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.

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.

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.

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