Adding rel=”nofollow” to a link effectively stops a link being a link, as far as Google is concerned. This means the link does not count as a vote, does not pass page rank, nor topical relevance(!). For instance, most blog comments are nofollow links, unlike this blog;
<a href="http://www.hobo-web.co.uk/" rel="nofollow">Hobo</a>
There are a lot of people who argue every single thing about nofollow and PR. That nofollow links pass PR, that you cannot sculpt page rank because you cannot see it. I think nofollow is as Google says effectively a non-link – and I think you can sculpt PR, just not ‘accurately’ lol.
You can certainly control PR on a granular level (page by page in this case) – ie which page gets available Google PR.
I think it was Matt Cutts from Google who said (paraphrasing);
- Yes, it’s ok to do this
- Yes, it can have a ‘second order effect’ (cryptic as usual)
I tested it, and as far as I am concerned, on a 300 page site at least, any visible benefit is microscopic.
Unlike some of the White Hat Shock Troops, I have no problem using it, but I would prefer to keep it to a minimum, and, old school, sculpt PR by having an intelligent navigation system.
As I said, I have no problem using it. It’s up to you. And Matt Cutts was telling the truth – it’s very much a second order effect, if not less.
Nofollow can be a ‘complicated’ construct, depending on who you are listening to. I go into it more in the article;
If you have never heard of Rel=”nofollow” before, probably best to forget about it – but I thought it best to touch on it :)