In June, Google’s Matt Cutts announced that PageRank sculpting would be affected by a change in the search engine’s nofollow policy. It wasn’t really a change; it really an enforcement issue. But it got a bunch of SEOs to thinking, scheming, and dreaming. Evidently, Rand Fishkin was one of them.
The gold-old Rand came up with an alternative to PageRank sculpting and he’s calling it “Link Consolidation.” It works like this:
- You take several pages that are somewhat related, but not identical (such as About, Press, Contact, etc.), and you turn them all into one page instead of giving each its own unique page
- Assign each section of your page a bookmark, designated by #
- Point your internal links that before would have been pointed to those individual pages and point them instead of the appropriate bookmark on your consolidated page
The effect would be something like this:
- All of your consolidated pages are now at /about.html
- press.html redirects to /about.html#press
- contact.html redirects to /about.html#contact
- privacy.html redirects to /about.html#privacy
- /about.html still points to /about.html or can redirect to /about.html#about
Outside links that point to this page will likely link to /about.html, but your internal links can point to any of the bookmarks on that page or the top of the page and the links will all be counted for /about.html. The effect is that you’ll have more links overall pointing to a single page, but you’ll have fewer pages on your website, appearing as if PageRank sculpting really was still working.
I’m skeptical. Here’s why:
Fewer pages means fewer ways to rank at the search engines. It could water down your SEO for the /about.html page.
While all of those links pointing to about.html could increase your PageRank for that page, causing it to rank higher in the search engines and be found by more people, if you have a lot of information on that page that isn’t relevant to a large portion of the people who find it in the search engines then it could diminish user experience.
Keep in mind that if you have fewer than 100,000 pages on your site then this entire discussion is moot. PageRank sculpting shouldn’t be something you should be concerned about anyway. But if you do have that many pages on your website, I’m reasonably sure there are a million other things that could occupy your time and attention.