Pagerank sculpting: putting rel-nofollow in your own links- DON’T

Misinformation about SEO always ticks me off. It’s usually simply old information being recycled because the people involved don’t keep up with the SEO blogs.

In her latest post, AJ said:

The link back from the Tiger Clipart lens to the Year of the Tiger lens has been changed to “no follow”.

The reason she does that is because these links spoil the ‘wheel’, but she doesn’t want to delete the links, because they’re good for users.

Some history:

When the rel-nofollow attribute came out, it was meant for links that got sold, but SEO’s also started using it to ‘sculpt’ pagerank. That is: to give link juice to those pages of their site that they felt were most important, at the expense of pages they did not value as much.

However, in the words of Matt Cutts (THE Google Search spokesperson):

[S]ome crawl/indexing/quality folks noticed some sites that attempted to change how PageRank flowed within their sites, but those sites ended up excluding sections of their site that had high-quality information (e.g. user forums).

So last year it was announced by Google that this strategy no longer works.

The new policy means that pagerank evaporates after using rel-nofollow. That is: it does NOT get redistributed to the followed links.

This also means that putting rel-nofollow on any links to your own content, is like throwing drinking water into the sea: it does nobody any good.

So – put your users first: link out to whatever content is relevant for them & make that more important than any link wheel. And please don’t punish yourself by rel-nofollowing links to your own content. AJ – Please?

BTW – I have a mashup of all the important SEO blogs on my SEO Mentor lens.

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