Google’s revealed that the advanced SEO practice of PageRank sculpting will be far less effective as it’s changed the rules on nofollow.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of PageRank sculpting, here’s a brief explanation.
Let’s assume we have a web page that carries a Google PageRank of 8. (PageRank is Google’s assessment of a pages importance on a scale of 0 – 10).
If this web page links to 4 other pages within the site, it’s believed that it then parses equal amounts of its PageRank on to the destinations pages via the links (i.e. each page receives 2 of its 8 PR points).
PageRank Sculpting involves the use of nofollow tags on links to control where the PageRank value flows within a website. So if two of the links above had nofollow tags added, then the other 2 pages would get 4 of the original pages PR points.
So as you can see – webmasters could bolster the PageRank (and hopefully Google Ranking) of certain pages in a website through controlling PR flow.
Well Google’s public SEO voice, Matt Cutts, has revealed that Google’s management of nofollow has changed – potentially rendering the practice of basic PageRank sculpting useless. (NOTE: sculpting can involve more than just using nofollow)
According to Cutts, Google will no longer allow webmasters to build up link juice and funnel it to certain pages. If nofollow is used on links, the other pages wont get a PR boost – instead they’ll just receive the same PR value they would have, if all the links were followed.
So alas – this could be the end of PR sculpting as we know it. Given the announcement was made during a Q&A session at a conference; webmasters will be waiting patiently for an official statement on the policy from Google.
Will this change to nofollow impact your SEO efforts? If you’re currently use PageRank Sculpting – share some other ways you manage the flow of PR on your website…