About 4 years ago my blog “Howto Spotter” went from visual page rank 5 to page rank 3. Google “Love” seem to have run out for me at that point. And while it actually didn’t impact my traffic or ability to rank for keywords – it did kill my ability to sell advertising space on this blog and since than I was primarily using affiliate ads on my blog.

While I did signup for “Text Link Ads” marketplace network, and it was one of the more popular and one that got hit by Google when they decided to punish link selling – I never actually participated in selling, kind of lost interest in it before I could sell anything.

Since then I have tried multiple things to address the ranking all to no avail as my page rank remained unchanged. While as mentioned above – my ability to rank and my traffic didn’t get impacted – growth did slow down, although it could be attributed to other factors as well. This post is a recount of my attempts to re-mediate the problem, perhaps it will help you if you are in same situation…

I do freely admit that about 5 years ago I have participated and actually initiated a “link building carousel’ which at the time seemed like a good idea and since similar was done by many bloggers at the time – didn’t think it would be anything bad. My personal best guess – it was perhaps one of the factors attributing to penalty.

So here are the steps I took to fix any possible issues with this blog, that go against Google Webmaster Guidelines:

  • Removed Dead Links, including those from comments on older posts. I used a free application Xenu that allows you to scan entire site and find dead links. Several hundred links had to be deleted by hand.
  • Removed “Bad” Links. I used a paid version of XPELO application that once again allows you to scan entire site, find links that lead to “bad” sites or Google Banned sites and removed them. Also quite a few links had to be removed, mostly from comments on old posts.
  • Wiped Out Link Carousel – since this specific activity was one of the suspects, I edited any post that referenced it and removed all links from them. Interestingly enough – most of those links led to bad sites or sites banned by Google anyway. This was an old, very old post and 99% of the blogs that took part in it sees to exist and seem their domains were purchased by spammers.
  • Submitted Blog For Reconsideration – I think I’ve done it once or twice in attempt to fix the problem – but never actually got any results and kind of stopped trying.

As you can see – work completed above required quite an effort and when it failed to produce any results, I decided to just let it go, until yesterday. While reading a blog post by Andy Beard I noticed that he managed to get hold of Matt Cutts via Twitter and figured – what the heck, worth a try!

So I decided to follow the suite and surprisingly enough – Matt responded, my converstation provided below:


And I missed one part of conversation – last reply from Matt was:


I don’t know if my re-consideration request will bring any results or not but this is my last attempt to do anything about Visual Page Rank that Google provides to the sites.

While in reality that measurement doesn’t actually do anything for my site – it is part of what many people use to evaluate authority of the site overall, and like it or not, it is part of the blogging ego 🙂