Are Blogs Doomed With NoFollow PageRank Sculpting Issue?

Jun 4, 2009 • 9:48 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Yesterday we covered the news that SEOs are wasting PageRank by using the nofollow to sculpt their PageRank. In short, if you had 10 links on a page, and nofollowed 5 of them, the 5 that are followed only get half credit.

So what is the issue with blogs, forum and other user generated content sites? As mentioned in the WebmasterWorld, blogs and other sites that automatically add the nofollow attribute to user generated links, technically should suffer from the way Google handles nofollowed links. Let me explain.

Let's say this blog post has 5 links, 15 comments and then the remaining 20 navigational links in the blog's design. So we have a total of 40 links on a single page, 15 of them are nofollowed since links in the comments automatically get nofollowed. That means 37.5% of the links are wasted, which hurts (well, doesnt help as much) not only the sites I link out to, but also hurts the internal linkage structure of my site.

Why? Well, the links are not worth what they should be, cause of the user generated comments that get nofollowed.

See the issue?

Join the conversation at WebmasterWorld.

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Barry Schwartz

06/04/2009 04:18 pm

Testing commenting.

Barry Schwartz

06/04/2009 04:19 pm

Seems to be working.

Travis Thorpe

06/04/2009 09:24 pm

So you are saying, by having nofollow links you de-value the other links on the page? Interesting Theory.

Rob Abdul

06/04/2009 10:26 pm

Travis, yes that is correct. After mulling it over in my head, the conclusion I've come to is that the Google God's are protecting pagerank from being exploited. Blogs posed a problem to Google because of the links you can gain easily. So the NoFollow PageRank Sculpting Issue is a means of Google protecting PageRank and remain in-charge of quality control.

Michael Martinez

06/04/2009 11:44 pm

Google seems to have reserved for itself the option to not spread the PageRank across user-generated links. They seem to have the ability to make some algorithmic judgements so people are probably drawing too many conclusions too quickly. This is going down as quickly as the whole PageRank Sculpting debacle did in the first place. To date, no one has ever been able to show that they actually CAN sculpt PageRank.


06/05/2009 02:24 am

I guess the Do-Follow movement followers are damn happy now a days :P


06/05/2009 11:36 am

Similar with wikipedia and anybody setting up many outgoing links with rel-nofollow installed. This is really going to get people to rethink how they link out - and does give more reason to link out. After all - the people you link to are more likely to be people who link to you, even if the link is no-followed. So you're hurting yourself by not linking to them (or at least you're hurting your network).

Phill Midwinter

06/05/2009 11:41 am

There's no do-follow movement - only those who understand how PageRank worked from day one. Read Larry Page and Sergey Brin's paper 'Anatomy of a Search Engine' that they wrote at Stanford based on Backrub. Read up on Salton's vector model. There never was any 'juice' lost, like so many areas in SEO a rumour became the 'truth'.


06/16/2009 04:03 pm

One would think that this would have been obvious a year ago. I saw a marked reduction in total site PageRank myself but really didn't know why or what to do about it. This situation only shows that real search engine research is not freely available in search engines, hmm... Maybe they don't index it.


11/24/2010 09:02 am

After we had a change from PR 0 to 2 on our project on October 23rd there has nothing happened with our other websites. I guess that the pagerank will not be discontinued but maybe there will be just updates of single websites in the future and no "big update".

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