• dyksta

    Hi Danny,

    Nice Post. I still have two big issues that aren’t quite answered by what I have read on this topic so far.

    1) I have a very large site that has a nice entry page where users can choose to view products by location (via a nice map) first and then product

    e.g. Amsterdam -> Electronics -> ipod

    or by product first and then narrow it by location.

    Electronics -> ipod -> Amsterdam

    While the usability of the map is great I used no follows to make sure that the spiders and page rank didn’t follow that path because a page of all Amsterdam products isn’t going to be that useful for a Google Search. Similarly if I have 10 different regions I don’t want 10 x Regional Electronics pages in the index. The final page is the exact same page regardless of whether you get there via the map or via the category structure, and that’s the page where I want all the juice.

    Now before the nofollow debate I could nofollow the links to the map pages however these pages do get links into the site, so I want to make sure all of this linking power still runs down to the Electronics -> ipod -> Amsterdam page. So that option is out of the question. I guess I could implement the map in iframes though the business case to do this would be hard to justify. Javascript isn’t an option as Google read that now too.

    It seems to me that the nofollow was the perfect solution but now I feel that I am powerless to do anything (I am also one of the people who will swear blind that this method did work and has still been working in the last year since GG’s supposed change)

    which brings me to my second question

    2) With the new revelations there must be an “optimal level” of links out of a page. Using the old analogy if we used to have $10 in, 10 links out, 5 nofollowed then the 5 followed links get $2 each. Now they get $1 and the rest of the money evaporates. This would lead me to believe that you should at least now have 10 links out. If the money is going to disappear anyway then why not follow those other 5 links. 11 links out would be too many but 10 is the optimal level where you use all the PR without reducing the strength of your other links. You really have nothing to lose. I see that Matt is stressing putting important links closer to the homepage but in a large company, when every department wants to put marketing activities, monetisation efforts, user notices etc etc onto the homepage this is not easy to do. As an SEO I want to give my users the information they are after when they search google. And that is relevant product. By using nofollows I could really control this, and yet still give all my other departments ability to link to “their stuff” from anywhere on the site … I could just whack a nofollow their links. Now it’s not so easy.

    I am currently one of those SEOs “a little bit unsure” what to do now.


  • http://www.brickmarketing.com nickstamoulis

    Hi Danny, Great analysis on the Google Pagerank Sculpting issue…

    After reading your post and Matt’s post I feel the most important thing that newer people to SEO should think of is don’t be afraid of loosing pagerank by linking to another website. If the link helps a website owners user experience and provides natural value within the content and context of their site then there is not a problem…

    As always within SEO, when something starts to work well for some people then folks tend to overdue it when there is hype that something really works well or better than something else…other areas of SEO hype years ago: link exchanging, paid links and pagerank sculpting and of course the ever popular pagerank chasers, etc.

    Anyway, this is just another SEO fad come and gone…:o)

  • http://arthurofsun arthurofsun

    The part of this article that my teams live by – and how we approach PageRank sculpting – is that there are ‘layers” of SEO tactics that can improve rankings for specific keywords, and that PageRank sculpting is about more than just nofollow tags.

    In my experience, PageRank sculpting with nofollow tags is a later “layer” after all the more basic and impactful PageRank sculpting activities – which includes very conscious and well thought-trh\\hrough use of internal crosslinking and development of external deep links through either associated sites which the customer controls or which are owned by friendly partners.

    Once that groundwork is laid and the results are known from that activity, PageRank sculpting through nofollow tags can then be used to fine tune specific pages. And we’ll probably continue to recommend it, even with the changes Matt described. The reason for this is that while an individual page may not get improvement from focusing on specific outbound/inbound link pairs, the pruning and weeding of the overall site will focus attention/PageRank on the core pages we want indexed. By allowing PageRank to flow over a smaller but core number of pages, we raise the PageRank of the entire site through more strongly focused PageRank feedback loops.

  • http://www.positracker.com PosiTracker

    Personally I believe there’s always a good dose of misdirection coming from Cutts, after all his job is to thwart some of out attempts to work the system.