Should We Nofollow the Category, Tag & Archive Links on Our Blog?

Posted by on Sep 16, 2013 in SEO ·

These days, many bloggers make the archive links (category, tag, author, custom post & taxonomies etc.) nofollow. Many WordPress themes also do so by some coding. The reasons are unwanted link-juice flow and duplicate content issues. But is this a proper solution to these problems? Let’s see in details.

Nofollow the Archive Links or dont

What is the problem with the archive links?

Most of the bloggers want the link juice to flow only from posts to posts. They don’t want it to be passed on any other pages. Usually posts have category link, author link and tags. Link juice, obviously, is passed to these links. So to avoid this, they make the links nofollow. Also, there are many links on these pages, making these pages look unusual.

Another reason is, duplicate content issues. Some blogs still show full post content on archive pages. Or, even the excerpt is shown, the archive pages may look duplicate. They can also be considered as paragraph spun pages. So, again, the links are no-followed.

But is NOFOLLOW a proper solution?

New Link Juice and Pagerank policy of Google

In old days, if you nofollow a link, the link juice was not passed to that link. And also, no page rank used to get flushed.
For example, suppose you had “X” amount of link juice on a page and 5 links on it. If only 3 out of them were dofollow, “X/3” amount of link juice was passed to these dofollow links. So, pagerank and link juice were preserved.

But nowadays, it is not like that. These days, nofollow links neither pass any link juice nor preserve it; they flush it.
So, in the above example, only “X/5” amount of link juice will get passed to the 3 links and “X/2” link juice will get flushed. That means you lose the “X/2” link juice.

You can refer the image below to get a clear idea about the new pagerank flow.

New Pagerank Flow and Nofollow Links

(Image by – moz.com)

This clearly shows that there is no any point in making the links nofollow. It is better to preserve the link juice and pagerank than lose them.

The Duplicate Content issue really gets solved?

If you think, you are denying the access to search engines to these archive pages with nofollow, you are wrong. You are only dis-endorsing the links on that particular post page. You have’t made the archive pages “noindex,nofollow”.

Search engines can still find the category, tags and author pages from sitemaps, navigations and widgets. So, these pages are crawled on regular basis and indexed.

Hence, the duplicate content issue is not yet resolved.

What is the proper solution then?

There is a solution by which you can preserve the pagerank and solve the duplicate content issues. And it is adding rel="NOINDEX, FOLLOW" to the archive pages. It tells search engines not to index a particular page, but crawl it. No link juice gets flushed at all. So, the pagerank is preserved.

Also, the duplicate and spun content issues are solved. Because your duplicate pages are no more indexed. Also, rel="NOINDEX, FOLLOW" is very effective when a page has so many links inside.

How to do it?

If you are a Self-Hosted WordPress user, the task is very simple for you. You simply need to install WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.

Go to Yoast Menu -> Titles & Metas -> “Taxonomies” tab. Check the option “Meta Robots: noindex, follow”.

NOINDEX FOLLOW the archive pages in WordPress

For other CMS, you need to do some extra efforts. You should ask your CMS developer for that.

In case you have any queries or doubts do not hesitate to drop a comment below. Also, do not forget to follow us on Facebook and Google+.

Last updated on : December 31, 2013.

10 Comments on “Should We Nofollow the Category, Tag & Archive Links on Our Blog?”

  1. I usually noindex, follow meta tags, media, author archives and date-based archives, and leave categories to be indexed. So far, I’ve seen great results.

    1. Hi!

      Glad to see that. Noindex, follow is not an essential thing. Only you should think what to do. If you are seeing good results, it’s definitely good for you.

  2. Hi sir I want to my category and author links as dofollow. But it is nofollow. How can I change from nofollow to dofollow in wordpress. Please help me. thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Kamran!

      Check your theme’s functions.php file. There must be a code which makes your category links NoFollow. Or contact your theme provider.

      Regards 🙂

  3. Post still relevant 2 years later, thanks very much. I can now resolve my duplicate content issues!

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