Google confirms a way to hide internal links


Google’s John Mueller responded to a question about the links in the button element, confirming that Google cannot see them. Some SEOs have hidden internal links in the button element in order to block PageRank of “unimportant” pages. Mueller’s response seems to confirm that Google’s tactic of hiding links is working.

But just because something can be done, right?

John Mueller of Google discusses the links in the HTML element of the button.

PRG template to hide links from Google

PageRank Sculpting, the practice of hiding internal Google links, is not a tactic I have ever endorsed or recommended.


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However, this is a tactic that interests many SEOs.

The concept of Post / Redirect / Get Pattern (PRG Pattern) to hide links is the subject raised by the questioner and the answer given by John Mueller.

The phrase “PRG model” is never mentioned, but the concept of the PRG model is what they both discuss.

The PRG model, sometimes called “The new NofollowIs a way to hide internal Google links by using a button HTML element.

Reasons to hide the links with the PRG model

There are legitimate reasons for hiding links this way in ecommerce stores. Some stores may generate multiple URLs for the same product page. Using this method, a store owner can hide these links from Google and prevent them from having to process them. There is even Magento Extensions that help to create these kind of links for online stores.

Another reason some SEOs use this tactic is to prevent PageRank from flowing to certain pages that are not contributing to rankings. Examples of the types of pages that some SEOs block are privacy or terms of service pages.


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The ultimate goal of this tactic is to maximize the amount of PageRank flowing to the pages that matter.

Like I said earlier though, it’s not a tactic that I recommend.

PRG model – The new Nofollow

PageRank is the name given to a value assigned to a link that has moved from one link to another link. The more PageRank a page accumulates, the more reliable and popular Google’s algorithm assumes that it is, which contributes to ranking.

The practice of limiting which pages receive PageRank is called PageRank Sculpting. The goal of PageRank sculpture is to hide links from Google so that no PageRank is sent to pages deemed “non-essential”.

How does PRG pattern link sculpture work?

The PRG template is basically a form button, like a submit button. For example, when a site visitor submits a form, the form redirects the visitor to a “Thank You” page thanking them for submitting the form.

When the questioner refers to a “button tag”, they are talking about the HTML element of the button. The HTML element of the button is associated with forms, such as a contact form for example.

The PRG model for PageRank retention works the same as a contact form button. The PRG model “connect”Is a form button that redirects the site visitor to another internal web page.

For the site visitor, the button is just a navigation element that can be tagged with the phrase “Privacy Policy.

Does the button element negatively affect SEO?

The question asked is whether using a button HTML element for the internal link is detrimental to SEO.

Here is the question:

“Does it negatively affect SEO for internal links if an anchor tag only contains a button tag?”

Does Googlebot take the text inside the button tag into account as a signal for internal links?

Or would it be better to use plain text inside an anchor tag? “


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Google’s John Mueller answers the question, confirming that Google doesn’t click buttons to see where they lead.

Response from John Mueller:

“So at least as far as I know, by default a button element on a page is basically linked to a form element.

And you can use JavaScript to trigger some sort of navigation to a specific URL, which makes it kind of like a link.

But, essentially, Googlebot won’t click those buttons to see what’s going on.

Thus, we would not see that there is a link associated with another url within your website.. “

If what John Mueller says in his answer is correct, it appears that the PRG model for hiding links can be used to hide pages from Google so that PageRank does not go to so-called non-essential pages.

John Mueller continued his response by suggesting a way to use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to create an image of a form that has a link that Google can follow.


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Of course, if the publisher’s goal is to hide the links from Google, that’s not something they are interested in.

Mueller continued:

“So in that regard, if you want to use … something that looks like a button for internal navigation, I would use normal HTML links and just style it with CSS to make it look like a button rather than using button elements in HTML and add JavaScript that makes them act as a link.

Can PageRank be sculpted using the PRG model?

According to John Mueller, if what he says is correct, the PRG Pattern method may be a way to hide links from Google and prevent PageRank from reaching them.

Mueller also did not indicate that this was something that was “SEO harmful”.

The idea of ​​PageRank is that one site votes for another site. It is a powerful signal.

Distributing PageRank to internal pages may not be as strong a signal as a link from another site to an important page on another site. A good site structure is important to help Google find the pages to crawl.


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While SEOs tend to focus on all the benefits they can get, in my opinion, focusing on promoting a site and creating a good internal link structure is a much better use of time than PageRank sculpting.


Watch Google’s John Mueller say Google can’t see links in HTML elements of buttons

The segment begins at minute 42: .03.


Rosemary S. Bishop