Should your blogroll links have a no follow tag attached?

Tejvan from Net Writing commented in my google page predictions post that he noticed some sites having a fall in page rank even though they have been getting more back links.

A huge factor in determining page rank is the page rank of the websites that are linking to you so it is possible to increase backlinks to a blog but still get a lower page rank if the page rank of the pages that are linking to you are reduced. However, a more common reason for a website getting a reduced page rank in the google update is an increased amount of outgoing links.

The page rank of a page will not directly change with more or less outgoing links however the PR that each outgoing link gets does change. This is because the amount of PR that a page has does not change so more outgoing links simply means the PR sent to each outgoing link is reduced. For example, if the number of outgoing links on a page increased from 5 to 15, the PR each link would receive would be a third of what it was before.

Gabriel Harper wrote that :

More outgoing links on your page will not reduce your own PR directly, but it will reduce the PR a link can pass which translates to less PR passed back to your own site indirectly.

Whilst doing a bit of research for this post I came across a post from a few months ago by Dan of The Wrong Advices entitled ‘How To Prevent Your Blog From Leaking PageRank’. In this post Dan talks about how a websites overall Page Rank can be dramatically reduced with too many outgoing links. This is known as PR leakage or dilution.

From the very start of BloggingTips I have made a point not to have too many outgoing links in the blog’s design. Infact, apart from the links in the ‘Making Money’ area of the sidebar, all links are internal. I did not worry about this in blog posts as outgoing links in a post only affect the post page whereas an outgoing link in the sidebar would be present on hundreds of pages (plus I never want to limit the volume of links in posts here). I’m hoping that my prediction of a page rank of 6 for Blogging Tips is correct but I’d be happy with a PR of 5.

Therefore, from next month I will be in the same boat as other bloggers ie. how to make money from selling text links and advertisements without losing my page rank. This just means I will need to keep working on incoming links to the blog ๐Ÿ™‚

Blogroll Page Rank Leakage

Dan brought up a very interesting point in his post. He points out that one of the biggest leaking areas of page rank on a blog is the Blogroll. This is especially true on some blogs, I’ve seen some blogs with close to a hundred links in the blogroll. Now I believe in the idea of the Blogroll but there’s no denying it can hurt page rank.

Dan suggested three solutions to handle Blogroll leakage :-

  • You can create a separate page to display your blogroll. This works but personally I prefer to keep my blogroll in the sidebar.
  • Add a nofollow attribute to blogroll links. I only mention this method for completeness. Itโ€™s a very antisocial and selfish approach and really goes against the spirit of having a blogroll.
  • Only display your blogroll on the homepage. This is my method of choice, and the one I want to discuss in more detail.

Dan mentions that displaying the blogroll only on the homepage is his method of choice and I can understand why. However, since the home page is more likely to have sponsors than other areas of your blog, PR leakage could still be a concern. Which is why I believe that adding a no follow tag to blog roll links should be considered as an option.

I have considered adding a list of useful blogs to the sidebar of Blogging Tips in the past but I have not did so because I have been concerned about Page Rank so much. Perhaps I shouldn’t so concerned but perhaps I wouldn’t get a good page rank if i wasn’t thinking like this! ๐Ÿ˜€

Of course, an alternative solution to all this is to only exchange Blogroll links with blogs with the same page rank and a similar amount of backlinks however it could be argued that this kind of defeats the whole point of a Blogroll.

Where do you stand on this, would you consider adding the no follow tag to your Blogroll links?

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚


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  1. Desty July 12, 2007
  2. Tejvan Net Writing July 12, 2007
  3. Kevin July 12, 2007
  4. Dave July 12, 2007
  5. CatherineL July 12, 2007
  6. Kevin July 12, 2007
  7. Dan July 12, 2007
  8. TechZilo July 13, 2007
  9. Blogs Do Make Money July 13, 2007
  10. Kevin July 13, 2007
  11. Matt Jones July 13, 2007