A fairly new search engine optimization technique has risen and is gaining in popularity. It’s called PageRank sculpting. I see several problems with this technique, which I’ll cover in a minute, but for now let’s define PageRank sculpting.
PageRank sculpting is the practice of attempting to boost the PageRank on certain high value pages on your website by devaluing the PageRank on other pages. How is this done exactly? It’s done through strategic placement of nofollow attributes in your internal links.
It works like this: You have a landing page that you want to achieve a high PR so as to increase the perception of your trust and credibility. You have that page in your navigation menu but also link to it from several pages on your site through in-text links. Good for you. Since Google takes the PR of linking pages and divvies that up between linked to pages, you can influence the PageRank of individual pages simply by using nofollow attributes. Those pages you don’t care whether they have a high PR or not, you add the nofollow attribute to the links that point to those pages. But is it worth it?
I think there are primarily two reasons why this isn’t worth it even though it may actually work. First, PageRank is no longer a useful measure of a website’s trust. Therefore, you’re really just wasting your time trying to boost your PageRank in the first place. Your first priority should be to create a good user experience.
Secondly, the time that you’ll spend going through your site and making all the right links “nofollow” could be spent doing other things that will pay more in dividends down the road. You should always do what is going to benefit your site visitors most and pay you for your efforts.
If you’re inclined to manipulate your PageRank through PageRank sculpting, give this a little thought before you do.