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The Nofollow Tag…. the Secret to a Deep Crawl

by Justin Palmer - September 18th, 2007

I know what you’re thinking. The rel=”nofollow” tag is only used when you link to external websites right? According to Wikipedia, the no follow tag is “ a relation tag (rel=”nofollow”) which can be added to any link and is technically a request from the website to search engines to ignore the link.” Basically, it stops the flow of the link juice, not passing any page rank.

Why would you want to use this on your site? Well, consider a typical e-commerce site. You’ve got your important pages like top level product categories, and lower level product detail pages. However, the navigation for most websites also includes links to “less important” pages such as your customer service page, return policy, and privacy policy. While these pages are technically still “important”, you don’t necessarily want them to receive the same link juice a category or product page receives, because they are rarely updated.

It’s important to keep in mind that although the Googlebot has the ability to crawl as deep as possible, it rarely will go 5, 6 or 7 levels deep. If it does, it’s a rare occasion and those pages likely don’t rank well.

What’s the solution? Slap the rel=”nofollow” tag on all links in your site navigation that don’t need to be crawled as frequently. If you do this, be sure to link somewhere to them without the nofollow, such as from your physical sitemap.

I believe this strategy can work wonders on getting your site’s pages out of the supplemental index. Be sure to leave a comment if you’ve successfully used this method before, or let me know your results after using it.

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3 Responses to “The Nofollow Tag…. the Secret to a Deep Crawl” by Justin Palmer

  1. Tom Says:

    Have you tried this? It doesn’t sound like it would work. The high level of internal linking on blogs is what makes them so attractive to search engines, and they repeated cross-link terms. This seems to be the opposite of that.

    Also, downplaying links to things like the return policy is going to prevent google from figuring out your SiteLinks correctly, won’t it?

  2. SearchMarketing Says:

    spiders do respect rel nofollow however, they still sometimes crawl & collect information of those links. They just don’t calculate pagerank score.

  3. claire Says:

    I’ve tried it. I use in in the comments portion.

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