Matt Cutts: You don’t have to follow internal links


A recent Google webmaster help video raises an interesting question: Should a webmaster not follow connections within their site or does it make no difference as these are just internal links?

Here is the question posed to distinguished Google engineer Matt Cutts:

Does it make sense to use rel = “nofollow” for internal links? Like, for example, link to your login page? Does it really make a difference?

“Rel = ‘nofollow’ means that PageRank will not go through that link when it comes to finding the link, calculating PageRank and all that stuff,” Cutts said. “So for internal links, links within your site, I would try to leave nofollow off.

“So if it’s a link from one page on your site to another page on your site, you want that functionality circulating, you want Googlebot to be able to find that page,” Cutts continued. “So almost every link on your site, that is, a link going from one page on your site to another page on your site, I would make sure that the PageRank was flowing, which would mean not not follow. “

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, and things like login pages can be the exception. He said it didn’t hurt to put the nofollow link for a link pointing to a login page, or things like terms and conditions or other “unnecessary” pages. However, it doesn’t hurt that these pages are crawled by Google.

He mentioned that nofollow is a useful tool when it comes to linking to external sites. It makes blog comments and forum profile links appear specifically as something that shouldn’t be followed. And when you give a genuine link, you want to make sure that this is the site you can trust and that you are giving your seal of approval.

Cutts made a good suggestion, saying that if there are any pages on your site that you will place nofollow links pointing to it, then it makes more sense not to use any index so that those pages are not indexed. at all. And he made another valid point that indexing these login pages is sometimes useful for users who want to find a login page so that they can just login to your site, especially if it’s the type site that does not have login fields on each page.

Cutts ended with an important reminder: it makes sense to make sure that Googlebot is able to crawl all of your pages on your site.


Rosemary S. Bishop