Google Recommends To Not Control Outbound PageRank Leak

Feb 9, 2007 • 7:34 am | comments (11) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

In a WebmasterWorld thread, there is a question about how can one preserve the PageRank value they have on his pages and not spread it out to others too much.

Of course, you know my rant on PageRank, but outside of that. Look at the question again:

I have around 60 links to my other pages from my home page. Is that too much, will that cause my PR to leak? Also I need to ask you what about linking to other sites from home page, will that cause the PR to leak?

Seems like a valid SEO question but... Look how this guy is building his site. He did not ask, if we think if 60 links from his home page is too many links for his user. He did not ask if the 60 links will confuse his user. He wanted to know if it will affect his PageRank to his other pages.

Technically, yes - PageRank dilution works that way. But its bad practice to think this way. It is not a natural way of setting up a link structure.

Hence this comment from Googler, Adam Lasnik:

I wouldn't be particularly concerned about "PR leakage." It's more important to make sure that you aren't engaging in link schemes designed to manipulate your site's ranking.

Many top-quality sites feature quite a few (quality) outgoing links, and are appreciated for that by visitors.

This site tends to do well in the Google results, we have a PageRank score of seven (I believe). Does it stop me from linking outwards to either my internal pages or to outside pages? No way. It is just natural for me to do so.

What Google is saying by "make sure that you aren't engaging in link schemes" is that by focusing on your PageRank dilution, is in affect a linking scheme focused "to manipulate your site's ranking."

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Comments:

Carsten Cumbrowski

02/09/2007 02:46 pm

I would like to agree to 100% with the made statements, but I can't. Linking to everybody you deem to be relevant and the time you add the link is not always the end of the story. You have to watch it. Check that the site you link to is not penalized and might gets your site associated with it. Also links added in the past, buried deep in the site can haunt you if the site you linked to is not the same anymore and either of less quality or worse penalized again. Before you know it, your site might end up with a penalty and then good luck with finding out what happened, change the (probably) cause and try to get your site's penalty removed. No problem, right? Sorry, I have not seen that yet. I agree with the rest of the post though. It is just not all peachy and oranges as search engines try to sell you sometimes.

Halfdeck

02/09/2007 03:40 pm

"Technically, yes - PageRank dilution works that way. But its bad practice to think this way. It is not a natural way of setting up a link structure." I agree. For me Google always comes second. However, if a blog has 50 outbound links to amazon on every page and its stuck in the supplemental results, I'd tell that site owner to nofollow those amazon links. Like anything else, there's a tipping point. "This site tends to do well in the Google results, we have a PageRank score of seven (I believe). Does it stop me from linking outwards to either my internal pages or to outside pages? No way." Yeah, but again, what works for a site like SER won't necessarily work for a mom& pop site with only 2 IBLs. Adam Lasnik also posted something similar earlier in GG WH here: http://groups.google.com/group/Google_Webmaster_Help-Indexing/browse_thread/thread/7f1d9eba4852e319/5e8eb9a69c277381?hl=en#5e8eb9a69c277381 There's been a surge of webmasters wanting to nofollow everything and I think Adam is just advising people to link naturally.

webprofessor

02/09/2007 05:34 pm

Oh, The irony of the question being posted and answered on Webmasterworld, the blackhole of links.

Michael Martinez

02/10/2007 07:58 pm

Any conerns about "leaking PageRank" are just nonsense. You cannot leak PageRank, there is no such thing as "PageRank dilution" and people should just pay no attention to these types of ridiculous discussions that have nothing to do with search engine optimization.

ericm

02/12/2007 06:46 am

I want to echo a statement made above... "It's more important to make sure that you aren't engaging in link schemes designed to manipulate your site's ranking." I think one needs to focus on content, and sometimes the content is on an external link. I, myself, even while focussed on content, find it too easy to sweat bullets over keeping up with the latest search engine trends and practices. As long as Google and the others focus their heuristic search practices to exclude the scammers and crap that is out there then the real content providers should have nothing to worry about.

Clint Dixon

02/12/2007 01:47 pm

One day people will make the direct correlation that PR does not equal revenue, unless you are selling links.

Halfdeck

02/12/2007 07:40 pm

"You cannot leak PageRank" Yeah, that's true - only on the first iteration.

Jayce

06/25/2008 02:15 am

Hope that my PageRank won't leak. :P

No Name

03/29/2009 09:26 pm

Maybe its not leaking but if you study the algorithm you can lose Pr from poor internal linking structure. Look at the basic 3 page example.

Ed

10/14/2011 10:56 pm

Thanks for the various point of view.

Steve Houdek

02/07/2013 03:44 pm

another "damned if ya do, damned if ya don't" situation.

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