PR sculpting with nofollow is obsolete?
Yesterday at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle, Matt Cutts from Google revealed that PageRank sculpting - using the nofollow tag to take PR away from some links and give it to other links - apparently no longer works.
Instead of taking the page's overall PageRank and distributing it across the links that do not have the nofollow tag, as was presumed to be the way it works, Matt Cutts effectively said that using nofollow on a link simply causes the associated PR to evaporate, with no added PR being distributed to other links on the page.
In a thorough blog post on SEOmoz Rand Fishkin explains the issue in detail. If this new way of handling nofollows is really how Google works now, the effect it has on established SEO practices is profound. Optimisers will have to rethink the way they structure a site's navigation and use of the nofollow tag needs to be re-evaluated.
Regardless, if your site is currently using nofollows to sculpt link juice, and it is performing well in Google sesrch results, it would be wise to not panic and simply wait and see what more information turns up in the next few weeks, if any. Knee-jerk reactions and hasty changes to your website could result in detrimental results. As the quote goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
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