Last fortnight, Google reduced the Page Rank of Stanford Daily from 9 to 7 because that website was selling text link ads. It was later confirmed by Google that PageRank scores were being lowered for some sites that sell links.
Well, that may have picked up steam as Google PageRank values of several prominent sites have taken a hit during this week. Some examples:
Washingtonpost.com – from 7 to 5
Statcounter.com – from 10 to 8 (and 6 in some other Google data centers)
MasterNewMedia.org – from 7 to 6 (and 4 in some other Google data centers)
Problogger.net – from 7 to 4
Blogherald.com – from 6 to 4 is some Google data centers.
TechCrunch, BoingBoing, NYTimes and other popular web properties that do not sell text links have retained their Google PageRank score.
Related: Google PageRank and Other Tools
Note: Google PageRank can be different across different data centers as the new scores may not have been propagated to them.
If the PageRank of a site is lowered by Google, there may not be any visible dip in search engine traffic immediately but that could change in the long run. Use rel=”nofollow” if are to sell text links on a site and avoid getting penalized by Google.