Remember the "good old days" when EVERYBODY hated Microsoft, and Bill Gates was the devil in (geek) disguise???
Well, guess what? In Redmond, they're laughing their heads off these days, because the heat is off them and onto Google!
..or so it seems!
Poor Google are now in trouble 'cause everyone thinks they're out to get 'them' if you sell advertising on your sites designed to pass link popularity to the buyer's site/s.
Hardest hit seems to be sites using Text Link Ads (and similar), as well as those sites which seem to be a part of a network (blog networks such as b5 Media are an excellent example).
The screaming (and conspiracy theories) has arisen due to a page rank drop in some of the more well known and popular sites, and Google is once again the devil incarnate!
It's really become rather tiresome to hear everyone carry on like they just lost a limb, when their page rank went down, but it's not like Google didn't warn them this was going to happen!
Heck, Matt Cutts (Google's golden haired anti-spam poster child) has made more than 1 post to his blog discussing Google's dissatisfaction with people trying to manipulate their search engine results by purchasing text links designed to build link popularity.
People…if this wasn't a HUGE big warning to you that Google aint gonna stand for this stuff, then all I can say is that you deserve all the lost pagerank you got!
Folks, whether you like it or not, it's Google's search engine, and if they don't want you gaming their system, then that's their choice! Besides, you should be smart enough to not totally rely on Google for all your traffic - that's my 1st lesson from all this, and the other takeaway is that if you stick to Google's basic rules (ie. don't try and scam their search engine results), you'll be less effected by these internet seismic eruptions and the fall-out that ALWAYS happens after such an event!
If you build your business on a single pillar (eg. just Google/Search Engine Traffic), you'll take a tumble ONE DAY, so you should get started NOW building MULTIPLE sources of traffic to your site. I might even explain how to do that one day … soon. :-)
Finally, here's some commentary on the web about this Page Rank update & Google Shake Out:
(Thanks to Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land for the above list)
To finish this discussion, here's some wise words from a wise man - Mr Pro Blogger himself (Darren Rowse). Read, learn, enjoy AND put into practise!
Get building QUALITY content folks, and let Google worry about Page Rank. Stop trying to scam the system and you've got a much better chance of succeeding in the long term.