Can PageRank sculpting get my site penalized?
 by Casey Markee

Can PageRank sculpting get my site penalized?

  • What do you think about sculpting PageRank to emphasize specific pages over others? Can this strategy lead to a possible over-optimization penalty in the search engines?

Answer: We discussed this topic in some detail in our report...

How to Manipulate Google's Indexing Spider to Get ALL the Listings your Site Deserves

In that report we stated that site owners can use the nofollow link attribute to control how PageRank flows around a site. The nofollow attribute is used to tell search engines that a specific link should not pass PageRank (i.e. link juice).

Placing the nofollow attribute on a link means the link won't boost rankings. For Google, it also means they won't crawl that link to index the page being linked to, although they may crawl and indexed the page from other links that don't use nofollow. Other search engines will crawl and index nofollowed pages but won't pass link juice to them.

We recommend using nofollow to de-emphasize your unimportant pages, saving your link juice for pages that are more important and deserve higher emphasis. Examples of such pages you may want to nofollow include contact us pages, privacy policy pages, and about us pages.

Often times these pages are linked from every page on your site via your sidebar menu or footer. That makes sense, since you want them to be easily accessible to visitors, but it's unlikely that you want these pages to outrank your more important product pages.

For example, let's say you have a PageRank 5 page that links to five other pages, all of which are PageRank 3. Two of those pages are important product pages, but the rest are unimportant pages like your privacy policy, your internal search engine, and a con...

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