Does PR Sculpting Work?

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Well I am sure you have heard of PR hoarding or PR Sculpting by way of the nofollow attribute before, but do they work? Simple answer for me is I don’t know. Do you? I would love to hear from you on this thread then.

Please explain to me why millions of websites rank fine without doing this and now all of sudden we should start doing this? Is this to help our websites? Is it to help Google crawl our websites? Will our websites suffer if we don’t do this? I would answer no to most of these questions.

As we all know the nofollow attribute was created as a blog comment spam condom. It was since progressed into a paid link condom and most recently into a tool that webmaster could, should (lol) use to help control PR flow through our websites. Are we to believe that those that are not employing the nofollow tag on our website in some way is going to underperform on Google? Rubbish. Are we to believe that we should just go out and nofollow pages we dont want to rank thinking this will help the pages we do want to rank? Rubbish.

If you never used the follow tag for the rest of your life you will rank fine. True. Focus your efforts on ideas and techniques that a tried and true. Most that think that PR sculpting works have NEVER even tested it.

You don’t have to “sculpt” PR on your website by not passing link juice to your privacy policy, terms of service or about us pages. It is mind blowing to me that you would not want these pages not indexed or ranking for keywords anyways.

I have said before that nofollow seem to be nothing more than a band-aid on poor internal navigation. And SEOs expect to fix this by managing PR flow using nofollow. The whole idea is really crazy making. SEOs want to manage something that they cant even begin to explain. Is a great quote from Micheal Martinez clearly explaining why you can’t do this:

“I would agree that the concept of managing PageRank flow through link sculpting is mathematically acceptable. But PageRank flow is not what people in the SEO community are thinking about. They’re focused on PageRank value, and that’s an entirely different concept.

PageRank flow is a series of events. The flow may occur within one set of calculations or across multiple sets of calculations. Think of each set of calculations as an internal PageRank update. Maybe it happens every day. Maybe it happens every week. We don’t see it.

It’s extremely naive and foolish to propose that anyone in the SEO industry can manage a process none of us can see.

As far as PageRank value is concerned, people in the SEO industry can only look at Toolbar PR data. Whatever that value really means is irrelevant because it’s all we have to work with. It’s not only an imprecise measurement of the actual value Google calculates for a page, it’s not updated very often (recent events notwithstanding, unless Google goes back to more frequent Toolbar PR updates).”

I recently created a post on WPW on this very subject and I am looking for forward to responses:

Does PR Sculpting Work?

WebProNews video also has a nice video from Stephen Spencer on the topic:

SMX West 2008: Stephan Spencer Subscribe to our feed!

I got into a nice discussion on Sphinn recently on the topic as well:

Sphinn: Understanding what the “No Follow” tag can do for your site

Here is the thread that explains what the nofollow tag can do for your website, blaaaah:

Understanding what the “No Follow” tag can do for you

Finally here is the truth on the PR Sculpting ideology from Michael Martinez:

SEO Nonsense – Sculpting PageRank Builds Muscle

SO this is my called out to anyone that can show that PR Sculpting alone is a SEO technique that should be recognize and implemented by most websites. I am sure I won’t get many responses worth anything substantially new on the topic. With good unique content, proper internal navigation and solid back links you don’t need to worry about nofollow.

UPDATE: This post from Micheal Martinez really says it all about this PR Sculpting issue.

Yes, Virginia, your contact page DOES need 500 links – SEO Theory – SEO Theory and Analysis Blog

Point 1 – We live in a bubble. 99% of the world doesn’t know what nofollow is and probably will never know until the W3 add it as proper markup. So are we to believe that Google has granted SEOs ONLY this special attribute that can help us rank better. No. It is only for Google benefit, not ours.

Point 2
– The theory has not been tested enough and probably can’t be properly tested since to many outside forces effect rankings. That is why this 2nd order effect has no bearing. No has proven that spending a few minutes using nofollow helps your website do any better. Google is simply telling you that is will. Google said it was OK to do it, doesn’t mean you should or even if it works. Remember the end benefactor of nofollow is Google themselves, NOT your website.

Point 3
- External nofollow: The web and Google’s algorithm was built on the concept of linking one document to another. Now we should continue to do this, but in way that does not pass search engine value through the link? Who is benefiting here? The SE algo only. This really goes against why the web was built on links.

Point 4 - Internal nofollow: I simply default to this post by Michael Martinez: Yes, Virginia, your contact page DOES need 500 links

Point 5
– PR is not tangible. One page doesn’t have 100 PR credits that you can feel free to divvy up as you like through internal linking. It is not that simple. The point I am trying to make is that these SEOs are trying to say they can sculpt something like PR. We all know toolbar PR is crap and internal PR is not known so…where does one get off saying they can sculpt something they don’t know?


Does PR Sculpting Work?
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  • http://www.buydominica.com earnest

    I think a lot of webmasters in the affiliate world use "no follow"  on affiliate links so that they will not get penalize by Google for excess affiliate links

  • nass

    My personal experience. I thought I’d try this out, so added some rel=”nofollow” stuff to my forums. Within 12 hrs, Google had ceased to index any new pages from my forums at all, usually it indexes 50-100/day. I removed them, and bham, back to 50-100/day being indexed. So be careful with this.

    As Matt Coutts said at www.mattcutts.com/blog/quick-comment-on-nofollow/, “The rel=”nofollow” attribute is an easy way for a website to tell search engines that the website can

  • http://www.kosmetik-rat.de Kosmo

    Matt Cutts comment about nofollow is from 2006. Many things changed since then. I’m testing PR Sculpting for about 3 month but haven’t seen any effect yet. Still waiting.

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