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Today, we’ll talk about the use of “nofollow” tags to control the amount of link juice flowing within a site and its internal pages. To better explain this I came up with an illustration that should help the “not so technical” crowd understand this process.
Comments20 Comments  

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from rishilakhani 2373 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Awsome simplification - I think its going to be useful to archive that post just for training perposes...

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from soulfood 2373 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I have a hard time explain this to my clients. Simple and easy explanation any one will understand. Nice diagram Ricardo!

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from seosurvivor 2373 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I’m happy to see that people are finding this useful! And just if you’re wondering about who is the guy behind those awesome photoshop skills, it’s me. That’s right, SEO isn’t the only gift I have! ahahahaha.. Having a 5 year old girl makes it easy for a guy like me to think of pink buckets.

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from kimber 2373 Days ago #
Votes: 1

damn that’s nice. and simple. maybe too simple but i still like it!

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from SearchBuzz 2373 Days ago #
Votes: 3

@soulfood - "you memorize me"!Nice job Ricardo!

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from BrettBorders 2373 Days ago #
Votes: 2

great illustration + clear writing + simple concept = quality content

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from incrediblehelp 2372 Days ago #
Votes: -3

I cant not believe everyone is buying into this PR sculpting idea. First, why in the world would you not want Google to visit your about us or contact us pages? Denying spider accessibility to these pages is ludicrous. Second if you think that denying access to those pages is going to give more "juice" to other OBL’s then I feel your wrong. Please show me proof that this works in anyway. Millions of websites don’t even recognize or know what the nofollow attribute is and do perfectly fine. I personally feel sculpting PR in this manner is nothing more than a band-aid for poor internal navigation to begin with.

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from jorjevio 2372 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Thats A great explaination but dispite the rel="nofollow" Action google Yahoo still Follows the link.In seo theory it should work. But it drops your PR juice if Google and Yahoo ignore the Action..

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from TheMadHat 2372 Days ago #
Votes: 5

@incrediblehelp "Denying spider accessibility to these pages is ludicrous."Nofollow doesn’t deny spiders from crawling those pages, it only blocks them from going to those pages from that particular page, and passing any link weight to those pages from that particular page. Leave the nofollow off the links in your site map and those pages get indexed. You keep the link juice going to where you want it, and you’re "contact, about us, or whatever" pages will be indexed. You don’t need 500 internal links pointing at your contact page to rank for "company name contact".I’ve seen several examples of it working when done correctly, so if you don’t believe it don’t do it.

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from seosurvivor 2372 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@incrediblehelp and @jorjevio - Yahoo does still follow the link, and the other crawlers still see it. The nofollow doesn’t block a page from being seen. That can be done through the robots.txt file. The nofollow simply tells the crawlers that you don’t want to pass link authority from the link with the nofollow, to where it is pointing. The pages are still visible, and still receiving links from any other place you want within your site, or externally. The purpose of this isn’t to cut every page off your site and only keep the highly converting ones. the use of nofollows gives you some control of where you want the link authority to flow to within your site, nothing is being blocked. Typically, I like to use it with pages that truly don’t need to rank, like a "Terms of Use", or "Shipping Policy", etc.. I wouldn’t want to nofollow tag links to an "About us" page as mentioned above. Hope this helps clarify this further.I have personally seen awesome results using this strategy.

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from imnotadoctor 2372 Days ago #
Votes: 3

@incrediblehelpIn a perfect link siloing or page sculpting scheme every page would be get some amount of link juice, this includes About Us or Contact Us. But the majority of the your link juice would go to your most important pages you want to competitively rank for. An about us page or contact us page will be easier to rank so why give it the same amount of link juice as a competitive product or service page?Even when I was at SMX West Matt Cutts endorsed the idea of page rank sculpting.Remember, SEO is all about the large amount of small things that add up to a large result.

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from soulfood 2372 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@SearchBuzz I am throwing the towel!

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from incrediblehelp 2372 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Sorry guys I was ranting off the handle a little last night. Yes bots still see the page but don’t pass the juice that you guys think.@ imnotadoctorYou don’t need 500 internal links pointing at your contact page to rank for "company name contact".In a perfect link siloing or page sculpting scheme every page would be get some amount of link juice, this includes About Us or Contact Us. But the majority of the your link juice would go to your most important pages you want to competitively rank for.OK I understand this conceptually, but there are millions of websites that dont do this that rank just fine in Google and other SEs. I willing to say a majority of websites that rank now for keywords that our clients want to rank for, don’t do this. So the question is why do we need to waste time worrying about it. My point is we need to be clear as SEOs on what works and doesn’t work. I dont want to create imaginative work for my clients (or myself) to implement unless I know it will work. I would focus my efforts elsewhere. I do agree that SEO is lot of small things, but in reality core principles will always work:1. Great unique content2. Solid architecture/navigation3. Quality, relevant back linksLike you have said, you have seen it work and that is cool.

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from jaybong 2372 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@incredible hulk "OK I understand this conceptually, but there are millions of websites that dont do this that rank just fine in Google and other SEs"Ranking well and implenting nofollow are not mutually exclusive. Just because websites can rank well without nofollow doesn’t mean using it won’t improve rankings. I think you understand this, but for a large site with a fixed amount of page rank it seems to make sense for me. Here’s why:PR is fixed (i.e at a certain level of water in the bucket)And that PR is the primary factor when it comes to indexing a page.Therefore, for a large site with limited inlinks and many pages it might be beneficial to make sure that the unimportant pages get a limited amount of page rank. That would mean there is more left over to flow down to 2nd and 3rd level pages and make sure they get indexed.I don’t think of nofollow in terms of improving ranking, (though it might help to a certain degree), I think it’s primary purpose is to improve indexing of a large websites.One point you had was that it is used to block pages from search engines. This is usually not the case and can be avoided by putting nofollow on all privacy policy pages except the homepage - etc etc. A  Sitemap should also work to keep the administrative pages indexed.

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from TheMadHat 2372 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@jaybong: that’s the point I was trying to get across. This is a difficult subject to discuss. I think incrediblehelp is right when he says that core SEO tactics work just as well, but when you’re looking at a site with 50k plus pages it can make a marginal difference. And when you’re in a hyper competitive space that marginal difference can be the difference between the 2nd page and the 1st page.  (and that 50k number came from nowhere, that’s just what a couple of mine are)So I think it’s a bit of a works in some instances, doesn’t in some instances...but that’s the case with a lot of SEO techniques. I certainly don’t think it will hurt your site in any way.

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from incrediblehelp 2372 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Great discussion guys, though this type is usually a little easier verbally than typing it out.

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from crazycat 2372 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Good comparison.

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from jaybong 2371 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@TheMadHat: "but when you’re looking at a site with 50k plus pages it can make a marginal difference"Yes I am doing SEO for a 50k+ site so that was the number in my head as well :)We actually just launched a new design (yesturday) and implemented nofollow quite aggressivly on the site, so it will be interesting to see the results when the stats update. Would have been even more interesting if we still had the supplemental label though.Large sites generally get most of their search traffic from long tail queries, so at least for me index penetration is more important then ranking 1st and 2nd tier pages.One of the goals of the nofollow design was that it shouldn’t hurt any existing pages - just take the overflowing water from some of the higher buckets and send it further down the line to the empty buckets at the bottom.

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from incrediblehelp 2369 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@themadhat"Nofollow doesn’t deny spiders from crawling those pages, it only blocks them from going to those pages from that particular page, and passing any link weight to those pages from that particular page"Well Matt said something different.  From Cutts blog:"At a link level, you can add a nofollow tag on the granularity of individual links to prevent Googlebot from crawling individual links (you could also make the link redirect through a page that is forbidden by robots.txt)."Over two years ago Cutts said the nofollow blocks googlebot from crawling the page.  Have things changed?Through my testing I agree that I still see Googlebot crawling pages with nofollow.

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from TheMadHat 2369 Days ago #
Votes: 0

? I’m confused now. I said the same thing Matt did. Nofollow blocks the bot from crawling the page from that link, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be crawled from links on other pages that are not nofollowed.

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