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Nofollow unimportant internal links to improve PR circulation?
DarkNova




msg:3392960
 7:29 pm on Jul 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Our site is probably fairly typical in that there is a footer file that is used for every page on the site, and in that footer there is a short copyright notice and a link to our full copyright policy. Since this link is in the footer, every page on our site links to it, and so its PR is one less than our home page's. Obviously we don't care if this page is indexed by Google as no one would come to our site by searching for something on it.

Would it help the PR distribution throughout the rest of the website if we stopped Google from going to this page? Would it be best to do this by added a rel nofollow tag to all the links to this page? I've been searching WW threads all afternoon and it seems like there are a lot of conflicting opinions about if it is OK to do nofollow on your internal non-important links. Thanks for any advice.

 

WiseWebDude




msg:3393035
 8:48 pm on Jul 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

I use this method (in page) and it works perfect. But, if you really want to stop that page from being "followed" and wasting your PR, the best way is to do it in the robots.txt file really:

# /robots.txt file for http://www.example.com/

User-agent: *
Disallow: /copyright.html
Disallow: /contact.html

That is the best way for links on footers, headers, leftnav, etc., IMHO, rather than the "nofollow" tags for those.

londrum




msg:3393043
 8:57 pm on Jul 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

rel="nofollow" is supposedly a bad thing to put on internal links, because it doesn't stop a search engine visiting the page (putting it in robots.txt will do that) -- all it does is it tells the search engine that you don't trust the content. or that you don't value it enough to pass on page rank.

you're basically telling the search engine that one of the pages on your site contains unuseful content.

DarkNova




msg:3393115
 9:58 pm on Jul 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have thought about doing the robots.txt exclude, but here's what stopped me: if I link to copyright.html and have it excluded in the robots.txt page, then Googlebot won't index copyright.html, HOWEVER, won't the PageRank algorithm still pass on the same amount of PR to the copyright.html page as it would have anyway, but then that page acts as a dead end for the PR, not passing any on to other pages, making you worse off than before? I got this idea because I've read that some sites have a PageRank value even if the entire page is excluded in robots.txt...does this make sense or am I totally mistaken? I would love to do robots.txt if I could be sure it would work without passing on PR to the page. Thanks.

hvacdirect




msg:3393171
 11:27 pm on Jul 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

A page that is blocked by robots.txt will indeed still gain PageRank even if it's never been crawled by Google since its inception as long as there is a link there. So you are right if you are trying to manage the amount of actual links on a page you'll have nofollowing the ones you don't want to count as a vote. The robots.txt just keeps them out of the index and from being crawled. They still will allow PageRank to be passed to it.

A lot of theories out there support the idea that a given PR site can only hold so many pages in the main index, the rest with lowest PR go supplemental. So, if you robots.txt out a page does the credit for that page go towards another page? That's a good question, for that reason I do both, nofollow links to and robots.txt out pages you don't want indexed (contact us, return policy, shipping, etc)

Nick0r




msg:3394495
 10:51 am on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

The question is, do you really want to hide these from Google's view? Some of these pages could be seen as signs of trust e.g. privacy policy.

europeforvisitors




msg:3394589
 2:59 pm on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

you're basically telling the search engine that one of the pages on your site contains unuseful content.

But maybe one of your pages doesn't contain content that's useful to a searcher. If that's the case, why wouldn't the search engine's designers be grateful that you've helped them out with a "nofollow"?

jomaxx




msg:3394673
 5:41 pm on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

A page that is blocked by robots.txt will indeed still gain PageRank even if it's never been crawled by Google since its inception as long as there is a link there.

Whoa, second opinion. Is this really true? My objection is, why would this happen since PR can never be passed on from the blocked page (due to the fact that Google has never crawled it).

Philosopher




msg:3394690
 6:09 pm on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

In my experience, a blocked page does indeed gain PR. Remember, PR, at least in it's most basic form, was the chance that a random surfer could find and click on a link (very generalized).

It doesn't matter what the content of the page is in regards to PR, therefore, I page does not need to be spidered to gain PR.

It's been a while, but I used to see pages at the top of the results that had never been spidered and were there purely on inbound links to that particular page (I also seem to remember some threads a ways back about URLs found in a robots.txt file still ranking even without the title, snippet, etc. because of the inbound links).

buckworks




msg:3394720
 6:40 pm on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

A different approach ...

Instead of trying to block PR from flowing to copyright pages, privacy pages, and so on, ponder how you could harness the PR flowing FROM such pages.

Those pages can be a useful place to add links that are different from your site's normal navigation system, as a way to funnel some extra link juice to strategic internal pages.

If you had some internal pages that were starting to pull traffic for long-tail searches you didn't expect, they'd be ideal for such treatment.

matrix_neo




msg:3395281
 8:07 pm on Jul 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Those pages can be a useful place to add links that are different from your site's normal navigation system, as a way to funnel some extra link juice to strategic internal pages.

My belief is that this strategy is not helping since the last pagerank update. I am not very sure but it seems true atleast for my sites. I guess footer links pr passing value is decreased!

g1smd




msg:3395326
 9:48 pm on Jul 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I would never use nofollow on internal links.

tedster




msg:3395350
 10:14 pm on Jul 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I agree with g1smd. Isn't it almost surreal to say that you don't vouch for your own contact information, privacy policy and so on? Buckworks made a great point -- these pages should be, and can be, assets.

Marcia




msg:3398842
 8:29 am on Jul 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>these pages should be, and can be, assets.

They should be, and at one time they were assets. And they still could be now *if* it weren't for how PR is being rationed and distributed within sites with lower PR, say in the PR3-PR4 range, and the ratio of pages making it into the primary index vs. being relegated to the supplemental index (and not showing TBPR).

[edited by: Marcia at 8:32 am (utc) on July 19, 2007]

oddsod




msg:3398890
 11:10 am on Jul 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

But maybe one of your pages doesn't contain content that's useful to a searcher. If that's the case, why wouldn't the search engine's designers be grateful that you've helped them out with a "nofollow"?

If those designers were really smart - and I believe they are - they are already internally excluding copyright/sitemap type pages in the algo PR.

I would never use nofollow on an internal link. Heck, I wouldn't use nofollow on an external link! Let the SEs sort their self created crap (citation reliance) themselves.

g1smd




msg:3398894
 11:15 am on Jul 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

On a wider scale, trying to micro-manage PR like this is a waste of your time. I rarely look at PR; it isn't so important.

I'll bet there are many other things you can do that will have a greater impact on the indexing and ranking of yourn site.

igorberger




msg:3398956
 12:21 pm on Jul 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hey guys this is what the jokers at Google Zoo recommending!

1) disallow page in robots.txt
2) noindex meta tag on the page
3) rel="nofollow" for all links leading to the page.

Its' OK to have all of them, just don't forget you have it when yu
decide to remove restrictions.

nooooooooooo just use disallow robots.txt OR noindex meta tag

Please, please, do not make your site sterile or Googlebot will hate youc

You need privacy pages, you need disclaimer pages, you need FAQ, all these thing make your site professional, so please index these pagesc.

And kill file rel=hnofollowh

jomaxx




msg:3399227
 5:01 pm on Jul 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Now that you say that, I recall some people have speculated that contact information and/or a privacy policy can enhance to your site's authority with Google. I don't know if that's true, but it might be true in the future. I don't see any percentage in blocking Googlebot from such pages.

g1smd




msg:3399232
 5:08 pm on Jul 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

A disallow in the robots.txt file still leaves the page in a state that it can still appear as a URL-only in the SERPs.

The other two actions are still redundant in that situation.

CainIV




msg:3399236
 5:22 pm on Jul 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

There is no need to use nofollow on internal links. Those pages are quality trust signs for Google. By using nofollow on your own links you may be:

Slowing down indexing overall in some situations.

Sending a signal to Google that indeed you are a 'knowledgeable person' in terms of SEO

Possibly removing trust signal pages.

If chanelling pr is really a concern for you, then take stock of the hierarchy of the website, pull out a pen and pencil or schematics tool and draw up a better internal linking structure for your website.

igorberger




msg:3399523
 10:24 pm on Jul 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Cain, very professional observation.

JohnRoy




msg:3399612
 12:40 am on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Original question was:
Would it help the PR distribution... [using] rel nofollow tag to all the links to this page?

Most ignored buckworks' idea:
"Instead of trying to block PR from flowing to copyright pages, privacy pages, and so on, ponder how you could harness the PR flowing FROM such pages.

Those pages can be a useful place to add links that are different from your site's normal navigation system, as a way to funnel some extra link juice to strategic internal pages."

[matrix_neo] belief is that this strategy is not helping since the last pagerank update.... footer links pr passing value is decreased!
Buckworks did not speak of the footer links. He suggested adding IBL to the text part of these "unimportant" pages.

igorberger




msg:3399627
 1:03 am on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

JR good point, I have not thought about it.
But all my FAQ and policy pages rank high and have naturally inputted IBL, so now being aware of this I may add a few specific IBLs.

Thank you for heads up.

Marcia




msg:3399695
 3:31 am on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Using "information" type pages to boost other pages on a site worked like a charm, I was doing it for a long time on some sites. In certain respects it enhanced the user experience at times, if done right.

Until Big Daddy.

There are certain things that worked fine until the infrastructure change and a little while before, when certain changes started to show up regarding how sites are crawled and indexed; but things aren't the same any more. Using certain pages to funnel PR may work if there's enough PR to go around the site, or at least the more important pages, which is not always the case.

When 2 and 3 year old newsletter pages, which are not getting link love either from within the site or from other sites, and even very minor, far less important product pages have PR and important money pages are PR0 in the Supplemental index, it's time to make changes to the navigation and start separating the wheat from the chaff, and to start making prolific use of robots.txt and the robots meta tag.

[edited by: Marcia at 3:36 am (utc) on July 20, 2007]

igorberger




msg:3399718
 4:13 am on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Marcia, great observation. Google does look for unatural linkage in your site link stracture, so if we try to manipulate PR distribution Google algorithm will pick it up.

Like Marcia recommended it maybe necessary to disallow pages that are leaking PR in robots.txt and you may even need to change the menu structure not to include links to such pages.

I am currently disallowing affiliate content pages for categories. I am thinking of getting the links out of the menu as well.
So maybe have one link to a page that will have all the links to each category instead of having all the category links in a template menu that are shown on every page.

I am probably losing out on rich keyword phrases becauses they are being duplicated across all the pages that are indexed in the main Google index.

Anyway I got read of almost all supplementary pages and search engine hits improved 500 percent.
So I am being served good by Googlebot now, will wait a bit before redesigning the menu, do not want to make too many changes at one time...Googlebot may not like it.

CainIV




msg:3399749
 6:09 am on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Actually, the title of the post is:

Nofollow unimportant internal links to improve PR circulation?

The answer is don't use nofollow, and link to your most important pages from a user based experience and everyone wins :P

oddsod




msg:3399943
 1:33 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Using certain pages to funnel PR may work if there's enough PR to go around the site

Marcia, you believe that toolbar PR is returning to the days when it had much more than ornamental value?

CainIV




msg:3400251
 6:36 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I believe she is talking about Internal (non-visible) pagerank in Google.com

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