Google’s head of spam, Matt Cutts, recently spoke about PageRank sculpting and how people’s efforts to ‘sculpt’ their PageRank by adding nofollow tags to unimportant pages were redundant.
Matt Cutts now claims that the extra PageRank that would have been saved by nofollowing links is now lost in the ether, and suggests that webmasters take more time to properly structure their websites rather than adding nofollow tags if they want to pass PageRank through to important pages.
Whether you believe Matt Cutts or not, and whether you believe that the extra PageRank really is ‘lost’, it’s definitely worthwhile looking at new ways to structure pages and to make sure that unimportant pages aren’t featured in navigation menus. For this purpose we recently started using the ‘Exclude Pages’ plugin for WordPress. This plugin allows you to select pages that you don’t want included in your navigation, wherever pages may be listed.
So for example if you’ve used WordPress to create your Terms and Conditions page, and it’s appearing on your site in the navigation, this plugin can remove it from the list. By unchecking the box which appears on your ‘edit page’ section you’re able to remove any page from your navigation, so Google can’t follow it. This ensures that any PageRank isn’t lost in the ether, as Google seem to want to do.