PageRank Sculpting

Posted on April 17, 2009


In the world of SEO, PageRank sculpting seems to be something of a contentious issue right now. It is being debated on many SEO forums, blogs and panels as some SEOs are under the impression that PageRank sculpting is frowned upon by Google to the extent that you could be penalised for it.

First off, what is PageRank sculpting?

PageRank sculpting is when you use the ‘rel=nofollow’ attribute on links to internal pages of your website so that you channel your PageRank to pages that you want to be ranked higher within Google. Nofollow means that Google won’t index those pages, thus theoretically giving more weight to the other pages on your website.

For example, you might nofollow links to pages on your website that you don’t want to rank in Google, such as terms and conditions, privacy policy, testimonials and other non essential pages. You could even nofollow links to category pages of your blog, tag archives and other pages that you don’t want to rank. This in turn ensures that all of your website’s ‘link juice’ is saved for the important pages, such as your posts, and your homepage.

So, is this a dodgy, black hat tactic or just a simple way of ensuring that your most important pages are seen by Google?

The simple fact of the matter is that the nofollow attribute was invented by Google to allow webmasters (and SEOs) to help Google index the important pages of their websites. To believe that Google has now cursed the Frankenstein that it created to such an extent that it will penalise websites for using it is something of a myth.

Google wants you to use the nofollow attribute. Google invented it for you to use it. If there are pages of your website you don’t want indexed, nofollow them. There’s no underhand advantage to doing it. You’re not cheating Google and you’re not using some nasty black hat SEO trick.

Get sculpting that PageRank.

  • […] talked about PageRank sculpting before and the current debate surrounding its ethics as an SEO strategy. PageRank sculpting is […]

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