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While nofollow is firmly entrenched into virtually every blogging platform, there are other forces at work that continue to hammer away at the now delicate 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 wrongly advised SEO madness --- PageRank leakage damming.

Whether you call it link hoarding or PR dilution, PageRank leak theories have been around for years. There have not been any solid provable studies on the effects of external links in regards to PR leakage and its relationship to how that may affect your ranking in organic search engine results. PR leaking has always been an over-hyped link baiting topic used by SEO-types who just want what you want --- more links.

The leakage theory is too overly simplistic in nature. Even the gullible find it easy to understand and that is what makes it an easy sell. As most of us know, it is more complex than that. Many variables go into the making of a search engine algorithm and the actual engineers behind the programming are not going to reveal how it works.

The latest breed of WordPress plugin allows you to set up a post or page that will hold a set of links to external websites. The linking data is conveniently maintained in the WP database. Possible uses for this plugin could be for lengthy lists of categories, archived posts, etc. But it is being promoted as the Blogroll Page Plugin. Say what?

The Blogroll Page is another erosional approach to undermine blog interlinking and some are tacking on the added value of PR leak reduction to sell it. I have no doubt that this plugin will become popular over-night due to some responses I have seen.

I don't want to be an alarmist, but if Nofollow was to fluorocarbons then Blogroll Pages are the cow flatulence that will further decay the interlinking ozone layer. Interinking is what made blogs work. When people start to over-analyze and question every link on their pages in this manner it tends to lead to paranoia. This will become problematic for not only their blog, but also to their intricate interlinking structure.

In an effort to improve the blog in the name of the almighty PageRank, they are in effect biting the hands that feed them --- the Blogroll members. And of course reciprocity will be the name of game when that hand returns the favor and stops linking back. They may even drop you from their "favorite reading" list as well if they see a trend of link hoarding out of you.

The premise behind blogs is simple. Link, and you will be linked in kind or more aptly --- United we stand, divided we fall.





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Comments:
When I wrote that original post someone pointed out Andy Beard had written something similar which you can find here:

http://andybeard.eu/2006/11/how-a-blogroll-can-kill-your-pagerank.html

I'm curious to know if you feel the same way about Andy's advice considering you have him in your blogroll.
 
Andy's article was not entitled "Blogrolls Will Kill Your PageRank" and it dealt more with poor execution of the Blogroll itself. I do agree that if your Blogroll reaches a percentage of links that start to outweigh internal linking, then that is just bad design. You will need to counter with more internal linking -- which is easy enough to do.

I do not always agree with Andy on some aspects of linking however. And he is in my blogroll more for his parallel ranges of topics that relate to mine and I find the man to be of decent integrity. He is a blogger's blogger.

It should be pointed out that I do not put much stock in PageRank. It is, as you should already know, only one factor in the algorithm that determines search result positions. Anybody who chases it in the mistaken belief that it will improve their results is sorely misguided.

Blogrolls probably are downgraded by Google anyway, or they should be. Repetitive external site-wide links, in this case, probably are not leaking as much PageRank as you may be led to believe (if they leak any at all).

But I do believe, PageRank aside, if you are 20 blogrolls of like minded content -- it will have an impact on your site. Not only for just ranking purposes, but for exposure as well. Think of it as Free Text Links.

Once you head down the road of moving your Blogrolls to an internal page, you will disrupt the whole blog linking structure. Tit for tat -- and there will be no going back.
 
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