Google has officially proclaimed that it doesn't like webmasters trying to hawk their lofty PageRank status to other sites.
In an update to its Webmaster Guidelines, the world's largest search engine says that any attempt to "pass PageRank" could result in a PageRank plummet.
"Some SEOs [search engine optimizers] and webmasters engage in the practice of buying and selling links that pass PageRank, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites," the update reads. "Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google's webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact a site's ranking in search results."
PageRank - essentially a measure of a site's importance to the web at large - is an integral part of the way Google orders search results. A site with a high PageRank can often boost the status of a less-popular site simply by linking to it. As a result, popular sites often provide such links in exchange for cash.