Have seen several cases now where using “nofollow” on internal links did this
a) Increased ranking on short tail and killed a lot of long tail traffic .. Hmmm not good
b) Didn’t effect ranking’s at all .. Ok so my internal page rank may have lifted a little here
c) Decreased rankings in general .. NOT COOL !
d) Slightly increased traffic over all. Way COOL !
Now the big issue for me is there are a few people that are starting to say this is the silver bullet for SEO, but what I don’t want to say is this is bullshit, there are too many other factors why you could have moved in the serps, the big clean up in the paid links could have and a side effect on your rankings or your competitors…
so the 6 million dollar question, does NOFOLLOWING your internals effect your Ranking in google, I say ranking and not Pagerank. Not even I’m going to say that No-Following all but 3 pages from your homepage won’t increase you pagerank on those internals, But I have seen some ODD STUFF happen so i decided the only real way to do this was
a) set up controlled tests. I so love doing that, but what happens if the test is influenced by external factors like say
howstuffworks.com links to sitea.com which links to me, then howstuffwork.com gets hit with a link selling penalty which in turn effects the link juice from sitea.com to me and I drop a little in the ranking… thats the way this link stuff works you know.
b) just ask Matt Cutts so I did.
Matt’s answer was :
Nofollowing your internals can affect your ranking in Google, but it’s a 2nd order effect.
My analogy is: suppose you’ve got $100. Would you rather work on getting $300, or would you spend your time planning how to spend your $100 more wisely.
Spending the $100 more wisely is a matter of good site architecture (and nofollowing/sculpting PageRank if you want). But most people would benefit more from looking at how to get to the $300 level.
sheesh a simple YES would have been ok, But I’m totally in agreeance with Matt here. Me I worry about getting to the next level of Pagerank and not loosing what little I have … so link to me.. joke i tend to house keep my site every so often to decide how many pages my site should have indexed, 301 the old crappy stuff in fact I’m hoping to do that before SES New York, i will tell you how that worked out.
Addef this is a great article by joost on
PageRank sculpting – Siloing and more