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Craig Smith  |  Founder & CEO

In today’s world with businesses being set up in a blink of an eye and the competition being fierce to be the top company many people have begun to hire experts from agencies like ours or others near their place to boost traffic onto their site.

Last week at the SMX advanced conference, it was revealed by Google engineer Matt Cutts, that the no follow attribute that is leveraged by numerous SEO’s, does not provide the ability to sculpt page rank as it did in the past.

For those who are not familiar with the no follow attribute, it is is a HTML element that was created to combat bog commenting spam back when blogging first gained popularity within the Internet community. In the eyes of Google, the tag was always leveraged as a mechanism to not pass page rank, and the tag was leveraged by search engine optimization agencies in a way to pass higher concentrations of page rank to more important pages within a website.

The no follow attribute did work well in many instances. in e-commerce businesses, it does not make sense to pass page rank to the pages such as privacy policy or shopping cart page. The no follow attribute allowed webmasters to concentrate a higher degree of page rank to the more important merchandising pages, and hence these important pages were able to move up in the search engine rankings.

The no follow tag gained popularity within the SCO community, and Google itself publicly came out and discussed the uses of the tag and how Google would interpret the tag within their search engine algorithm. After Google gave its stamp of approval, the no follow attribute became a tactic leveraged by a plethora of SEOs and agencies across the country.

Things have changed a bit after last week’s SMX advance conference. Matt Cutts on a panel discussed how the usage of no follow will be less effective in disturbing page rank within updated algorithm changes. Because of this, SEO’s across the country are scrambling to remove the no follow tag with concerns that could negatively affect search engine positioning.

If you use no follow tag on a limited basis, on pages such as privacy policy, otherwise known as an “overhead page”, then you likely have nothing to worry about. On the other hand if you have used no follow tags to eliminate navigational sections, and used it to seemingly shape your own flow of page rank in the manner you see fit on your website, then you might want to take your foot off the gas and remove the attribute from internal navigational links.

Sculpting page rank is not necessary if you structure your website properly from the beginning. Establishing an information architecture that has naming conventions that are based on the most advantageous search phrases for your organization, provides you the best possible chance to acquire natural traffic for your target marketplace.

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