Google Dance is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) professional term referring to the period of time when Google indices are tuned. According to Wikipedia Google Dance often cause "both a fluctuation in index size as well a significant change in a web site's search result position." A week ago, on Wednesday morning October 24, the world was witnessing an electronic Tsunami of reports from around the web reported about famous websites and blogs having their Google PageRank value significantly decreased during the recent performance of the Google dancer.
Seomoz.org, a Seattle-based SEO blog and a hub for search marketers worldwide, followed-up and put up this list with some prominent websites that got hit. A few examples would be autoblog.com (from PR6 to PR4), forbes.com (from PR7 to PR5), engadget.com (from PR7 to PR5), copyblogger.com from (PR6 to PR4) and the famous blogger johnchow.com who now has to get up in the morning to a new PR4 blog, rather than the PR6 he was used to.
So what is going on?
According to Seomoz.org the most reasonable explanation for the recent change, that seem to be going further than we use to, is that the losses are "primarily a result of Google's continuing public relations campaign against paid linking." Opening the doors for corporate capital to override "people's voice" which is how Google have always seen their PR algorithm, Paid Linking is everything but how Google want to see their multi-billion dollar machine ranking Internet pages. I stumbled up this explanation in a few more blogs. Some even suggest that, as opposed to how things are usually done with Google, this time there seem to be some kind of manual override and that some websites are simply "being punished".
It is not clear if Google indeed seeks to eliminate the entire Paid Link industry. Yet, I agree with Loren Baker of searchenginejournal.com that "if Paid Linking houses use PageRank as a pricing metric, then eliminating or devaluing PageRank will devalue paid linking" so this is definitely an option here. Furthermore, Techcrunch reported yesterday that even though, normally Google update page rank once every three months, sometimes not that often", the recent PR "downgrade" of a broad range of blogs was in fact the third Google dance in October 2007. This never happened before and something is definitely going on with Google PageRank.
Above image is sourced from www.answers.com/topic/pagerank. More about possible future scenarios for the Paid Link industry in this article by dailyblogtips.com title The Future of Paid Linking and more about Google PageRank on this Wikipedia article. Oh yes, this recent PR "zetz" was actually pretty good for my blog as it was upgraded from PR2 to PR3. I guess one's loss can sometimes be someone else's cause for celebration. Is that a cruel world or what?