Ok so today I read an article by Aaron Wall about nofollows being largely a waste of time, I didn’t quite understand what he was talking about until I scrolled down on my RSS reader to find Matt Cutts had already blogged about this.
Basically, in a nutshell – no follows don’t pass page rank, but they do reduce the amount of page rank passed on by other links.
So for example, if you have a PR 10 site and 10 outgoing links, 9 of which are nofollowed, only 1 will actually pass any link juice. In this situation you might expect it to pass all 10 (minus a dampening factor), but it doesn’t it only passes 1.
So here is my advice on how to use nofollows correctly and what action you should take:
- Ensure you are “dofollowing” all internal links – otherwise you are just shooting yourself in the foot – don’t page rank sculpt, you are just reducing the amount of juice that stays on your site.
- Reduce the overall amount of outgoing links you have on your site, these might include social tagging links
- Dofollow all your external links, unless you see them as a direct competitor or you deem it a “bad neighbourhood”
DofollowNofollow links from commenters – you may get a little spam, but if you keep on top of the moderation it should be fineyou will be spammed!.
So far I’ve dofollowed all my internal links (that I have noticed) and removed any nofollow external links completely. I’ve also removed my social networking links on each post which were detracting the link juice through my site significantly.
On a final note, I’ve
dofollowed nofollowed my blog comments – I want to encourage people to use my blog – perhaps it’ll but I don’t want to get it covered in spam (I hope not) – so feel free to comment on this post! The plugin for WordPress I used to use to dofollow my comments is called NoFollow Free in case anyone is interested (by the way the link is dofollowed).