Google doesn’t like nofollow PageRank sculpting. Here’s what you need to know!
 by Casey Markee

Google doesn't like nofollow PageRank sculpting. Here's what you need to know!

  • Have you done any testing on the "nofollow is bad" recommendation that Google nofollow-graphic.jpghas made during the latter half of 2009? I don't want to embark on any major site changes unless I really have to. What suggestions do you have for me?

Answer: As we detailed in our July Search Engine Strategies update, at the June 2009 SMX Advanced Conference, Google's Matt Cutts informed the audience that Google changed the way the rel=nofollow tag works in their algorithm. He noted that as of some time last year they've treated links with the nofollow tag the same way as regular links in the PageRank distribution of a page. Which means, instead of being able to save link juice (PageRank) to pass along to only links without the nofollow tag on the page, that valuable link juice just "evaporates".

However, as much as Google says that using the rel=nofollow tag will be ignored they still go on to say that they want you to use it for paid links (like advertisements). The point to take away from all this is that you shouldn't expect any SEO benefits to using that tag for internal links on your site.

Instead, Google recommends that if you want to control the flow of PageRank around your site don't include links on your home page to those less-important pages you would have previously nofollowed. However, this could easily cause a user navigation issue. Obviously, we believe you should include links from your higher PageRank value pages to whatever you feel is necessary to provide your visitors the best possible navigation around your site.

To get around the controversy on the nofollow tag we do have an alternative that has stood up to our testing. Again, this is something that we covered in detail in the

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