Usage of rel=nofollow on directories. Its not all bad

Ok, I think a post explaining the use of rel=nofollow on some of my directories is in order, so I can explain the very good reasons why I have done this, as there are much confusion on the internet about this tag. Many rate a directory useless if they spot a nofollow tag somewhere on the pages within.*SHHHH. Let me share a secret with you: That belief is not always true*

After some intense testing on my pages, categories and detailpages it became clear that eg. Global WebLinks Directory was leaking its PageRank / PageStrength so fast, that only the first main category pages got some link juice and spreaded it out on the first 20 listings in the main category (Page 1). Some categories have 600+ listings, so that means the directory became pretty useless for 580 other listings in the category.
My mission is to give everyone a fair chance of the link popularity my page can offer, and not only the alphabetically top. Importaint to remember the directory IS free.

A brilliant tag has been made rel="nofollow" where I can try to control the flow of link juice, so with precise and specific usage, I can keep the link juice inward and first spread it out on the detail pages that every listing has in the directory.

I have made a few data flow diagrams to show how the internal / external links is distributed.


Standard Links

This shows the distribution I make. Instead of ALOT of outgoing links on the "linkfarmish" category pages, I throw it all down to the subcategories and detailpages, which will then provide every link in the system with a indexed backlink with moderate strength.

To say it short: I take the high linkstrength from the sites first in alphabeth and give it more equally to all. (Robin Hood style)

I also run a Toplink program (featured listings) and as a thank for their backlink or payment, they are the only ones in the directory without any rel=nofollow flags at all.
You can see a diagram below for TopLinks.


The reason for my confidence relies on many tests done on my Regional Danish Directory and the power of this method has become so so clear.
I get alot of quality traffic now from searchengines, directly down to the high ranking detailpages on the directory. Everybody wins by this. I get more traffic/more indexed pages and higher incomming links chance because of the bigger audience, which serves the detailpages = linkowners in the end.

An explanation of the diagrams:

Diagram explanation

I might add more to the post in time, but guess this goes for a quick explanation.


Leave a response »

  1. 1. March 18th, 2007

    I see your reasoning on this, makes sense, I will like to keep up to date on this. Also what kind of feedback have you gotten from submitters to your directory if any?

  2. 2. March 19th, 2007

    I have not been getting any negative feedback that is worth mentioning.
    The majority of links in my system actually rank pretty good, and I have alot fewer supplemental results compared to my competitors.
    And today, some months after I wrote this blog post, I still see better performance from my directories with nofollow on them, compared to my directories without.
    The better performance in visits, pages indexed, non supplemental is both benifitial for me, and for the people who have submitted to my directory.
    So for me, this strategy works.

  3. 3. May 24th, 2010

    thanks for your article about NoFollow,i think it not all time bad,it helps us from the spamers to spam……but some time we loss some important comments..



  1. […] Same on my Danish Regional Directory, which has around 2000 uniques these days. 95% of all searches go directly down to the detail-pages as I had worked on they should. (You can read my post about rel=”nofollow” flag for info) […]

    Updates on my Directories and related news. first 2007 post at Claus Heinrich Personal Blog

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