Should Nofollow Tags Be Used on Internal Links

Nofollow links seem to be a common area of discussion around SEO, and specifically the subject of several videos from the Google Webmaster YouTube Help channel. After a number of repetitive questions, Matt Cutts decided to try to make Google’s position on nofollow tags a bit clearer in this video.

Summing up nofollow tags rather quickly and pointedly, he explains that there really isn’t any point in using them. The idea behind using nofollow tags is that more PageRank attention would be paid to other parts of the site, so you might put nofollow tags on unimportant pages like a privacy policy or about us page, and then more attention would be paid to a main product page or another main part of the site.

However Matt Cutts says that this “PageRank sculpting” is not effective – the PageRank for other parts of the site won’t go up. In fact, it just eliminates more indexable parts of your site, so you lose PageRank “juice.” He says that there are a few cases when you might use one, like with a login page, but even there he doesn’t recommend using it. Instead he recommends spending your time creating more content which can be ranked and indexed, which he says is a much more productive use of time and will result in much better PageRank than attempting to use nofollow tags. This is great advice and it is really helpful for SEO professional to be able to hear this advice straight from Google.

It certainly makes sense, because even if you don’t generally want users landing on your login page, you do want it to be visible in case someone specifically searches for the login page on your site. The login example also goes for pretty much any other page on your site – you want users to be able to find it when they are searching for it. The advice from this video is simple and easy to remember – it is not worth spending your time adding nofollow tags to your site. This only decreases your site’s SEO performance and can’t really help it.

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

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