My latest article at Ecommerce Developer, read it in full here.

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As recently as 2007, search engine optimization experts were excited by the concept of PageRank or link sculpting, the practice of applying “rel=nofollow” tags to links of lesser value so that more link juice would flow to the other more valuable links. But now, in 2011, it doesn’t work the way most think it does, but there are more modern ways.

Let’s take a look at an example of the concept of PageRank sculpting so that everyone’s on the same page. In the original PageRank algorithm each page of content that Google has indexed had some amount of link popularity or PageRank based on how many inbound links it had. When that page linked to other pages, it passed its PageRank in more or less equal parts to the pages it linked to. In practice it’s a lot more complicated than this, and the algorithm has evolved dramatically over the last 13 years, but this is the basic gist. PageRank sculptors theorized that if they could restrict the flow of PageRank through some links, more PageRank would be forced through the other links — like opening and closing faucets to flow water to one area but not to another.

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