Gaming Google PageRank: Why I no Longer Trust Google PageRank

google pagerank
Google PageRank

Google PageRank sells – that’s why some smart but unethical website owners are gaming Google PageRank using black hat marketing techniques to drive quality backlinks to their sites.

Recently, Google PageRank (or popular as PR) has just been updated. It’s a mixed feeling to us online entrepreneurs – our hard work pays off when we see our sites improve in PageRank, but there are some unethical website owners game PageRank to scam people for personal gain.

Does PageRank still matter?

We do know that PageRank is no longer matter that much anymore, but PageRank stil appeal to attract advertisers. So, yes – Google PageRank still matters, somehow.

Most advertisers want both traffic and link juice, so websites that “nofollow” links (adding HTML tag rel=”nofollow” to the anchor texts) won’t attract that kind of advertisers. So, unless your websites has tons of incoming traffic – especially organic traffic coming from the search engines – using your PageRank to attract advertisers is probably the most effective way to make your website money.

Of course, Google resents buying and selling links for PageRank building purpose. However, it seems that so many websites are escaping from Google penalties for paid links… it makes me think that Google algorithms are not yet able to detect between paid links or bait links (paid links: pay/receive money for linking, bait links: voluntary linking due to the usefulness of your content.)

In fact, I learn from webmasters forums that some are successfully tricking Google to rank their sites high – using black hat methods, obviously.

One site in question is a web directory,, which has just getting a PageRank 9 – a better PageRank than the authoritative web directories, such as Yahoo! Directory (PR 7) and DMOZ/Open Directory Project (PR 7.) You can read more about it from this blog post published on my

How to game Google Pagerank and why you should not do it

If you are curious about how to game Google PageRank, here’s the “secret”: It seems that some of those high PageRank directories are using similar strategy – hack a high PageRank site, place a code (or even a blank image) on it to link back to the target website – all look invisible to site visitors’ eyes.

We all know the drill – get links from high PageRank sites to point to your site, and you will eventually get a high PageRank. The algorithm behind PageRank calculation is complex, but the concept is that simple.

Google and the other search engines hate such practice, obviously; other website owners are also furious about it; clients will soon discover they were scammed… the bottom line is, such strategy is “effective” in fooling Google into ranking the site high and fooling clients and advertisers to send money to the site, but that wouldn’t last for long.

The hacked sites will eventually realise they were got hacked and delete the links; Google will soon realise that the site uses illegal strategy to build the business website, and will penalise, even ban the site eventually; angry clients could call their lawyers and file a lawsuit against the business site.

So eventually, the truth will prevail. That is why you should NOT take such path to make money online and build an online business, unless your online entrepreneurship strategy involves a series of short-term profits generated by scamming people.

Some words of advice…

Small business owner – if you use web promotion methods to grow your business, be sure that you know what you are doing when buying ad spots; make sure that you partner with real websites offering real value. If you smell something fishy, just avoid the websites and move on – there are plenty of genuine websites that offer real value for advertisers.

Business website owner – if you want to have a long online entrepreneurial journey, I assure you not to take the black hat methods, especially if you see yourself as an ethical business person. This is simply because there is nothing ethical in such methods of making money online.

What’s your opinion regarding this matter? Do you think Google PageRank still offers businesses value with the presence of all those scammy website owners?

Ivan Widjaya
On webpreneurship and Google PageRank