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Do outbound homepage links dilute Page Rank?

Is it better to try and keep the homepage clear of oubound links?

   
10:42 pm on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I have around ten small, industry relevant banners on my homepage. All were placed as a condition of getting listed on several 'authority' sites in my industry.

Do these homepage links in any way detract from the value of the page?

10:46 pm on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



They'll dilute the amount of PR that will be passed on to interior pages in your site.

If they're linking to you, are they passing PR to you or running through a redirect or using rel="nofollow"?
More important: Are you getting any traffic from those "authority" sites?

5:46 pm on Oct 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



PR is being passed to my site from the authority sites concerned - my Page Rank doubled (to PR6) during the last update a week or so ago.

More than 50% of my total traffic comes from the sites also.

Do you suggest removing half the banners and leaving the five most important on the homepage?

6:04 pm on Oct 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



You can put a rel="nofollow" attribute in the anchor tags for the banners. Google says they will not pass PageRank in that case.
6:12 pm on Oct 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



More than 50% of my total traffic comes from the sites also.

Do you suggest removing half the banners and leaving the five most important on the homepage?


My personal feeling is that if they're giving you good direct links that are passing PR and sending you good traffic, return the kindness and reciprocate likewise with direct links back.

Keep in mind that it's not only PR, but there could be a quantity and diversity factor, so what you might want to do is get some more quality on-topic inbounds (that don't require homepage links), especially to important interior pages or sections, if possible, to help along with passing the link love (and relevant anchor text) down through the site.

10:10 pm on Oct 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I should perhaps qualify what I have said above by stating that the inbound links are not actually free. This being the case, I think that adding rel="nofollow" might in fact be the solution I was looking for.

My site has more backlinks than any other in my industry (by far) on all three main SEs. The problem is that the 'authority' sites generally require a homepage return link - particularly for a free listing (if available).

10:35 pm on Oct 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



You can put a rel="nofollow" attribute in the anchor tags for the banners. Google says they will not pass PageRank in that case.

That might violate the terms of those sites that required a link in exchange for a listing. Check to be sure before you do it because you might be seen as a cheater if you add a nofollow, and lose some of your most valuable links.

A healthier way to address concerns about diluting PR would be to increase the number of links on your home page that lead into your own site.

10:39 pm on Oct 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



From what I have read, a simple homepage return link is deemed sufficient, but you may just be right. Guess I'll have to test it and see if they contact me and ask for it to be removed.


A healthier way to address concerns about diluting PR would be to increase the number of links on your home page that lead into your own site.

This is interesting. Do you mean text links on the homepage that lead to, say, the five or so most important pages on my site?

10:56 pm on Oct 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



text links on the homepage that lead to, say, the five or so most important pages on my site?

Exactly.

Don't just add nofollows and see if you get caught. That's not how an honorable person will handle a link exchange. Cough up the cash for a proper paid listing, if you want fewer outbounds.

Also, keep in mind that Page Rank is a smaller factor in the rankings than it used to be. What you *might* gain on the PR side by manipulating nofollows, you could easily lose in the parts of the algo that analyze relevance.

11:04 pm on Oct 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



"I think that adding rel="nofollow" might in fact be the solution I was looking for."

It won't accomplish anything you want to accomplish. In fact, it works against you because rather then throw away the PR you at least send it to sites that link to you.

11:10 pm on Oct 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Haveing been around recip trades for a very long time, I would say that just adding that nofollow would not only hurt you in those linking partners eyes, but they have a tendency to pass that info on to others in the same industry that might label you as an undesirable part of the linking partnerships in the future
There has been loads of talk about how linking out can actually help you for years, and having done it for 6 years, I would say its probably in the top 10 things you can do to build trust and authority - even with recip linking
11:38 pm on Oct 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>>All were placed as a condition of getting listed on several 'authority' sites in my industry.

It's probably safe to assume that if they gave you a "normal" link they'd expect a "normal" link back as the condition. The "nofollow" is actually withholding recommendation for the site linked to, it's hard to imagine that being the case with authority sites sending over 50% of your traffic.

If you get caught playing tricks on the deal and not keeping your end of the agreement, you could not only lose over 50% of your traffic, but get yourself marked as a "cheat" and lose highly valuable links that could mean your PR dropping, not only now but in time to come.

If you don't want outbound links on the homepage, then write and be honest or pay - but don't try to pull a fast one, hoping that you won't get caught.

11:58 pm on Oct 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



If they send you PR, and they are sending you traffic, why would you want to change anything?

When I read this I thought, "Why fix something that's not broken?"

My opinion, don't mess with something that is working for you.

>>edit typo

[edited by: Sweet_Cognac at 11:59 pm (utc) on Oct. 8, 2006]

11:59 pm on Oct 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I think in future I will do a little more research before I post. Having removed five (optional) banners that made the page look decidedly downmarket, I now know that only two of the remaining six actually stipulate that a return link must be placed on my homepage.

Fortunately, these two links are to Directories that do not provide much traffic (less than 3% between them).

You folks have slightly misinterpreted my intention, although admittedly I did not explain clearly enough. Of the original eleven links on the homepage, I have paid, premium listings on nine of them. The other two just ask for a return link to be mentioned on their respective sites.

According to the information for advertisers on several sites, paid advertisers do NOT need to provide a return link. Seems logical...

Now I can proceed to clean up the billboard that my homepage has become without upsetting any of my link partners and without doing anything naughty.

 

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