Nofollow Links and Links-Per-Page

I had seen many webmasters confused with Nofollow Links and Links-Per-Page. Like have a look at this conversation on Digital Point. Mostly webmasters think that the Rule for Links per page only exists with External Links which is not true. Links are links .. no matter if they comes with in their website or outside their website.

Lets start with Nofollow Links.

Posted on the Google Blog by Matt Cutts, Head of Google’s Webspam team.
"From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel="nofollow") on hyperlinks, those links won't get any credit when we rank websites in our search results."

Formatting of the Link Relationship Attribute:

< a href="http://www.example.com/" rel="nofollow">Anchor Text< /a>

“The nofollow attribute is just a mechanism that gives webmasters the ability to modify PageRank flow at link-level granularity. Plenty of other mechanisms would also work (e.g. a link through a page that is robot.txt’ed out), but nofollow on individual links is simpler for some folks to use. There’s no stigma to using nofollow, even on your own internal links; for Google, nofollow’ed links are dropped out of our link graph; we don’t even use such links for discovery. By the way, the nofollow meta tag does that same thing, but at a page level.”Matt Cutts.

Summary: Webmasters can use nofollow internally (for internal links) to help tell Googlebot which pages they want to receive link juice from other pages.

You can also check this article: Preventing comment spam on Google Webmaster Blog for further details about this tag.

Links Per Page: Google has noted in the past that a maximum of 100 links per page was wise and would insure that all of the links on a page would be crawled. Does this rule still apply or is there some flexibility? Lets see what Matt have to say about this.

The “keep the number of links to under 100″ is in the technical guideline section, not the quality guidelines section. That means we’re not going to remove a page if you have 101 or 102 links on the page. Think of this more as a rule of thumb. Originally, Google only indexed the first 100 kilobytes or so of web documents, so keeping the number of links under 100 was a good way to ensure that all those links would be seen by Google. These days I believe we index deeper within documents, so that’s less of an issue. But it is true that if users see 250 or 300 links on a page, that page is probably not as useful for them, so it’s a good idea to break a large list of links down (e.g. by category, topic, alphabetically, or chronologically) into multiple pages so that your links don’t overwhelm regular users.”Matt Cutt.

Summary: Google may crawl more than 100 links per page (maybe even many hundreds), Google don’t recommend linking to that many because of the dilution of link juice that occurs. Instead, use sub-navigation pages to help ease the link per page burden.

Rand says:

  • Nofollow is now, officially, a “tool” that power users and webmasters should be employing on their sites as a way to control the flow of link juice and point it in the very best directions. Good architectural SEO has always had some internal link structuring work involved, but nofollow and Matt’s position on it makes it clear that for those of us who are professionals, we can be use it intelligently without a downside risk.
  • For pages with many, many links, sticking close to 100 links per page is probably still a very good idea, though high PR and link juice pages can certainly get more pages spidered. I note that on a page like the Web 2.0 Awards, well over 200 links are being followed and passing link juice (at least from what I can see).

If you think still you have some question about the above points just leave a comment and i will answer it.. 😉

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6 comments

  1. Search Engines Hates says:

    […] had already discussed about links in deep in my article Nofollow Links and Links-Per-Page. In this article I’m telling some points as requested in a mail today from Robin… he […]

  2. Steps To a Good Internal WebSite Structure says:

    […] Avoid several links to one and the same page [from one place]. Example: with blogs we usually see 3 links to a post page: 1. Title: site.com/page_url 2. “Comments” link: site.com/page_url#comments 3. “Read more” link: site.com/page_url#more Although this is good for users as it helps in navigation to go to the post part they want to go. But for spiders these links might be distracting, so it is recommended to use nofollow tag. […]

  3. rel='external' says:

    […] … after having a long research about this tag i had seen many people think that it is like nofollow tag. It helps in prevent PageRank Pass .. this is not at all true […]

  4. On Page SEO, Google Ranking Factors says:

    […] rel=”nofollow” attribute to control the PageRank […]

  5. John Illnes says:

    The official claim is that links with the rel=nofollow attribute do not influence the search engine rankings of the target page. In addition to Google, Yahoo and MSN also support the rel=nofollow attribute.

    i think it helps indexing…

  6. JLH says:

    Simply don’t use nofollow and let the search engines figure it out. It was meant to stop commentspam, but it doesn’t work.