Articles in The 'pagerank' Tag

January 28 2010

PageRank Sculpting: A Thing of the Past?

by Emily Creech

PageRank is something that many within the search engine marketing and optimization industry are familiar with. PageRank reflects Google’s view of the importance of web pages. Pages perceived as important receive a higher PageRank and are more likely to appear toward the top of the search results.  
Years ago, the “nofollow” attribute was introduced, which enabled webmasters the ability to tell search engines to not follow a specific link from a page.   This attribute essentially tells Google and other search engine spiders to ignore the link and not transfer any PageRank to the page it links to. This can even be used internally on websites to tell the search engines to not transfer PageRank to interior pages. This led to what is known as “PageRank sculpting” where webmasters started to manipulate how credit flows throughout their site.   With PageRank sculpting, webmasters could prevent losing valuable credit on links to unimportant pages and the credit that would have been given to those pages could be redistributed, providing the other links to more important page (those without the nofollow attribute) with more credit.   PageRank sculpting is done in theory to achieve higher rankings for internal pages of a website by not wasting credit on less important pages.

However in 2009, Google stated that using nofollow attributes will no longer allow you to redistribute credit.   Instead, if you use the nofollow attribute, let’s say on 5 links on your homepage, the credit for those 5 links will disappear. The credit that those 5 links would have received without the nofollow attribute will no longer be distributed to other links on this page.  

Since this is the case, it forces webmasters to think about the number and value of links they have on any given page.   If you have too many links on a page, and some of them are nofollowed, you’re essentially throwing away credit.   For search engines and users, you should ensure that the links you have, particularly on your homepage, are to valuable interior pages.   There may be times when you do want to include the nofollow attribute, such as for log-in pages, shopping cart pages, etc.   After all, there is no value in having these pages rank in the search results.    

Here is a link to a post on Matt Cutt’s perspective on the nofollow attribute and PageRank sculpting.   In general, it’s recommended to let PageRank flow throughout the site.   Focus on creating a site worthy of garnering quality links, and an architecture that is friendly for search engines and users.

April 3 2009

Take Command of Your Redirects

by Darren Franks

Implementing redirects is of the utmost importance when it comes to SEO. Whether running a Microsoft IIS or an Apache server, webmasters need the ability to implement redirects for old and alternate versions of your URLs. For example, if users are able to access the www version and non-www version of a website, these versions of the URLs are considered separate entities by the search engines and negative issues could arise.

For instance, both versions of your website could essentially be “diluting” your PageRank. If you have several inbound links to the www version of the site and several more pointing to the non-www version of the site, the importance Google assigns to you based on your inbound links is adversely affected. PageRank (represented by the little green icon on the Google toolbar) is the importance Google assigns to a page based on an automatic calculation that factors in the link structure of the web and many other variables.   The green icon on the toolbar shows a scale of 1-10, with a PageRank of 10 being the highest. The magic numbers of 8-10 are usually reserved for the “big guns” such as Google, Yahoo and

A page that is linked to by many pages with a high PageRank receives a high rank itself. If there are no or very few links to a web page there is no support for that page. Although it has been argued that there is very little correlation between PageRank and your actual rankings in Google, it is still an effective way to gauge how important Google thinks your website is. Once the correct redirects are implemented, the search engines should transfer link popularity from the old URL to the new one so that the search engine rankings are not affected. The same behavior occurs when additional domains are set to point to the main domain through a 301 redirect.

The search engine friendly way to redirect URLs is to use what is know as a 301 (Moved Permanently) redirect. Multiple domains (www vs. non-www or separate domains publishing the exact content) can be deemed to be duplicate content by the search engines and your website could get penalized with automatic “de-indexing” or rank reduction in the search engines. Avoiding this is crucial to your website’s SEO success and survival.

November 15 2007

SEO Tunnel Vision

by Ashley Bailes

With the recent drops in Google’s PageRank and other algorithmic adjustments, many companies are in a frenzy to dramatically readjust their SEO strategies. These same businesses exert the same ferocity, again and again, every time the industry shifts. What many people are failing to notice is that the evolution of SEO is a fluid, ongoing process, that is ultimately meant, on the part of the engines, to provide users with the most relevant and highest quality search engine results.
Tips to Avoid SEO Tunnel Vision:
Don’t forget about the user.

While SEO results are important, your primary motivation shouldn’t consist of being “#1 in Google” or having a PageRank of 10. Instead, realign your goals to reach users, provide a quality experience, and enhance your business. With good content and a quality user experience, SEO relevance will follow.

Create a well-balanced site by following SEO best practices.
Websites experiencing long-term success have created environments for the users and made them easily accessible (and understandable) to the search engines.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Focusing too much on one or two aspects of SEO can lead to disastrous results when algorithms change. SEO is a comprehensive strategy with dynamic elements and should be treated as such.
Additionally, steer clear of SEO methods that offer results based on one or two “quick tricks.” These usually signify non-Best Practices, and sometimes even “black-hat,” techniques that can get you banned from the search engines.
Algorithm modifications are, by nature, designed to benefit well-conceived websites.

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