SEO Questions About NoFollow Links and PageRank

Matt_Cuts_Answering_SEO_Questions-20131021It’s that time once again where we look at questions posed to chief of Google’s webspam team, Matt Cutts, and round up his answers. It’s a SEO Q&A and hopefully it helps budding and experienced webmasters alike find greater success in their optimization efforts.

The first question Matt Cutts addressed this week has to do with PageRank. The user was wondering why their site’s PageRank hasn’t increased despite the fact that they make regular content updates and have their SEO content written by proven editors who know what they’re doing. Cutts begins his answer by explaining that the PageRank toolbar indicator is only periodically updated. So, it is possible that a site’s PageRank has increased but the indicator just hasn’t updated yet. As a side note, the PageRank toolbar is likely to fade away as a way to track this anyway since the latest version of Internet Explorer has trouble showing it and Google Chrome doesn’t support toolbars in the first place.

Cutts also advises this user to check on their backlinks. After all, it is the number of links directed toward a site (from high quality sites, of course) that determine PageRank. Having great content with perfect SEO on your site can help it rank higher in search results but it won’t necessarily boost PageRank.

The second question we’re looking at this week has to do with internal nofollow links and whether or not you should include the rel=nofollow tag on links that point to a login page, let’s say. Cutts explains that, for the most part, you want make internal links on your site dofollow. You want PageRank to flow from one page to the next. You want GoogleBot to be able to find these internal pages within your site. This helps to improve your site’s visibility and can improve the rank of individual pages on your site in the search results.

Cutts then addresses the user’s specific question regarding whether or not you should add nofollow to links to login pages or other relatively useless pages like “Terms and Conditions” pages and things like that. He says you can add nofollow to links to these pages but there’s really no reason to. They don’t hurt anything and only add to the amount of unique content associated with your site that GoogleBot sees. The more unique content, the better it is for your overall SEO efforts!

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