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How To Prevent Your Blog From Leaking PageRank

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007...7:05 am

How To Prevent Your Blog From Leaking PageRank


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In simple terms, PageRank leakage/dilution is when outbound links siphon off PageRank which would normally be distributed to internal pages, therefore reducing your sites overall PageRank.

How much of an effect it has on your site will depend on the strength of your internal linking and how many outbound links you have.

There are two ways to counteract PageRank leaks:

  1. Increase internal linking on your site.
  2. Eliminate redundant outbound links.

Internal linking is easy to address and is a practice you should get into the habit of doing.

  • Link to other relevent posts in the body of articles.
  • Tag your posts.
  • Link to recent/popular posts in your sidebar.
  • Add related posts to single pages.

Removing redundant outbound links is where it gets interesting. When it comes to blogs most people include a blogroll in their sidebar. It may seem fairly innocuous but the problem lies with the fact that this blogroll will be displayed on every single page on your blog. When you factor in the length of some peoples blogrolls you can begin to see why this is a problem.

Site wide blogroll links drain your overall PageRank and unlike outbound links contained within a post, add no relevant value to the content on display. Hence they are redundant and it is in your best interests to limit the damage they can cause.

There are a few different options for dealing with blogrolls.

  • You can create a separate page to display your blogroll. This works but personally I prefer to keep my blogroll in the sidebar.
  • Add a nofollow attribute to blogroll links. I only mention this method for completeness. It’s a very antisocial and selfish approach and really goes against the spirit of having a blogroll.
  • Only display your blogroll on the homepage. This is my method of choice, and the one I want to discuss in more detail.

How do you display your blogroll only on the homepage?

With some straightforward PHP code we can tell Wordpress under what conditions our blogroll should be displayed.

The first step is to add the following code at the beginning of your sidebar.php file.

<?php if (is_home()) { $check_home = '1'; } else { $check_home = '0'; } ?>

Here we are simply checking if the current page is the homepage. This piece of code is necessary because of a quirk in Wordpress where the is_home() function does not register the homepage correctly.

Then you can use the following code to display your blogroll only when a user is on the homepage.

<?php if ($check_home == '1') { ?>
BLOGROLL CODE GOES HERE
<?php } ?>

You can also use this code to limit other sidebar items to the homepage as well, such as the Top Commentators list.

Keep in mind you don’t want to completely eliminate outbound links. They have their own advantages and are also one of the factors Google takes into consideration when determining PageRank. The key is to link to relevant and trustworthy sites.

84 Comments

  • Great post. I’ve been semi-active on PayPerPost…particularly reading the forums there before I dive right into the program. There are several bloggers there that have experienced a “downgrade” in their PR. This makes sense primarily because their posts are riddled with outbound links.

    …and I agree; the blogroll should go on the home page only. I’m sure that code will come in handy to many bloggers.

  • Considering my site is still a PR0 even after the predictors nailed it at a 4 and some at a 6, I can’t help but wonder if the many outgoing links have something to do with it. Your sidebar coding is working perfectly at hiding my links. Thanks!

  • There’s one other thing I’ve used on my WordPress blog that positively affected my page rank.

    A fellow by the name of Arne Brachhold came up with a Google Sitemap plugin that creates a Google compliant XML sitemap. I used it, and have watched my page rank go up since.

    His site is located at http://www.arnebrachhold.de/. You can get the plugin from there.

  • Yeah recently I started displaying blogroll only at homepage….Its a good point as it unnecessarily zaps all PR

  • Great advice Dan, I’m currently using separate page for blogroll. I choose not to display in sidebar since the list is pretty long!

  • “Site wide blogroll links drain your overall PageRank and unlike outbound links contained within a post, add no relevant value to the content on display.”

    There’s a little more to it that that, which is where usability comes in.

    The more out-bound links you have that aren’t core to the topic, the less relevant they are (which we know,) and are a likely candidate for having your visitors tootle off somewhere else .. like to another ‘blogger, for example.

    But, if you’re linking to ‘bloggers who’re writing about stuff that’s in your ‘Web Neighbourhood’, then the chances are, you’re adding value, rather than losing it, or PageRank…

  • I have my blogrolls on pages, not on the home page. Too much on the home page already. Good tips, though. I went from a PR0 to a PR3 last update, so I’m happy with the rankings. :)

  • Speaking of No Follow, you have that on your comments. Just if you didn’t know. ;)

  • Did not know that about blog rolls, but I do not like them anyway. My understanding is that they do not help your rank.

  • [...] clear and simple manner which makes understanding easy. I have learnt much from him and stuffs like How To Prevent Your Blog From Leaking PageRank, Six Effective Ways to Build Backlinks and Display Advertising without Annoying Your Regular [...]

  • @digitalnomad: “Did not know that about blog rolls, but I do not like them anyway. My understanding is that they do not help your rank.”

    But they’re an essential aspect of the broader social web.

    They’re an endorsement of your trust and value in those links as sources of good content.

    If the link is reciprocated, you’re bolstering your local ‘Web Neighbourhood’, which I mentioned earlier.

    So the same is true for a link to your ‘blog from theirs.

    Which means, you’re building a mechanism for direct traffic from elsewhere…

  • [...] of The Wrong Advices makes my link love list once again with an excellent article discussing how to reduce page rank leakage. One of the methods he discusses is only displaying your blogroll on your main page. This is [...]

  • Hi there, just wanted to find out if these steps could be applied onto “Blogger”?

    Thanks.

  • [...] The Wrong Advices has an article about How to prevent your blog from leaking PageRank. [...]

  • Great advices, thanks

  • Hmm.. Interesting. It’s kinda hard for me to do the internal link thing. But I shall try my best. I have so many post I don’t know where to start!

    But this is for the wordpress. What about for blogger?

  • Do what I do and have a Recommended Reading section at the bottom of each article you write.

    I pretty much know every article I’ve written, so I just pull them out of my database and add them into the footer of each article.

    Also, if it’s relevant, add a link from within the body of the article of itself.

    Dead easy!

  • So many comments to address. :)

    For anyone using Blogger, I’m sorry but I have no experience with it. I might have to sign up for an account to see what its like but I imagine the platform doesn’t allow for much modification.

    As Wayne has pointed out blogrolls do have an important role to play within a social context. As do outbound links within articles you write. It may sound like an odd concept but linking to other blogs is quite a powerful way to promote your own. When you link to another blogger you can almost be 100% sure they are going to visit your blog and read what you have to say.

    I dare say blogrolls have become a link building tool for alot of bloggers, but they don’t realise that it may actually be working against them.

  • Thanks for the advice Dan - so many things to think about, such a little brain (mine that is)

  • Exactly what I felt, “I imagine the platform doesn’t allow for much modification”.

    So I’ve decided to try it out with my other blog which is using WordPress.

    Thanks, once again.

  • great idea, I will have to check it out/work it out on my site.

    btw. you might want to update your copyright in the footer. 2006 is so last year :)

  • Thank you for this post. I spent all last night tryin to figure out why is_home() wasn’t working.

    You saved me another night of anguish.

  • Thanks for the tips Dan. I’m going to be converting to WordPress in June.

    Showing you some link juice on MartyBLOGs this morning too.

    http://martyblogs.blogspot.com/2007/05/transition-to-wordpress-is-looking.html

    Have a great weekend.

  • In Blogger, all you need to do is add this code to your template before your blogroll:
    And then the close tage after your blogroll:

    At least that works in classic templates. I’m not familiar with the new layouts to know if this would work with them.

  • Well, isn’t that interesting… it hid my code. I don’t know if putting it in quotes will work, but I’ll give that a try. The opening tag: “”; the closing tag: “”.

  • Hmm, okay… one more try… both the opening and closing tags should go inside these brackets . The opening tag should be: MainPage and the closing tag should be: /MainPage. Not the tidiest way of writing it, but hopefully it will at least show up this way.

  • Dan-
    Is there a way to lock posts to prevent from deleting them accidentally in WP? Can’t seem to find any info in forums or on the web.

    Thanks

  • PS to “Locking Posts”. How about backing up yhe entire blog?

  • Question-my WP theme puts pages in a nav tab at the bottom of my header, so it is on every page. Should I still use the code so it only shows on my home page?

  • Elizabeth, those links in the nav tab should all be pointing to internal pages so it’s alright to keep them. It’s really only sitewide outbound links that you need to worry about.

  • I don’t think it’s that easy to accidently delete a post but backing up your blog is definetly important. Right now I’m doing it the hard way by using phpmyadmin to export the sql database.

    There are a few backup plugins kicking about but I haven’t had time to test them out yet. I’ll have to get into gear and see what they are like.

  • To Dan re: Backup

    Thanks. I am still searching fro a backup solution.

    I was editing an older post, closed some tabs…and wiped out the entire post.

    I found it cached on Google and was able to retrieve it, but it seems there would be a way to lock posts. I am new to WP.

  • It may not have been deleted. There is a quirk with Wordpress where it will change a post to private when you edit it. I’m not sure under what conditions it will do this but it has happened to me more than once.

  • this is really helpful - i think everyone should implement this. going on my checklist now… ;)

  • For Classic Blogger only, to include your blogroll only on the homepage you need to wrap your blogroll code with conditional tags as follows:

    <MainPage>

    …. Blogroll code

    </MainPage>

    This will work for anything that you only want to show up on the Main Page.

  • I have a question, please: in your php code where it says “blogroll code goes here”- my blogrolls were created using blogrolling, and then have script around them to put them in scrolling boxes. I don’t need ALL of that code in that piece of php, do I?

  • [...] I’m promoting few articles on the front page. This was prompted by recent posts by JohnTP and The Wrong Advices. I’m in the process of replacing it with a list of useful sites which will appear as a static [...]

  • Hi Dan,

    I need to change my code so that my three blogrolls are only on the home page. Do I need to write three separate strings of code, one for each blogroll URL, and then put each one into sidebar.php separately?

  • When I added the blog roll to only the front page AND related links on every single page, my PR soared to PR5/6.

  • @Elizabeth — If you are talking about the 3 scripts you are running for Friend, DoFollow and PPP, then wrapping all three with the PHP code should work.

    But I would not worry about any PR leakage, for you do not have any. Your blogrolls are javascripted, and spiders cannot read it. My suggestion is to leave it just the way it is.

  • Tips 4 Blogspot is spot on. You don’t really need to remove your blogrolls from multiple pages.

    If you do want to do it anyway you should be fine inserting the complete blogrolling code, script and all.

    Btw sorry about your comments not showing up Elizabeth. For some reason Akismet held it in moderation. It’s been playing up a bit lately.

  • The PHP code is not working anymore. It still shows the links on single post pages.

    Can u help?

  • Make sure you add that first bit of code to the beginning of sidebar.php or else the wrapping code won’t work. Let me know if it still doesn’t work.

  • Great tips, Dan.

    I arrived here via my feed reader, and the related posts in the feed.

    My site uses the ’similar posts’ plugin to display other articles but they don’t show on feeds. Maybe you know, do I need to use the ‘related posts’ plugin to utilise them in my feed?

    Sorry, a bit off-topic there.

  • David, the Add Related Posts To Feed plugin is needed to show related posts in a feed but it requires you have either the Related Posts or Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin installed. The last time I checked it still wasn’t compatible with the Similar Posts plugin. If you aren’t running UTW you may have to switch over to Related Posts instead.

  • No worries. Thanks for letting me know, Dan. I’ll check UTW out now as I know how highly other people rate it - I’ve been lazy in that respect.

  • UTW is an excellent plugin but I find tagging to be a chore. :)

  • [...] of the methods I’ve previously suggested as a way to prevent your blog from leaking PageRank was to display blogroll links on a separate page. The purpose of this is to reduce the amount of [...]

  • Blog Link Erosion : Interlinking Headed for Extinction…

    there are forces at work that continue to erode at interlinking structures of blogs. Interlinking, which made blogs a formidable search engine ranking powerhouse in the past is now headed toward the endangered species list with the latest method of wro…

  • [...] this post I came across a post from a few months ago by Dan of The Wrong Advices entitled ‘How To Prevent Your Blog From Leaking PageRank‘. In this post Dan talks about how a websites overall Page Rank can be dramatically reduced [...]

  • [...] http://www.thewrongadvices.com - wrong advices !!! another cool blog that I visited this week “How to prevent your blog from Leaking PageRank From Blog Tips | Linkoholic, Bontb | Trackback | RSS Feed [...]

  • i agree, many webmasters love the idea of having the TBPR but this causes confusion as it can show you different results then what your PR really is, i hope google get rid of TBPR but i would say they wouldent as its a great marketing tool for google

  • You can do this in the New Blogger by using conditional tags. You can find the instructions here.

    http://betabloggerfordummies.blogspot.com/2007/01/post-book-in-new-blogger.html

    Create the widget first in the Template and insert your code. Label it and go to edit html expand widgets. It should look something like this.





    -Dave
    http://soundproofingwithdave.com

  • Until today i had no idea you could bleed page rank by the number of links on your page leading to external pages. The question is can you lose all your page rank if you have too many external links?

  • I think I need these type of advices because I am not very expert in SEO or page rank related stuff. I always need experts advice to grow my all the website.

  • [...] lot has been said about Google PageRank leakage and what can be done to mitigate it, a discussion which I’ve been a part of [...]

  • Really useful post, I’ll use the blog roll code in my blog. Thanks for sharing this great seo tip.

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  • What about sites using widgets in the sidebar? I don’t think php code works inside a widget. I’ve tried your code on one of my sites and it had no impact on the blogroll between the code.

  • [...] after reading Dan’s article on How to Prevent Your Blog from Leaking PageRank, I have removed the Blogroll from other postings but the front page using Dan’s code provided [...]

  • Great info. Some really good stuff!

  • How do you remove the blogroll? I would love to know. Thanks

  • [...] How to Prevent your Blog from Leaking Pagerank [...]

  • [...] How to Prevent your Blog from Leaking Pagerank [...]

  • [...] How to Prevent your Blog from Leaking Pagerank [...]

  • [...] How to Prevent your Blog from Leaking Pagerank [...]

  • Still wondering about sidebar widgets. How do I make this work? Also, the code seems to assume you are using something like blogrolling.com for your blogroll. I’m using the internal WordPress blogroll so I have no blogroll code to insert into your your code.

  • Thanks for the info. How to put nofollow in blogger blogs?

  • First ProSense WordPress theme, and now this excellent post! I’m gonna keep my eye on you… Seriously, in a word, Thanks!

  • [...] How To Prevent Your Blog From Leaking PageRank - In simple terms, PageRank leakage/dilution is when outbound links siphon off PageRank which would normally be distributed to internal pages, therefore reducing your sites overall PageRank. How much of an effect it has on your site will depend on the stre [...]

  • Does anyone know if the outbound links in the comment section of blogs affect pagerank?

  • A great post. I think you can also check the URL in PHP by using “$_SERVER[REMOTE_ADDR]“. So is the URL is X which is your homepage then only display the blog roll in the sidebar.
    But I totally agree that this should be implemented for leakage of PR. I did not consider this aspect at all for so long.

  • [...] couple of very thorough explanations are here and here, but in a nutshell, the more links you have on a page, the less each link is worth in [...]

  • [...] couple of very thorough explanations are here and here, but in a nutshell, the more links you have on a page, the less each link is worth in [...]

  • Oke, why post that comment twice ?
    Will it make a better point that way ?

  • Can you please answer these questions?

    1. Does the outbound link in the comment section affect Page Rank?

    2. Does the outbound link in the main blog posts affect Page Rank?

    3. Does page leaks actually happen?

    4. Does using rel=”no follow” in the blog posts stop page leaks?

    Thanks!

  • This is really nice advice, I’ll try it.

  • Nice info. Thanks for your tips.

  • Hey, this is a great idea. I’ll have to make sure my blogroll is only available on my home page.

  • do you think this tip is still relevant because i’ve found many sites which placed the blogroll in their home page but they don’t lose pagerank?

  • How to prevent page rank leaking but still do paid link at the site?

  • I stumbled upon this page from Andy Beard’s site. The article is very helpful, especially to new bloggers like me.

    I’ve adjusted everything so that my internal links are much stronger than the outbound links and also added “no follow” to the links.

    I hope it’s gonna prevent page rank leaks. I’m expecting at least PR1 or PR2 in the next update.

    Thanks for the great advice!

    Manix

  • People tend to ignore internal linking, very good info. Thanks for the code.

  • thats a nice tips. i dont have a good undesrtanding in wp. i have bad experience, all of my blog PR is turning down. PR is still a mistery for me.

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