Parliamentary Yearbook 2008 Blogging Can You Get Around The Google NoFollow Tangle?

Can You Get Around The Google NoFollow Tangle?

A little while ago I wrote asking if Page Rank sculpting was dead. There have been more reports backing up the theory that Google will indeed start to distribute Page Rank to all links evenly although not actually passing it to links that are NoFollowed. One of the dilemmas that web masters will be faced with is how to deal with their internal SEO programs including internal links.

The majority of web masters don’t follow any form of Page Rank sculpting beyond using the NoFollow where it is appropriate. If you have 10 pages that you link to from your home page, and you have links at the top, bottom and perhaps a side menu, that is effectively 30 internal links. Many web masters NoFollow two of those sets of internal links leaving the one set – or only 10 internal links – to be followed.

If Google does change the way it reads and distributes link juice to these internal links, there may be a number of options available to you. The first, and most obvious, is to simply remove the excess links. For many web masters, this is not practical. The links are there for a purpose, generally to assist the visitor find pages of interest.

The second option that I have seen mentioned may have some benefits although I would use it with care. This option suggests you change two sets of links from text to graphic. The theory is that search engines cannot read images. Whilst this may be true, they can certainly read the code that goes behind those links.

One suggestion that should work in the short term is to JavaScript for the links. At present Google cannot read these links so they will not be counted at links leaving that page. As with every thing you do on your page, there are a number of down sides to using Java. The first and most important is that there is a proportion of users who have intentionally turned JavaScript off in their browsers.

To counter this we normally have a text based menu as a fill in. Google of course can read the text based menu so the whole idea breaks down. If you eliminate the text based menu, those users with Java switched off will be left with a blank menu. You will need to consider how important those users are and how many will be disadvantaged.

The other problem I see with using JavaScript is that it won’t be long and Google will be able to read the scripts. For many web masters, having only the one or two sets of navigational links should suffice. Unless you have hundreds of links leaving your pages, or a Page Rank higher than four, you are really putting in extra effort for very little in return. You are better off putting that effort into creating new content.

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