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Should internal links use rel=”nofollow”?

Should internal links use rel=”nofollow”? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

Today’s question comes from AntonioSo in Montreal. AntonioSo asks, “Should ‘back to top’ links have rel=’nofollow’?” The answer is no. My general answer is, if you are linking from one page on your site to another page on your site, don’t add nofollow. There’s been this whole little mini-kerfluffle where people are talking about doing pagerank sculpting. And then Google made changes a while ago to make it so that trying to sculpt your pagerank doesn’t really work that well. So if you’re linking out to an external site, a third party site, that you don’t necessarily trust or endorse, or it’s a blog comment, or for some reason you don’t want pagerank or anchor text to flow, that’s the perfect time to use rel=”nofollow”. If you’re linking to a page within your own site, I wouldn’t add rel=”nofollow” to any of your links. So I wouldn’t add it to a back to the top link. In theory, you could add it for a really esoteric thing like a shopping cart where Googlebot doesn’t know how to use its credit card. But really there’s no additional value to doing that. So my rule of thumb, my litmus test, would be if it’s to an internal page within your site, if it’s an internal link, I would not add nofollow to it. I don’t know how to make it more concrete than that, but that’s my basic recommendation for internal links.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


Original video: