With so many people obsessing over PageRank (PR,) it’s often a bit funny to see many of the same people letting the PR of their own pages leak like it’s nothing.
What is Pagerank (PR?)
Before I provide some tips on improving the internal linking of your own site/blog in order to not only increase the “indexibility” (I know, that’s not a word, I like it though) of your own site/blog, but also to increase the PR of your “money pages,” I’ll explain the basics of PR for those who don’t already know.
Every page that is found on the World Wide Web (WWW) is given a set authority. Google calls this authority “PageRank,” while other Search Engines (SE’s) give it their own title.
This authority, or “link juice” is normally calculated by the authority of the page(s) in which it is linked and by the number links on that page in particular. For instance, page.html is assigned a Google PR of 6. This page contains 20 links. Each of the 20 pages that have been linked to will receive a small portion of that PR6. In other words, the higher the PR of the page linking to your page and the fewer the links, the more authority your page will receive.
It’s also important to understand the difference between Google Toolbar PageRank and the actual PageRank that is assigned to each page since Google is the biggest player in the SE game. Toolbar PR is the reading (usually false) that is shown to us via the Google Toolbar or any other tool that draws this data from the Google API, while the actual Google PR is not shown to anyone, outside a select few at Google, and does directly contribute to your pages Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS) positions.
So, although many will say PageRank doesn’t matter, it actually does matter! Next time someone tells you “PageRank doesn’t mean anything,” do me a favor and tell them that they need to understand what PageRank is before they make a statement like that. 😉 Google toolbar PR doesn’t mean anything these days, but the actual PR that we can’t see does in fact mean quite a bit!
How to Improve your Internal Linking Structure
As I stated before, authority is passed through to each link on each page of the WWW that has been indexed by any given SE. With that being said, consider all the different types of links you harbor on your own site/blog. Most likely you have one or more of the following:
1. Affiliate links
2. Contact us links
3. About us links
4. Social media links
5. Links to sites that don’t need your help ie. Google, Wikipedia etc.
6. Links to other internal pages that contain the same content as your “money pages” ie. archives and navigation etc.
None of these links deserve any authority, yet they get it on many sites across the net. There are 3 ways to prevent this.
2. META nofollow
3. rel=”nofollow” attribute
The robots.txt option is the best for restricting internal pages, as outlined in #2,3 and 6 above. The nofollow META tag is useless, as you can do the same thing with robots.txt, which is honored by more major SE’s and the rel=”nofollow”, which unfortunately is only honored by Google and a few other SE’s, is what you should be using to restrict affiliate links, social network links etc. from being assigned authority or “PR.”
To restrict links from being indexed and assigned authority via the robots.txt method, just insert the following in your robots.txt file (replacing “page.php” and “directory/” with your own pages and/or directories:)
You can also use a wildcard to restrict everything after a certain parameter ie.
To restrict SE’s from indexing and/or assigning authority to links via the rel=”nofollow” (some SE’s treat it differently) just insert the following into the link(s) you want to restrict:
To restrict SE’s from indexing and/or assigning authority to pages via the META nofollow option, just insert the following META tag into the page you want to restrict:
By using one or all of the above options you will be increasing the PR of your site/blog by taking the authority that was once assigned to these pages that should have been ignored in the first place and letting it flow to the pages that you want to rise in the SE’s.
Once you’ve loaded up your robots.txt file and restricted all the static pages on your site/blog it is relatively easy to continue this positive trend. Also keep it in mind and remember to insert a rel=”nofollow” into every link you publish that doesn’t need to receive any authority.