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How to channel Pagerank
using relative links prevent the bleeding of PR

 1:45 am on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Someone mentioned to me that I could use "Relative" links to stop the passing of pagerank to non-important pages on my site. Can anyone confirm that this works?

I've been using "nofollow" on my Nav bar to "privacy pages" and "contact form". I worried that Google will think I'm trying to "channel" pagerank and penalize my site.

The relative links seem more natural to me... but I don't want to bleed pagerank to a privacy policy page. (and I'm not a javascript linking fan).

So, can anyone please confirm that relative links DO NOT pass Pagerank?




 2:23 am on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

They pass pagerank. Forget about it.


 2:46 am on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

They pass pagerank. Forget about it.

No follow links pass page rank?


 3:31 am on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

mgpapas: No, he is saying the "relative links" will pass pagerank. Not the "nofollow" links.

steveb: What do you think about the SE's starting to penalize sites for using too many "nofollow" tags?



 3:32 am on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think there's a mix-up on the vocabulary here. DorianWeb wrote "I could use "Relative" links to stop the passing of pagerank." I think what was most likely suggested is the attribute
rel="nofollow" rather than "relative" links. The rel= attribute is written into an anchor element like this: <a href="page.html" rel="nofollow">Link text</a>

The rel="nofollow" attribute was introduced not too far back by the three major search engines so that blogs had a way to allow links to be submitted in their user comments and not pass on page rank -- essentially saying "this site does not vouch for the linked page", or "don't assume this link is a true vote or citation for that target page".

So the rel="nofollow" attribute was not intended as a way to channel PR around your own domain. You do "vouch for" your own pages, I assume.

Nevertheless, I also assume you could do it -- but it will also telegraph to Google that you are trying to manipulate PageRank and there's no guarantee how they will treat such an action. Matt Cutts has made some negative comments about this kind of thing, but he has made no direct "this will be penalized" statement that I know of.

Other vocabulary being thrown in the mix here is, I assume, the meta robots tag, specificaly: <meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow">. This will stop the page it appears on from being indexed, and it will stop the links from being followed. However, to my knowledge, Google still sees the url being linked to and even though it doesn't follow the link, PageRank is still passed to the target url, which can appear as a url-only listing.

And a third vocabuary mash up is "relative url" as opposed to "absolute url". A relative url does not contain the domain name <a href="page.htm"></a> whereas an absolute url does <a href="http://example.com/page.htm"></a>. However, both forms of url in an anchor tag will still pass PageRank to the target.

My advice would be to keep your website as natural as possible and not to worry about passing PageRank to what you consider insignificant pages. There may well be an "over optimization" flag that various practices can trip (a recent video from Matt Cutts seems to confirm this long suspected factor) and using rel="nofollow" within your own domain has a rather fishy smell to me. Besides, those insignificant pages do have outbound links to other pages on the domain, right? So whatever PR you send there still gets circulated back through the site.

My feeling on this is that it's not worth the trouble, and not worth the risk. I'd say use rel="nofollow" as it was intended -- to block user contributed links in comments from passing PR.


 3:44 am on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

tedster: No vocabulary mix-up up on my part. I'm referring to "relative links" and "nofollow" just as you described them.

I'm asking if a link like <a href="../page.html"> will or will not pass pagerank. (relative link)

I already know that <a href="http://mydomain.com/page.html" rel="nofollow"> will not pass pagerank. (absolute link with nofollow attribute)

- Dorian


 5:26 am on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm asking if a link like <a href="../page.html"> will or will not pass pagerank. (relative link)

Such links WILL pass Page Rank.


 8:45 am on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Although I'm not particularly knowledgeable, may I point out that several pages linking to my site were PR zeroed after Jagger. In an effort to find out why they lost PR I noticed that some were linked from the sites' main directory pages "relatively" (<a href="../page.html">) so I gathered that G stopped passing PR to relative links. I may be mistaken of course, this was a study on around 20 inbound links - I din't make a complete investigation.

Anyone else having noticed the same?


 10:59 am on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

A number of pages on my site have only relative links to them. They show Toolbar PR. I have never heard any suggestion before this thread that a relative link will not pass PR. If this were the case, I think it would be very well-known by now.


 12:25 pm on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I never screw with Google. I build a site and let Google determine for itself Page Rank. i dont try and manipulate pr once my sites appointed PR nor do i bother attempting how Google interprets links from my site. I dont waste time with it. Usually all my sites get PR 5 on launch with a few relevent links - from there, i forget about it.

You should be spending your time adding content! :)

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