Google PageRank and Your Google Juice

Google PageRank, PageRank vs Google juice and what nofollow really means to your blog.

One of my favorite bloggers, PotPieGirl just added My Name is Pot Pie Girl and I Follow after adding the WordPress DoFollow plugin.

UPDATE: If is important to note that shortly after this PotPieGirl put up a completely new site that I now feel is extremely clean and professional. Also note the woman has only been online for a year+. If I had made this kind of headway, I would be a billionaire by now and Bill Gates would be mowing my lawn just so he could say he knows me. There is also no cache of the original site so you cannot see what it looks like.END UPDATE

I don’t want to take credit, but this comes after I called most her outgoing links “JUNK.” Don’t take this the wrong way PPP, but yeah, they are junk. Wikipedia defines junk as ” Scrap, metallic waste, or waste in general (American Usage).” I am sorry to be blunt here, but that is what MyBlogLog is, junk, or waste in general because it wastes your Google link juice.

PotPieGirl described nofollow as “Basically what it all means is that if someone commented on your blog and dumped a link, or a bunch of links, your nofollow attribute would tell the search engines not to follow it or to give ranking power to it.”

“Simply put, don’t follow this link out of my blog, and don’t have my blog cast a vote for the page that the link links to.”

That is somewhat inaccurate because Google does follow the link, it just does not give it the weight accorded dofollow links, or just regular links. nofollow from Wikipedia to clear this up.

“folks are all proclaiming the magic of “sculpting Page Rank” with the nofollow attribute” states PotPieGirl.

Yep, that was me, Chris Lang, PotPieGirl was talking about since I called most of what she links to junk (MyBlogLog especially). I went to look back at the plugins post that I commented on the other day but I don’t see it? Can you email me the link or add it to comments below, PPP?

First off, let me explain myself a little here, as I don’t believe I said nofollow was realted to PR in my prior post. I don’t care about PR, but I do care about where my Google link juice is going.

PageRank is useless obsessive junk. StomperNet came out and finally said it right, “PageRank means nothing to the ranking of your site, it is an indicator of how often your site is re-indexed in Google.” Brad and Andy, sorry if it is a word or two off but I don’t have time to watch the video again. Fresh full index updates are extremely important to your linking strategies, so it does have big value, just not directly to your SERPs rankings.

PR is also 2 to 3 months behind what Google currently PageRanks you as. A PR update is an update to what is displayed in the Google toolbar, not Google’s working PR number. You can currently be a 0 to Google and it will show you as a 3 if that is what the last update set you as and visa versa. A PR4 site displayed as 0. KeyWebData.com got PR de-listed and was greyed out for 6 months, now I am a 3. Never did I see any variation in my SERPs positions other than the usual Google bounce.

What I said in my prior comment was that “you only have so much Google link juice to give away.” Google in a simple analogy does this: “Value of site” divided by “the total number of links”, in site and outgoing. Each link gets so much juice to pass on. This could be over simplification but this is what I believe from reading Andy Beard and seomoz.org.

So if you have X amount of link juice to pass on to links why would you give this finite virtual resource away indiscriminately? Why if you have only so much “measure of importance” for links to pass on would you not reserve it for just the best ones? And your own in site links?

Google PageRank, NoFollow and saving your Google juice, Here’s why:

The same link juice you pass on to other sites also is given to links within your site. Let’s see, do I want to diminish link juice to my links to my own content by not using nofollow in the link to the Golf Simulator Bar at PotPieGirl.com?

Do I want to squander my link juice by using a social site plugin that creates links to 15 social bookmarking sites on every post? I have 85 blog posts on KeyWebData.com. If every post has 15 social bookmarking links then I have increased my outgoing links by 1275 outgoing links. WOW! If I even had that many in site links I would have decreased their importance by 50%.

PotPieGirl, let’s add in your blogroll, site admin links and so forth. I will round it off to 20 links that you don’t need to share with. They appear on every page of your blog. Let’s say you have 200 pages, so doing the math you have 4,000 outgoing links that mean NOTHING! 4,000!

You have now diminished your Google link juice 500% to each link! Now that you use dofollow in your comments it has little meaning because you have diluted your link’s relevance.

What is more important, your readers comments or random links? Plus, if you are going to use DoFollow in the comments, you are further dividing your link juice even more. Wouldn’t you rather remove 4,000 worthless links to other people’s junk, (i love that word, junk, just useless nefarious krud) and save that link juice for your comments?

Google judges blogs by the company they keep. The sites you link to, the prior blog posts of your own that you link to and repetitive links, your blog roll and your navigation bars. Also the blogroll can be a defining factor for you, but it is a blogroll, a roll of blogs, not a bunch of commercial links. If you are not going to link to top tier authority sites in your blogroll, and I mean TOP TIER sites, not beer mugs on eBay, you are just shooting your self in the foot. And you better have allot of bullets in that gun, because that blogroll is on every page, time 9 links so you are shooting yourself in the foot 1800 plus times.

Linking to prior blog post’s shows a “content theme” or theme layering or theme linking to Google. If a blog post is seen by Google thru keywords to be about widgets and you link to three prior blog posts of you own about widgets and then to other authority sites about widgets then Google will rank you better under widgets.

So if you are going to use this strategy to create a theme within your site, linking to prior content, why not reserve that link juice for your own links?

I totally disagree with you that “Because of the use of nofollow, the original and natural flow of the web is altered. It’s NOT natural.” Backlinks meant nothing to the ranking of websites until Google made it a natural part of search engine rankings. Google still follows the link, it just does not pass on your relevance to the link.

The natural flow of the web is hyperlinks, nofollow does not interrupt this, it just allows you to determine which links in your site mean something and which ones are just administration and advertising.

I also believe that Google tries out blog posts in in Blogsearch first and then, based on how they do there, the ranking in Websearch is somewhat determined, but nobody agrees with me and Matt Cutts says Google does not rank blogs differently that static websites. I disagree with this highly, but that is another post. Just wait for that one, WOW. With that in mind, my final point is this: Remove your MyBlogLog junk, put nofollow in all your admin links and advertising, delete your blogroll and for a month see what happens.

If I seen to be rather rough on you PPP, it is not directed at you. I only found 4,000 wasted links in your site, I could spend all day long and never finish on most sites.

Google PageRank, The Bottom Line

PotPieGirl, I know you have all the links to the SEO tracking apps I use because you bought my social marketing ebook , why not take some screen shots now, and then on July 1st screen shot the same terms and see if you went up in the SERPs? We can both state our opinions and back it up with facts, but the bottom line is “did it work for me” and “I know it did because I tracked it and measured it.”

I already did on my site and I know for sure what works. – Chris Lang

15 Comments

  1. Posted May 25, 2008 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    UPDATE: I just started thinking about this again and get this: PotPieGirl is a Squidoo Goddess and has 7,252 incoming links. Yet, (and I will say it again, frak PageRank) she is a PR3 site. 7,252 incoming links! I would say she has what Andy Beard calls a PageRank leak.

    With 7,252 backlinks she should be a 5 at least. PotPieGirl.com should be a hugely sought after property with all those links. PPP, you are a 10 in my book, you just happened to be fodder for my lack of article imagination today. Fodder being pointing out what someone is doing wrong in my estimation.

  2. Posted May 31, 2008 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    I posted this to PPP’s blog, and I thought it would be only fair to post it here too:

    The MyBlogLog widget does not bleed “Link Juice” because it’s Javscript, and Google does not see any of the links to profiles. Many of the other widgets are also Javscript, and so will not bleed link juice either.

    I also believe that internal links are treated seperately from outgoing links. Oh, and outgoing links do not affect your PR – PageRank Leakage is a myth!

  3. Posted May 31, 2008 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I would love it if you sent some links to support a blanket statement that flies in the face of Andy Beard and SiFiskin. Go any evidence to support this statement? How about SEO testing? Tracking stats of any type? I would love to see it, I always love seing the little guy shoot down the guru’s. Post it on your blog about Squidoo, and I will gladly link to it. This could be really interseting, so whatcha got?

    I will start with this from a top SEO expert, SiFishkin of seomoz.org

    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-pagerank-works-why-the-original-pr-formula-may-be-flawed

  4. Posted May 31, 2008 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Also MyBlogLog definitely creates outgoing links, three links to MyBlogLog under the pictures. Just because you can’t see it, does not mean it is not a link. If Java document.writes an a tag, it is a link. If it uses onclick= like it does in the pictures, than Google may not follow it. Google very soon will find onclick= links and it does already to some extent in the beta GoggleBot. Just Google it.

  5. Posted May 31, 2008 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    I admit that was perhaps too much of a sweeping statement, and I’ll assume it was my last sentence that you are referring to. I hope that you at least accept that the MyBlogLog widget does not pass PageRank to blogger profiles.

    I would first like to link to this blog post: Does Rank Leak Exist?. It is rather old, but it does echo my sentiments. This forum thread shows a long argument between two people on the subject.

    I don’t have any further evidence to back this up, and I’m not going to take it any further. As you said, “PageRank is useless obsessive junk”.

  6. Posted May 31, 2008 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Those items while well written are from 2005. Good God, Google Blogsearch and the current Google patent had not been written yet. The way Google ranks blogs and Blogsearch is all new since then.

    Take a look at this: http://www.keywebdata.com/?p=71 How Google Ranks Blogs.

    Matt Cutts will say that this does not apply to Websearch but I do not believe that to be true either.

    Too many things from the Blogsearch patent affect blogs both negatively and positively in Websearch that do not apply to static web pages and I have PROVED that to be true. Like social bookmarking.

  7. Posted May 31, 2008 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    You wrote “If Java document.writes an a tag, it is a link.”

    This is not so. The Googlebot does not render each web page that it crawls, and does not parse any Javascript. All it sees is the raw HTML, and if you look at the source my blog (for example), you will see no links to MyBlogLog. Looking at PPP’s blog on Google Cache, it’s exactly the same. The Bumpzee and Blogcatalog widgets were also invisible to Google.

  8. Posted June 3, 2008 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    Sir,
    I completed reading this post with some difficulty. In the beginning of this post, I liked your view on what exactly PR means and why you really don’t give much importance to it.

    But I could not find out what you are driving at in your latter part of the article.

    I think I will have to read it again.

    Thanks anyway for the insight.
    Cheers.

    ps:BTW, do you follow me? (Smile)

  9. Posted June 8, 2008 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Hi Chris – thanks for a thought provoking article. I have a couple of questions:

    – You stated that my the quantity of incoming links (7252) that PPG’s site should rank higher (see first comment above). Why? I thought the formula was much more sophisticated and included the value placed on incoming links (ie. if most are PR1, then they are not of much value).

    – You have said that you should “delete your blogroll.” Why do you advise that?

    Thanks again for this important SEO conversation. – Scott

  10. Posted June 8, 2008 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Scott,

    I did not dig into her links since this was not a full site consultation. However in observation I find it suspicious that over 7,000 links have brought her a PR of 3. PPG is running a simple test, has ripped out all that crap, (I just love that word, 4 letters that says so much) and we shall see if she rises in rankings.

    Who really knows what happens in Google. What I try to teach is to run some kind of comparative testing. Come up with a test of your own, even if it is to screen shot your SERPs standings. I have four different online testing tools that are free and very high powered that you can do this with in my “Social Marketing Search Engine Tactics” eBook.

    You can read SEO crap like this all day and come away with nothing more than marketing incest. That’s where one guy like SiFishkin writes it, I blog about it and then 10 others blog about what they read here and then 10 others and then 10 others…..

    Pretty soon we are all reading a diluted incestual pool of backwoods sister spawned brother’s mother’s uncle’s guy next door regurgitation. ROFLOL

    As far as the blogroll goes: PPG had linked to all her other little sites like eBay, (5 or 6 in all) this was a bad move. Google uses the blogroll as a positive or negative indicator. I used to use my blog roll to link to sites like Andy Beard and SiFishkin. These are two of the blogs I follow every day and I was linking up. My blogroll only contained A list blogs. This can help you. Plus I only link to A list blogs in posts. In PPG’s case, she was not only linking down to affiliate programs and eBay, she was linking to sites that weren’t even blogs.

    Plus if you use the sidebar on every page then there is the blogroll producing a link on every page. 5 links X 200 blog posts = 1000 outgoing links for no frakin (battlestar galactica reference) reason.

    Also reciprocal blogroll links is the worst thing you can do. If I add you to my blogroll and you add me to your blogroll then Google says “they just did that to get the link” and then we are both lessened in Google’s eye. I guess I could call this linking incest.

    If you have more questions don’t hesitate to ask. If I am wrong in my findings then I am open to disscussion and will come right out and admit it when I have opened my big mouth a little too far.

  11. Posted June 8, 2008 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Hi Chris –
    Thanks for the reply and the discussion. The tough thing is to make decisions based on what Google “might” be doing with its formula, since you can test and make an educated guess, but it may change at any time. On this point, I have another question. You stated in your reply, that reciprocal bloglinks are the worst thing you can do. What evidence do you have of that? Thanks again for the conversation.
    – Scott

  12. Posted June 8, 2008 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    RssPieces detailed this http://www.rsspieces.com/real-estate-blogs-and-reciprocal-linking-penalties-does-google-hate-your-link-love when I wrote the “How Google ranks blogs” article. Realtors had the great idea of trading blogroll links. You blogroll me and I blogroll you.

    Then they watched their blogs sink in the results. Blogroll reciprical linking is pretty well detailed as having led to bad Google results. Not my testing but some pretty reliable others.

  13. Posted June 8, 2008 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    I have a megaton buttload of leaks but I still have a PR 5. Plus Google is only showing a count of like 339 links to my site lol.

    I’m not at all convinced the PR leakage is real. The only no follow I have on my site is in CommentLuv links and the links on my Top 50 Video Sites list.

    Now I don’t even know why I even have there in THOSE places.

    Dunno – I am proudly no SEO expert to the level people might think I am. If someone shows me how to get a PR 6, as little as I care about PR, I will take it as a vanity plate.

    But just remember, we make over $100k a month with all our leakage and low PR sites, so ask yourself if this much of a focus on PR is productive or not.

  14. Posted June 9, 2008 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Jack,

    I would hazard a guess that your 339 links are PR 3, 4 and 5 sites.

    While my PotPieGirl has created most of her 7000+ links through Squidoo and blog sub-pages that carry 0 PR and some with unranked (greyed out) PR.

    You know I am a tracking and testing nut, my tests don’t always have definitive results. However, I am going to take the time to count PR on your 339 so I can see what you did right.

    As far as your PR leakage, I still want to know how much link juice Google gives DoFollow comments, they have to know that they are comments that we ourselves create.

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