‘PR Sculpting’ is the tactic, and it involves using the ‘nofollow’ tag to hoard your link juice into specific pages and thereby increasing the rankings for that page.

How it works

As most of you know the Google ‘Page Rank’ of a specific page is a major factor leading to the high rankings of a specific phrase and the web page associated with it. (A crude measure of this is the green Page Rank indicator you can see at the top of your browser). Here’s an example of a high PR (9)on the BBC site:-

The factors leading to the Page Rank of a page are the links coming into that page (both external links and also links from internal pages) and also links OUT of that page. Its a bit like the leaky bucket analogy used in marketing, but specifically here the quest is to maximise the inflow of link juice and minimise the outflow.

Maximising the inflow obviously involved increasing the backlinks to the page and also finding internal pages which can be used to link to the target page in an appropriate way.

Minimising the outflow involves using the ‘nofollow’ tag. There’s a good article on the nofollow tag here where you can also see examples of how its structured. Essentially you are just telling the spider NOT to pass any link juice out to the linked pages. (Human viewers can still follow the link of course its just that the spiders wont).

What sort of links is this relevant to?

Obviously there are some pages you want to pass link juice to but many you dont – including the obvious ‘terms and conditions’, ‘about us’, sign up forms etc.

We’re experimenting with this at the moment and so far the results are encouraging. Here’s more detail on it Page Rank Sculpting and here’s a good example – SeoMoz example.

Give it a shot – you have nothing to lose and only better ranked pages to gain.