Update: It appears that nofollow is no longer effective to manage Page Rank. Read this article. Instead of tagging the links with nofollow, it would be better to detach the links or leave them without nofollow.
This article will show you how not to waste your hard earned precious PR juice .
photo by Jaye_Elle
Whatever your opinion to PageRank , the higher it is, the better it will effect your blog. Especially if we concern much about PR, we have been busy in our effort to get the highest boost of PageRank in the next update . A lot of effort has gone into it, hours of creating contents, dropping comments, introducing ourselves and articles which probbly spend numerous countless nights.
However, let us not forget that in order to make those link building attempts effective, we need to tweak some parts of our blog as well (some of us may find more things to optimize than others .
I’m talking about how your blog/site carries and distributes link juice it receives from another blog/site. There’s one matter you need to know:
patch the holes and pass on the flows
photo by vrogy
Imagine there are 100 dofollow links pointing to your front page. And on the page, you link to your individual articles, categories, date archives, tag clouds, policy page, and of course your feed subscription link . Between all those pages, which one will be the most suitable to rank the highest on the search engine result pages (SERP)? I’m sure you agree that it’s the individual post pages. You don’t need your policy page to rank #1 on SERP more than your featured post, do you?
You can start re-arranging how your blog handles links by adding nofollow to internal pages you don’t need them to appear on search engines. Or at least, you don’t need them to rank high. Internal links to consider are :
- the link to your own homepage – people say the more links pointing to a certain page, the higher the page will rank.
It’s true…if the link comes from a different domain
Update: I apologize for the rushing statement above. Internal linking does have a significant contribution for a page’s rank. Even so, you still have the option to nofollow your homepage link in order to pass more rank to other pages. But please keep in mind that it may lead to a drop of your homepage’s PR.
- your feed link – some of you may disallow your feed to be indexed. This way, there’s no use to link them with dofollow since search engines won’t list them. If no one will see it, no use to dress it. If for any reasons you allow indexing of your feed, nofollow is still needed. Unless you want to generously flow your hard earned gold links to Feedburner or Feedblitz which they already abundantly have.
- your tag cloud, date and category based archive – I set my robots.txt to block search engines from indexing those pages. That’s why, for the same reasons as above, links to them don’t need to be dofollowed.
- your policy page – Simply put, there’s still a lot of thirsty new articles gasping for fresh link juice.
- your sitemap page – You don’t need to have your sitemap indexed if you have submitted it to search engines. Less pages indexed means you can feed more articles the dofollow links.
- links to your authors page – Some of you may need the authors page to get a good SERP. Some who don’t can no-follow these links.
- links to edit your post – Definitely no-follow in my opinion
- links to categories archive – It also depends on if you’d like the categories archive page to hit the #1 page of Google or prioritizing the individual posts. I myself prefer my individual posts rather than categories archive pages.
- links to the comment section – It’s useful for navigation, but I suggest to address them no-follow.
- page numbers navigation – If your categories archive is divided into multiple pages and you don’t follow links to your category archives, then you need to follow it up by no-following page number links.
- subscribe to comments links – Usually they point to your feed service. But if they go to your own feed address, you can no-follow them for the same reason as #2
- links to enlarged pictures – Some of you may value pictures higher for your topic/niche, so the decision depends on your purposes with those pictures.
- blogroll…? – The decision is completely up to you . But don’t let them know what you’re doing
- links to popular pages – like google.com, facebook.com, you name them. Again, the decision is yours. If you feel like giving them a credit, do so.
- commentator names – Depends on whether you’re following your commentators or not, you can always switch the to no-follow/do-follow.
Before looking for more links to no-follow, I’d like to remind you of links you SHOULD follow . Not much, they are supposed to be your theme author link, your blogroll (depends on you), links your posts are referring to (if any) and sites/blogs inspire your posts.
If you would like to know what your PageRank will be on the next update, you can go to this PageRank Calculator to estimate the coming value of your PageRank . The tool calculates the result by processing your current PageRank, your inbound and outbound links. Therefore, you can plan your link building more strategically. With the PageRank Calculator it is easier to target a specific PageRank value for a given page as mentioned in micro managing your PageRank .
click on the image to view
Hopefully before applying further link-building strategy , you can provide some time to analyze your link flows and optimize them to get the best results.
- Stephan Miller suggested me two awesome plugins to add nofollow to links in archives pages and another one which will allow you to code “nofollow” into normal wordpress functions like for category list widgets and page list widgets. Check his comment in # 4 below.
- For a guide on how to add the nofollow tag to your links, please go to the Adding Nofollow to Any Links article.
- There’s another point of view by Mani Karthik regarding how PageRank juice is distributed. In his quick SEO tip, he explained that the PR value of the giving page is not affected by how many links the page links to. Instead, the receiving pages are the ones affected. While my article and his are having a different opinion on how linking influences a certain page, both of them show you that PageRank value is dynamic and transferrable. Therefore, you can use both articles as reasons to manage your PR.