No More Page Rank Sculpting with “nofollow” Attribute

Since Matt Cutts from Google throw a bombshell in SMX advanced meeting in 3th of June about Page Rank Sculpting, every search marketing blog is discussing the same issue. Is it really like “nofollow” attribute no longer passes more juice to followed links or not and what changes shall SEO‘s do in that case? First of all lets have a look at what page rank sculpting is all about.

What is page rank sculpting?

Every page has a page rank value, that is a numerical weighting that it passes in to the links allocated in it. Page Rank sculpting occurs when we use “nofollow” attribute in unimportant links to prevent passing page rank values so that we pass that left over weight in to followed links to increase the page rank of those links.

According to Google’s change, regardless of  “nofollow” attribute, Google determines the Page Rank  it passes along  links according to the number of links on a web page. That is using “nofollow” no longer generates more page rank for the followed links. Here are some of Matt Cutts goodies:

“At first, we figured that site owners or people running tests would notice, but they didn’t. In retrospect, we’ve changed other, larger aspects of how we look at links and people didn’t notice that either, so perhaps that shouldn’t have been such a surprise. So we started to provide other guidance that PageRank sculpting isn’t the best use of time.”

“Yes, I would agree that Google itself solely decides how much PageRank will flow to each and every link on a particular page. But that’s no reason to make PageRank a complete black box; if I can help provide people with a more accurate mental model, overall I think that’s a good thing. For example, from your proposed paragraph I would strike the “The number of links doesn’t matter” sentence because most of the time the number of links do matter, and I’d prefer that people know that. I would agree with the rest of your paragraph explanation.”

“I pretty much let PageRank flow freely throughout my site, and I’d recommend that you do the same. I don’t add nofollow on my category or my archive pages. The only place I deliberately add a nofollow is on the link to my feed, because it’s not super-helpful to have RSS/Atom feeds in web search results.”

“Nofollow links definitely don’t pass PageRank. Over the years, I’ve seen a few corner cases where a nofollow link did pass anchortext, normally due to bugs in indexing that we then fixed. The essential thing you need to know is that nofollow links don’t help sites rank higher in Google’s search results.”

What to do next?

So what if you want to have links on your page but want Google not to count them when determining the page rank flow values? SEOmoz has a useful post on this topic so it is worth to have a look at and get some ideas such as using iframes for comments section in your blogs.

I don’t count my self as an expert in SEO yet but from the very beginning of my search marketing journey, there is one thing I learned which is creating a good search experience and unique content in your website is the king and it is better to avoid complicated practices if your website is already performing good.

Do you think so?

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