PageRank Sculpting is a search engine optimisation technique that manipulates the flow of PageRank “juice” as one page links to another page.

At its very simplest, the theory goes that a link to a page counts as a vote for that page. If a page has lots of links to a lots of different pages, then the value of the votes are diluted, making each vote worth less.

PageRank Sculpting utilises the “nofollow” attribute on selected links, thus instructing Google that it should not pass any “link juice” to pages that aren’t important.

Typical use of the nofollow link attribute might be on links to your Terms & Conditions page, or your Privacy Policy, or your Accessibility page. You aren’t keen to have these pages rank well in the search engine results, and so you don’t want to pass any link juice to these pages from your Home Page.

But you could also use Page Rank Sculpting to try to focus deliberately focus link juice on your most important products and services, at the expense of other links to pages on your site.

Page Rank Sculpting takes quite a lot of planning and effort, and so what you want to be asking yourself is is it worth it?

Maybe, maybe not.

  • For most small business websites, having a well planned site will naturally give the same effect as deliberate Page Rank Sculpting. You are likely to have links to the content that is most useful to your visitors. You are likely to have fewer links to less important stuff. And you don’t link to the irrelevant stuff.
  • You might be better off using your time instead to generate great content, or work on getting links from high quality, relevant sites.
  • If you try to be too clever using the nofollow attribute, then you risk damaging your visibility in the search engines if you get it wrong.
  • And Page Rank Sculpting is only of secondary importance to the main focus of your search engine optimisation: content and reputation.
  • A good example of where Page Rank sculpting is appropriate would be a large e-commerce website where a category page will have multiple links to the same product page: a link from the picture of the product, another link from the name of the product, and finally an identical link coming from “Product Info”. Using page rank sculpting means you would tell Google to ignore 2 of those 3 identical links, and focus all the link juice on the one link, thus making it more important.

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