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The effect of nofollow on one of multiple links to same URL

     
11:26 pm on Jun 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Say you've got a page with two links to the same URL. One link is nofollowed, the other isn't. The nofollowed link has poorly optimised anchor text and the other has optimised anchor text.

Will nofollowing one of these links mean that both are devalued?

Thanks for your help clarifying this!
9:42 am on June 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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When you have multiple links to the same URL in a page, only the first link (in source code order) counts. That goes for both anchor text and pagerank. To Google, its like the second link isn't even there.

I'm not sure what happens when you throw a nofollow on one of them. It doesn't seem to me like it could help you. I would remove the nofollow and make sure the one with better anchor text comes first.

Also, take a look at this recent thread where we were discussing technical solutions to this issue:
Can You "Sculpt" Page Rank With IFRAMES? [webmasterworld.com]
10:54 am on June 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hello,

Having two links pointing out to the same URL, one of them being nofollowed, is a bit of nonsense don't you think ? As previously replied, it doesn't make any difference as long as Google only takes the first he encounters into account.
1:44 pm on June 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have been told in the past by Google folks at conferences that when you nofollow a link once on a page (whether it's the first, second or third iteration of that link) all other instances of that same URL being linked to from that same page will be treated as nofollow as well.
11:34 pm on June 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the feedback!

@balibones - I had heard something similar. Does anyone else know for sure?
12:45 am on June 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I know people who've tested it - yes, it's true.
5:25 am on June 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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All other instances do become nofollowed
10:20 am on June 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, folks! This is news to me. One of my clients tries to get the second link on a page to pass pagerank and anchor text by nofollowing the first link. This information will certainly be actionable to them.

May I ask how you folks tested this? I would assume that it is as simple as creating new pages and linking to them in different ways. Then observing which get indexed and ranked:
Page A has two follow links from the home page.
Page B has one follow, one nofollow link from the home page.
Page c has two nofollow link from the home page.
 

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