In October Google began futzing with the PageRank of sites. Google apparently targeted sites which were selling advertising and/or links and not including the rel=”nofollow” tag on the link. PlanetMike.com was hit with a penalty of moving from a PageRank of 6 down to a 4. At first I wasn’t concerned, but then got to wondering if I was also missing out on referrals when people searched the web using Google. I also sat down and really thought about what I was trying to accomplish with the web site. Yes, earning a living is up there. But a lot of the ads were simply distracting, and I ended up deciding to remove all of the ads from my site. I asked Google for a “re-inclusion request” and about a week later, my PageRank went back to 6.
The question becomes, did the traffic I receive from Google change during the time my PageRank was reduced? It doesn’t appear so. Here is a chart for the three months of August 22, 2007 through November 21, 2007 (click it to enlarge).
Referrals from www.google.com are the blue line, and the maroon line is any Google site, images, international, and their main site. My PageRank was reduced from around October 25 until the first week of November. The traffic looks fairly regular, although it did increase in mid-October.
Is there a correlation between PageRank and referral?