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Nofollow On External Links To Preserve Pagerank?


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12 replies to this topic

#1 EricLaszlo

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 09:34 AM

Hi, Folks --

I was told by my contact at a company I'm working with on SEO (specifically link building - that's another issue, I know) that I should apply rel=nofollow to all my external links so as not to dissipate my own site's pagerank/link juice/whatever you want to call it.

This seemed a little odd to me, since, if rel=nofollow really does prevent the googlebots from seeing or counting a link, I don't think that Google would reward a page or a site that in some way was circumventing one of their central mechanisms for determining relevance and rank.

Your thoughts are appreciated.

Eric

#2 Randy

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 12:00 PM

Sounds like the folks you're working with has bought into the old PageRank sculpting theory hook, line and sinker. But do not understand what they're talking about or the implications of doing it.

If they do this they're going to create a very, very UN-natural link graph for their site. Which is likely to raise red flags and cause the engines to put the site under greater scrutiny than would otherwise be the case.

In short, it's a bad idea. And is a total misuse of rel=nofollow.

You may want to conduct a search for some of the things Matt Cutts has posted or said about the subject of nofollow's and PageRank sculpting.

#3 Ron Carnell

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 01:41 PM

I agree with Randy.

Think of links as currency. Telling a business not to spend their money foolishly might seem to make sense, right? But telling a business not to spend their money AT ALL? Everyone knows you have to be willing to spend money to make money. It's not greatly different with links. Hoarding PR will be no less destructive in the long run than hoarding money.


#4 1dmf

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 05:03 PM

I agree with Randy also.

However, obviously there is a place for 'no follow' especially if it is a paid advert you have placed purely for the $$$$ and not because you affiliate yourself with the site or even 'vote' for it.

I also believe there may be some benefit to PR sculpting when applied to your own site. OK PR is G!'s PR, not yours so G! says, but surely your own websites PR is yours regarding your own website, ok not for selling or manipulating other websites ranking.

But I don't see why it can't be used as a tool to promote certain pages on your own site over other pages. I've applied slight PR sculpting to my current site's internal linking and so far, i've not seen any adverse affects, infact my rankings have double in the last 6 months, but in no way am I attributing it to having PR sculpted anything. 'perl with fusion charts' seems to be a big keyword since the GRE open source project, nice one Randy wink1.gif

So as things currently stand I just haven't seen an adverse effect using PR sculpting to acheive the effect of telling G! to index my 'contact us' page, just don't give it any PR!

Randy -> Now I know you are going to tell me that there may be the potential that if the only link to an internal page has the rel='nofollow' attribute, G! might consider that page to be orphaned, but checking the site: operator it hasn't fell out the index.

Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

#5 Randy

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 06:56 PM

I wouldn't tell you that at all 1dmf. Google themselves have said No Follow doesn't mean they don't actually follow the link after all, so a nofollow'd page is not really orphaned is it? wink1.gif

The problem I've always seen (and had) with PageRank Sculpting is that far too many folks try it and have no earthly idea what they're doing. Hence they have no business even considering PR Sculpting, let alone doing it.

Ron: That's a great analogy! Mind if I borrow it next time I have to explain to someone why it's a really, really stupid idea to attempt to hoard PageRank?

#6 Michael Martinez

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 06:57 PM

If you nofollow all outbound links the PageRank will still be disbursed across the indexed Web. You cannot preserve PageRank. It just wasn't designed to work that way.


#7 Shamon

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 08:21 PM

6 months ago I added no follows to all the links on my homepage...it seemed like a good idea at the time. The out-links were to other pages in the site, our web design company, a lawyer who specialized in my industry, and to the google local page for the business.

A few days later, we dropped in SERP rankings...

I had no idea why but changed the no follows back.

a few weeks later our site recovered...granted there were some other changes to the site.

On a practicle note, G relys on "yes follow" links to index the web. If we withold links, I cant see why their agenda would be any further ahead, maybe they use this factor to help in their rankings...that is, if you stop their robot from doing its job, then big brother G may get upset?...in grade 4 I kicked a cat belonging to my friends hot sister...she refused to walk home from school with me after that incident....in law school I did the same thing...with the same basic result.

I understand that maybe G will index nofollow links but not transfer pagerank, but if a webmaster felt a site was so undeserving, why would he or she link to it in the firstplace. Blogs and forums are different because they can have a no index tag for the entire page. Surely G has considered the question of causality on the nofollow...the only answer is that somebody is breaking the googden rule of...NO LINK BUYING...

Argue with me...

#8 1dmf

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:20 AM

phew.gif , I'm glad of that.

I guess as i've not blocked flow so to speak only slightly chanelled it, I'm unlikely to see the effect be it good or bad.

Trying to hoard ALL pagerank as you say Randy probably looks dodgy to the G! algo, which might be where the problems then start.

It's not like I don't want to 'spend' my PR, just try to manage the budget, like any good business needs to do.

I guess i'm like a magpie and that 'fools gold' shines far to bright for me to ignore it lol.gif





#9 Michael Martinez

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 05:00 PM

You're not "sculpting" PR -- you're whacking it with a hacksaw and hoping it doesn't fall on your head. You cannot track or measure it and you sure cannot decide where it will flow.

The best way to shape the flow of PageRank around a Website is to add more links pointing to the pages you feel are most important.

And that is EXACTLY what Google has been advising people to do since all this PageRank sculpting nonsense came up 2-1/2 years ago.

#10 Connie

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 05:22 PM

QUOTE
I was told by my contact at a company I'm working with on SEO (specifically link building - that's another issue, I know) that I should apply rel=nofollow to all my external links so as not to dissipate my own site's pagerank/link juice/whatever you want to call it.

I wonder if were talking about PR Sculpting, Or Leaking.

A lot of SEOs believe if you link to an external site you loose some PR from the linking site. I do not think that is true. I think that is where Ron's analogy breaks down.

I don't think the linking page looses any PR because of outgoing links. How much PR can pass from the original linking page will depend on the number of outgoing links on a page.

In my understanding of Sculpting what your trying to do is maximize how much PR is passed. At one time Matt Cutts said sculpting would work. He has since back tracked on that statement.

#11 Ron Carnell

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 09:04 PM

QUOTE
A lot of SEOs believe if you link to an external site you loose some PR from the linking site. I do not think that is true. I think that is where Ron's analogy breaks down.

LOL. I am NOT having this discussion again.

Suffice it to say, Connie, that what you think and what the math tells us are clearly at odds; you are wrong, the math is right. Fortunately, it doesn't matter. Whether PR is finite or infinite is largely irrelevant in practical terms. And it's certainly irrelevant to this discussion.


#12 Connie

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 11:27 PM

Could be Ron. I'm certainly no one to debate an issue like this with you. I'm just a "Old MO Hillbilly". In my simple way of looking at things it does not make sense to me that Google wood penalize a site for linking out to other sites.

In my simple mind that is what the theory of "PR Leak" does.

Based on the OP question I think my thoughts are relevant to the discussion.

QUOTE
I was told by my contact at a company I'm working with on SEO (specifically link building - that's another issue, I know) that I should apply rel=nofollow to all my external links so as not to dissipate my own site's pagerank/link juice/whatever you want to call it.

This seemed a little odd to me, since, if rel=nofollow really does prevent the googlebots from seeing or counting a link, I don't think that Google would reward a page or a site that in some way was circumventing one of their central mechanisms for determining relevance and rank.


Though I disagree with you I bow to your expertise and will say no more on the subject.

One thing we do agree on is a site should freely give links.

Edited by Connie, 27 February 2010 - 11:37 PM.


#13 EricLaszlo

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 09:01 AM

Thanks much for everyone's input - you guys rock!

I can always count on High Rankings Forum for lively debate and a healthy dose of reality.





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