15, 2007 12:55:09 PM

Marisa said...

Thanks for staying on top of this, Ted. Pete and Trevor have been great at keeping us posted about developments, too.

Cake Plows all around!

Nov 15, 2007 12:57:23 PM

Lisa Renee said...

Using CNN is still a zero and so is TechCrunch:

Nov 15, 2007 12:59:35 PM

Lizzie said...

This is crazy, but I'm glad you're doing something about it. I have to agree that Google is trying to strangle advertising competitors and keep a short leash on the Web as a whole. It's outlandish.

Considering that your programmer has been delisted, I see that as a possible next step for the rest of us. Personally I won't be doing anything different on any of my blogs. I refuse to allow Google to dictate how I earn a living and what content goes on my own blog. It's ordinary folks like myself who have made Google the giant it is. They should be thanking us, not smacking us around.

Thanks for keeping on top of this, Ted. We all appreciate it.

Nov 15, 2007 1:08:46 PM

Jules said...

Mr. Fab who is an author here, and sat on the Fab Four panel at PostieCon is a PR3. I'll say it again, I don't think it's an association with PPP.

Nov 15, 2007 1:08:48 PM

Cass said...

Not blog about PPP? As I said on the boards, I refused to let you guys tell me how to blog, even though I love you to pieces. I'm certainly not going to allow Google to do so. In fact, I have a post in progress in another tab just this munute about meeting you.

I pay the hosting for my blogs, not Google, not TechCrunch, and not the other naysayers. Since that bill came due and was paid just yesterday, I'm good to go. I'll blog about the things I love, thanks.

Nov 15, 2007 1:10:01 PM

dragonfly183 said...

Its a 9 lisa, the site your using may not be working, try this one.

Nov 15, 2007 1:11:34 PM

Natalie said...

Thanks for what you're doing to help us out! I got kicked down too and appreciate all that you're doing.

Nov 15, 2007 1:22:06 PM

Lisa Renee said...

All of my blogs that had a page rank yesterday on rank alert now show zero, so either rank alert went down at the same time the google page rank started crashing last night or there is still a difference in what the data centers are reporting versus urltrends depending on where you go which adds to the confusion.

Url trends doesn't give you all 72 of the data centers which is why I didn't use it. When my pr dropped from a 5 to a 3 rank alert showed it before the custom ppp one did.

Nov 15, 2007 1:29:16 PM

Drew said...

I had 4 of my blogs smacked during Blog World Expo. In fact I had reserved a $35.00 op and within the time I took it to the time I submitted it my PR dropped from 5 to 3 for The BenSpark. And each other blog dropped to either a 3 or a 2. Today my blogs flatwater and The Wired Kayaker dropped to 0. I was hopping that ironically my blog google is not god (created during postiecon) would somehow get PR, that would be funny to me. One of my blogs that is not PPP yet is Read to me Dad and it ended up getting a PR of 2 and it isn't even two months old and has only 5 or 6 posts. Seriously messed up.

Nov 15, 2007 1:52:27 PM

Kate said...

My two sites that gained PR in the last update are now PR0. Of the two, I'd done several PPP entries on one, but only 1 PPP entry on the other. Is Google really dinging over 1 measly sponsored post?

Meanwhile, I'm holding on by the skin of my teeth to my PR at one blog where I'd done quite a few PPP entries.

I've removed AdSense from all of my blogs. If they want to mess with my income, I'll at least make sure that the few measly bucks I now make won't come from the hand that just slapped me!

Nov 15, 2007 2:08:45 PM

marcus said...

yeah, I think I'm a 0.

Nov 15, 2007 2:10:34 PM

skeet said...

A big mahalo to Ted, Pete, Trevor and all of you working behind the scenes to pull RealRank together. We big-pink-puffy heart you guys!

Nov 15, 2007 2:11:38 PM

mcangeli said...

I think this needs to be repeated louder and louder:

What does this mean for Advertisers?
If you are still using PR as your measure for influence you will be missing out on a lot a great blogs and bloggers. While the general population has maintained their ranking some of our better bloggers have been hit by Google. You may want to consider using Tacks and Alexa instead of PR for future campaigns until we implement RealRank.

Nov 15, 2007 2:20:14 PM

Mathew said...

While I do agree that Google has been doing some crappy things lately - Google is not (an cannot) be accused of censorship.

Censorship is a term that is reserved for governments against citizens. Google is a company and is free to dictate whatever rules it deems necessary to be successful (within the rule of law of course).

Contacting your congressman about Google is absurd. We, as citizens, have a choice in whether or not we use any of Google's services. If we don't agree with their rules, then we have choices. They are not the only game in town - there are plenty of other choices for blogging platforms, traffic, email, maps, etc . . . and it sounds like Izea has something in the works to take the place of PR anyways.


Nov 15, 2007 2:25:03 PM

dragonfly183 said...

Actually I read this on the boards earlier today.

the US and EU governments are currently reviewing GOOG's antitrust exposure in light of the DoubleClick deal. Any actions by GOOG to target publishers or advertising companies that are displacing AdSense would be relevant to their review. i think we need need to write our congressmen

Nov 15, 2007 2:48:40 PM

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