We have a well designed internal linking system that makes certain no page is more than four pages deep, and the indexing process has gone well for us.
However, in addition to the hierarchical page links we created to help with the crawl, many pages have links (cross-links, if you will) to other related data. For example, a person may have links to all the companies they own. The companies, though, have their pages exposed as part of the hierarchical linkage we built, meaning that there are often many routes to the same page.
It seems like it would be beneficial to make all of our links that are not part of the hierarchical linkage to be "NoFollow" so the spider does not get "distracted" so to speak, at risk of hitting a page it's already visited.
Clearly, the most efficient way for Google to finish its crawl would be to visit the links that are part of the hierarchy, but not click over to the cross links.
However, I have two concerns:
- Some people call what I propose PR-shaping, stating that it's a form of over optimization that Google frowns upon.
- When the spider hits a detail page from an external link, it is nice to have it follow through on additional pages linked off of that page.
Should I leave well enough alone, or should I use "NoFollow" on the internal links to related content?