It seems that with the latest PageRank update Performancing has been nuked down from a 7 to a 4.
The idealists will tell you that this doesn’t matter. That PageRank is obsolete. On certain days, I’m one of those idealists.
But the fact is that Performancing depends, for its success, on perceived authority. And like it or not, the majority of people in this niche still perceive authority based on a single factor – a little green bar.
Honestly, I’m not quite sure what the best response to Google’s act of aggression is. So I’m turning to you. I’ve always believed that community intelligence is much greater than individual intelligence. And I think that the best answer for how to proceed will derive from the comment section…so please do be part of the solution;-)
First, let me list the facts:
- Performancing, based on principle, has supported the idea of sponsored themes.
- Performancing discusses PageRank on its advertising page and offers to sell links. We have sold a very small quantity of links. Perhaps 6-10 over the last 9 months.
- Performancing has indeed done a few sponsored posts, but sponsored posts have always been fully disclosed.
- Performancing changed its link structure in the previous quarter.
- Performancing encourages its authors to use real-life examples and to link-out to their own sites.
- The majority of outgoing links on Performancing point to sites that are A) run by Performancing authors and B) are completely relevant to the Performancing niche.
- Performancing has had massive success (both in human response and link gain) over the last 6 months as our themes and our pMetrics stats package have been very well received. This points to site growth and momentum.
- Performancing’s Alexa growth over the last 6 months is completely natural and consistently strong. This points to site growth and momentum, which you’d hope Google might reflect in PageRank.
So now, what are our options?
- Ignore Google and proceed as if PageRank is irrelevant, build great services, launch an ad-network and just brute force our way to being a counterexample to PageRank
- Ask someone like Matt Cutts for a advice and a specific action set that will get Performancing back into the good graces of Google.
- Add nofollow to all outbound links
- Drop all paid and sponsored links of all kind
- Go on a massive flame-bait campaign, ripping into Google for it’s abusive use of power and the utter incompetency of its single indicator of site importance;-) This of course would be fun but maybe not effective.
Those are the options as I see them. The problem with 1) is just that Performancing depends on its authority status. the problem with 2) is that I once called Matt Cutts The Link Nazi. The problem with 3) is that most of our outbound links are completely relevant and natural and nofollow is really quite silly. The problem with 4) is that we’d be abandoning our theme sponsorship principle (not to mention that there are plenty of sites receiving links from sponsored themes without penalty). Since we don’t really do a lot of business with paid links, it might be best to drop them all together. The problem with 5) is that Google is known to act like a friendly dictator, forgiving the people with power and resources and loving on those who are willing to get into bed.
So, Performancing community, what is the best course of action for Performancing at this point regarding PageRank?