Breaking: Google Announces New “Pay Per Rank” System

by Jon Cooper

NOTE: This was an April fools joke. Nonetheless, enjoy 🙂

These last few weeks of debate over manipulating search results seem to have been the last straw for Google. After hearing the SEO community heavily discuss negative SEO, Google has decided that the only way to fight link spam is to make webmasters buy their way to the top of the SERPs.


Pay Per Rank (PPR), a new system designed to sell spots in organic search, is the final answer to the question “Is SEO Dead?” 

For those wondering the differences between PPR and PPC, PPR is a monthly fee to rank organically, while PPC is a click-based fee. PPR is calculated by search volume, so the cost to rank #1 for the keyword “car insurance” ($350,000) is much higher than a keyword like “Rand Fishkin’s beard” ($4).

Here’s what Matt Cutts, the head of the webspam team at Google, had to say about the new system:

At Google, we’re always trying to fight manipulation. Since only legitimate businesses would pay to rank higher organically, we thought the best solution would be for us to physically sell them positions in the search results. PPR ends the discussion on whether a site is black hat or white hat, and we can finally put our complete focus on user experience.

Like PPC, positions in organic search will be bid on. For those who lock in a price for 6 months or more, they will be given a 10% discount. This encourages sustainability in online businesses.

Based on their test implementation in Google Japan, where PPR has been active for the last 3 months, the first result costs on average 2.5 times more than the cost for the number two result.

Finally, the last important piece of the PPR puzzle is whether or not webmasters can buy multiple results for the same query. Here’s what Larry Page, the CEO of Google, had to say:

More than anything, our economy needs monopolies. That’s why we’re not only selling multiple results for the same queries to the same websites, but we’re also giving discounts to encourage this practice. Hopefully, one day we’ll be seeing the same websites ranking 3-4 times on the first page for their desired terms.

What do you guys think about PPR? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.

This post was written by...

Jon Cooper – who has written 129 posts on Point Blank SEO.

Jon Cooper is a link builder based out of Gainesville, FL. For more information on him and Point Blank SEO, visit the about page. Follow him on Twitter @PointBlankSEO.

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  1. Hah, thank goodness it’s April 1st.

    But at the same stage you nearly wouldn’t put it past Google….

  2. yea you got me, even opened up googles blog on blogspot – #wtf was I thinking. :p I totally forgot its april 1st. 🙁

    • Jon Cooper says:

      Haha :).

      Jon: 1. Joseph: 0.

      • Jon: 2, Joseph: 0, Richard: 0

        Try reading this post of the 26th of the month. My whole life flashed before my eyes. First I was thinking, I will be out of a job. Next I was thinking… didn’t ask.com do this years ago and thats why it flopped?

        OMG I just don’t know whats real anymore. lol

        That will teach me for leaving it so long to return to this blog 🙂

  3. Bryan says:

    So what does this mean for off-page SEO? Will link-building no longer play a significant role when trying to get higher rankings? It seems as if black-hat could be regulated easier than it is now, allowing those who actually practice white-hat SEO to not be penalized. Thoughts??

  4. Mike Ketcham says:

    Very well done Jon, you picked the perfect topic. No telling what Google may try next to improve the user experience.

  5. Glenn says:

    Like Larry Page says – what this economy needs is “more monopolies” ! Since most of my customers can’t afford $350,000 to be ranked number one, we’ve decided to pool our funds and hire a Private Investigator instead. This way, once we have collected enough dirt on Larry Page and Matt Cutts, we can Blackmail For Rank ! (BFR — I’ll have to get that patented.)

  6. Mark says:

    Nice joke! I believed it for about half a second since Yahoo used to offer a similar service a few years ago.

  7. Manuel says:

    Yes, and also I heard that if you follow @agoogler you get $50 bonus for your AdWords campaign. April Fools Day 😀

  8. Will Farley says:

    You had me until “More than anything our economy needs monopolies.” Ha! And I was literally just pranked 10 minutes ago over the phone.. gullible.

  9. Alex says:

    Great prank you had me all the way. April Fools!!

  10. Jon – Great April Fool’s post. I will add it to my list of SEO April Fool’s pranks. As much as I love the stuff that Google does, I think it’s even funnier to see what real SEOs do with the prank opportunity.

    I wrote my own Google 4/1 news: http://seotirical.com/google-link-redemption-program/, would love to hear your thoughts.


  11. Donna says:

    You had me even after “More than anything our economy needs monopolies.” I’m ashamed to admit I thought, “This is what our country has come to?” Maybe if it wasn’t a Sunday….

  12. Nice one Jon, April Fools has tricked a few people 😉

  13. Agustin says:

    Is it something like April fool, OR its real, do not you guys think by this way this search engine is going to put a question mark over its genuineness?

  14. Amit Yarashi says:

    Great April Fools post John. I had almost beleived it before seeing the comments.

  15. Andrew says:

    Damn, I always get fooled by these damn things. My heart was racing. I’m better off just not reading on April 1st. I remember a few years ago, Google had an April Fools about personally tailored display ads that were based on readings of biological samples taken from your toilet! And in return, you’d get free internet service. I fell for it. I told two people about it. Luckily, they were as gullible as I. I get ashamed just thinking about it.

  16. Tom says:

    lol, you almost got me here 🙂 I’ve almost started thinking how much would it be per month for my keywords. nice one.

  17. Bert says:

    Ok, i admit, thought i had a crazy feeling from te beginning, I read it with absolute disbelief 😉

  18. Farky says:

    I was laughing too much about “Rand Fishkin’s beard” to read on, it is a legendary beard so much so that i’m sure it has a $4 per click value!

  19. Imagine if they really did have a PPR. Keyword research would be king, not content. Also, I would buy Rand’s Beard for $4 (hope that doesn’t sound weird, Rand). Why not 🙂

  20. Ha! Though, imagine if this were true. Keyword research would be key, not content. And I’d definitely pay $4 for Rand’s beard. May sound weird, but may pull in qualified traffic to my Men’s bread trimmer site. The man’s got a nice beard, lol.

  21. Will Daniels says:

    You got me today for sure. I immediately ran a couple of search queries lol.

  22. A. H. says:

    Utter disbelief until I can down to the comments…

    Next year…next year….

  23. Dan Tabaran says:

    I thought I was going to lose my job ))) I need some fresh air )))

  24. Ha ha ha, this is too fantastic to be true. A well thought April Fool story! I love your imagination but then, knowing the way Google has been getting on Webmaster’s nerves of late, it would not surprise me if this is true.

  25. Man, I was about to have a heart attack, I´m not from USA…but as they said before, please don´t give Google ideas…

  26. nice one! geek humor 🙂

  27. Ken Howard says:

    Wow! Just read this and was truly scared. I was looking for the date this was posted because I thought it could be an April Fools joke. Thank God it is. To be honest, I wouldn’t put it past Google to implement this to some degree. Maybe rather than a permanent placement in SERPs, they might allow webmasters to pay for a PageRank.

  28. Ivan says:

    Should have read the comments before reading the article..good joke just do not let anyone at google read it please

  29. Ankit says:

    Lol, I read it bit late and i was astonished to see that .. How come its possible lol..
    later realized its not possible for sure and thanks to @Gareth A. Boyd’s comment which remind me that it was 1st April Post.. You should have mentioned date mate!!
    bdw, very nice try..

  30. Mark says:

    What the.. I read this very late and I don’t even think of April Fools day anymore.. haha! I was eager to read the comments and yeah, thank you that this is only a joke. Cheers!

  31. Holy Moly…..
    I just saw this now and it seriously increased my heart rate.
    We’re just a small firm and have invested heavily in SEO, this would sink us.. I’m 18 days late and don’t think i’ve ever been had so well for an April Fool’s day gag.
    Thank you very much, i think….

  32. Bob Weber says:

    I’m with Gareth, just read this and was like ‘How did I NOT know about this???’. That’s the thing I hate about April Fool’s posts, they hang around forever and trick me down the road when I’m not thinking about April Fool’s Day. Great one!

  33. taiwanese says:

    if i’m not wrong … baidu, the chinese search engine is using PPR system ~

  34. Sparrow says:

    Its not 1st April but you got my heart miss a beat 😉

    It was just once that Google was successful in this and now this time you got me. Ah, nice one, u shot me Point Blank 🙂

  35. Anna says:

    I was reading it 24 days later after 1st April and You almost ‘got me! Scarry!

  36. Phil T says:

    Haha. Very good Jon. I had my suspicions (even though it’s now the 25th Apr) however when I got to the “more monopolies” part I found myself scanning the page for a post date. At which point, when I couldn’t find one, I started thinking “OMG. Nah, surely not? Seriously? Pfft, that’s so very wrong.”

    Thank goodness for dated comments 😉

  37. You almost got me… Huuuuh

  38. Justin Smith says:

    The scary thing is that a couple search engines have actually have actually used a model like this in the past!

  39. Vince Lin says:

    Dude, PPR is not cool.. Not even as a joke.

  40. hahah that was hilarious … i didn’t notice the posted date and just share the article with my team …

  41. Tekaseo says:

    Great article may be its for fun but from to day i am going to announce new system for SEO that would be PWR not PPR, pay when rank, and i hope it helps both service provider and service seekers, read more on http://www.tekaseo.com/pay-when-rank.html

  42. Jon SEO says:

    Hey Jon……Seems like your April fools joke came true with Google’s recent announcement of the end of free inclusion in Merchant centre: http://www.i-fluid.co.uk/6/blog/post/34/google-merchant-centre-the-end-of-free-inclusion

    Now you can buy your way above organic results in a format thats not obviously PPC. What are your thoughts?


  43. My heart just missed a beat while reading this article. If I’m not wrong, Yahoo had something similar and now Google as well? Should have read the comments…

  44. tech bee says:

    ha ha ha…. Yeppp.. Nice Jokes

Breaking: Google Announces New “Pay Per Rank” System - Point Blank SEO