I was recently inspired by a member of the Flower Chat community to take a look at various template designs provided by Teleflora for their members. While I had reviewed Teleflora websites in the past, something jumped out at me this time that I either previously missed, or, it is relatively new. I’m talking about the “nofollow” attribute.
What is a “nofollow” attribute?
According to Wikipedia: “nofollow is an HTML attribute value used to instruct some search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target's ranking in the search engine's index” (reference). The concept was first introduced by Google in an effort to combat paid text links and their effectiveness of gaming Google’s algorithm.
Since that time, use of the attribute has evolved to include the ability to control PageRank flow within the internal workings of the website itself. The idea behind this particular use of the attribute is to cap off non-important pages (e.g “My Account,” “Shopping Cart,” or “Security & Privacy” pages) in favor of channeling the PageRank to flow and influence the rank of important pages (e.g. “Product” pages etc...). In that regard, the entire fleet of FTD’s FOL sites correctly has this type of link-condom in place and the energy is properly being channeled to the product pages.
However, in reviewing Teleflora’s template designs and use of the “nofollow” attribute, I discovered that all of Teleflora’s websites that have a product navigation menu have the “nofollow” attribute embedded in the properties of the product menu and not in the less important tabs to pages. The exact opposite of the way it should be.
What this means is that PageRank flow is currently being channeled away from the product pages and directed toward the less important pages: “My Account,” “View Cart,” and “Help” pages (etc...). In other words, all the navigational links that provide link juice to the important pages are capped off with a link-condom: no link juice is going to those pages.
[pictured to the right in red highlight is the "nofollow" attribute in action. I highlighted this image myself for identification purposes. Actual website is www.affairstorememberflorist.com. Currently, Google will not pass PageRank influence to those pages through those highlighted links]
Now Teleflora may attempt to argue that a secondary navagation menu exists at the bottom of most Teleflora sites where the "nofollow" attribute is absent. But this secondary menu is in a bottom feeder area where there is less value & influence in ranking pages internally.
Moreover, any custom pages that are created for specific targeting and placed in the Navigation area are defaulted to the "nofollow" attribute.
From an SEO perspective, this is the equivalent of driving over Police "road spikes" on a Freeway.....and the Police in this case is Teleflora.