The system worked fairly well, and with Google’s backing SEOs could be fairly sure they weren’t doing anything wrong.
However Google’s king of spam, Matt Cutts, may have thrown a Google shaped spanner in the works. Speaking at SMX Advanced, Cutts stated that while sites wouldn’t be penalised for PageRank sculpting, they wouldn’t necessarily get any added benefit from it either.
It’s not gonna get you a penalty. You’re not gonna get in trouble or anything. We’re not gonna say “oh all of these internal links are nofollowed” or anything like that. However, it’s not as effective, so it’s definitely a better use of your time to go and make new content.
If you’re using nofollow to change how PageRank flows around within your site, it’s almost like a band-aid. It’s better to make your site the way you want PageRank to flow from the beginning, and then it’s good for users, and it’s good for search engines.
So how you choose to link within your site is your own business, and I would tell people you can try to sculpt PageRank, but it’s not gonna be as useful. So I would urge people to make new content or think about how to link within your site. Put your best products right up on your root page, and things like that. And that’s gonna be a much better way to “sculpt” PageRank than using nofollow.
So there you have it. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with using nofollow to sculpt your PageRank, there are better and more effective ways to make sure that Google perceives your more important pages to be just as important as you do.