I want to index 1+ millions pages and I have a lot special pages for each items.

Items link to multiple external websites. Should I use nofollow for these external links to reduce spending crawl budget?

  • 3
    External links don't reduce "crawl budget". If the external page is legit, related with your page's content and useful to your visitors, it shouldn't have a nofollow attribute. Commented Jan 20 at 18:05
  • @LuisAlbertoBarandiaran That comment is sufficient to post as an answer. Commented Jan 21 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


The idea behind adding nofollow to external links was called PageRank Sculpting. This used to work maybe until early 2008 as Matt Cutts stated on June 15, 2009 in his Blog, that Google changed the behavior more than a year ago. He explains that originally nofollow links did not get assigned PageRank and with the new behavior they do.

So let's put this into perspective:

If you remove or mask links on a page, the remaining links will become stronger and pass on more PageRank. At the same time, this also means that the page is now a worse hub because fewer pages are made accessible via it.

If you look at algorithms beyond PageRank you will stumble accross ranking algorithms for web pages that also incoporate the concept of ranking good hubs, as they are a good source to reach information elsewere.

We don't really know how much of a factor this is for Google, but there is some evidence that being a good hub is also beneficial for rankings and therefore you might not want to set useful external links to nofollow or even remove them.

Now let's get a lot of pages indexed otherwise:

From various Google patents we know that Google computes scores for known URLs and selects URLs above a certain threshold for crawling. If you compute graph metrics like PageRank as an authority metric and CheiRank as a hub metric for your site you can identify pages in different segments of your site (e.g. categories, articles, pagination pages, ...) that are either very strong, or very weak. By adding additional links between those pages you can slightly redistribute the internal PageRank and strengthen weak pages and often lift them above the crawling threshold.

Another good way of doing this is by simply placing additional links from pages that are good authorities (high PageRank) to pages that are good hubs (high CheiRank). By doing so the site will become more dense and the differences between the strongest and weakest pages will become smaller. In addition navigation paths for users will also become shorter.

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