I've added a nofollow to all instances of such links, but am now wondering if I may have done more damage than good if Google looks at this as PR sculpting due to it possibly being technically looked at as an internal link (even though the end result is an external link)?
Thanks ak9. I could block cgi-bin/redirect.cgi in robots.txt, but unfortunately I need to add "nofollow" tags to these links ... since I run a very specialized niche directory which offers paid listings that include a link to our client's websites. Quite a few clients have explicitly requested "nofollows" on their links over the past 12 months - no doubt due to Penguin. It's interesting because my market/niche is inherently not tech savvy at all ... so they're obviously getting SEO advice which is relatively ubiquitous re: "paid directories".
Aside from client requests for adding nofollow tags, I was thinking it might be good idea from our perspective to add the tags to simply try and delineate ourselves from "bad directories" in Google's eyes. Just one less signal. Whether intentional or not, I believe Google has targetted directories in general ... and appearing less like a "tuna" might help the dolphins not get caught up in the wide tuna net.
One other solution I was considering was simply setting up /cgi-bin/redirect.cgi on another domain which we own, but not sure if this might send an even worse signal?
This is what Google says - so either should be ok:
Link schemes https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66356?hl=en
You can prevent PageRank from passing in several ways, such as:
- Adding a rel="nofollow" attribute to the <a> tag - Redirecting the links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file
I have seen cases where the redirect script is on another sub-domain of the domain and where this subdomain is blocked from Google via robots.txt but I have not come across having a script on another domain.
Theoretically, nothing would stop you to implement both - blocking of the redirect script in robots.txt and using nofollow a on link that links to redirect script.