Are Your Internal Links Passing Page Rank?

November 24th, 2008

Creating a good internal linking strategy to pass pagerank from one page to another is an important part of SEO.  Unless you have a good understanding of some basic technical concepts, it sometimes may be hard for you to figure out if your internal links are capable of passing pagerank.  For example, you might have a fancy drop down menu of links that don’t appear until you mouse over the menu.  How can you tell if the bots are crawling it?

One simple method is to sign your site up for Google Webmaster Tools and check out the Internal Links report. If the menu is passing page rank you should see the page show up in the report as page that is generating an internal link to the pages for the items listed on the menu.  Thanks Google.

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13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Everett

    We have lots of URLs with noindex meta tags showing up in our report. It’s interesting because it backs up what some Googlers have suggested – noindex,follow allows page rank to pass thru the noindexed page and into the pages to which it links.

    That said, it is still an extremely valuable tool no matter what, and I thank you for reminding me this morning to browse our internal links looking for poorly formatted URLs (i.e. ?sort=best-sellers, etc.). I found out a new employee has been interlinking products this way. Problem solved.

  • 2 Andrew Shotland

    Glad to be of help Everett.

  • 3 Jeff Howard

    You could also just run a site:www.example.com/
    to find out if the page is indexed if you didn’t want to sign-up for webmaster tools.

  • 4 Andrew Shotland

    Jeff, you are correct, except that your method doesn’t prove if the indexed page is passing page rank.

  • 5 Craig Geis

    While the reports in Webmaster Tools can be used to reveal important, actionable information, I’m not so sure that it can be said that the internal link report is an indicator of passed PR. I just found a number of high-level pages where Google reported no internal links, when there are a number of static links, including from a sitemap.

  • 6 Andrew Shotland


    While no doubt GWT is buggy and misses stuff (particularly since the new release a couple of weeks ago), I would check to see if the pages that have the links have been crawled and indexed by Google. If they haven’t been crawled yet they would not show up in the internal links report.

    That said, if the page does show up, then it’s a good indication that it’s passing PR.

  • 7 Chuck Aikens

    We review this on every site using not on GWT.
    Another tool that we have used is XENU, it is a 404 checker..but it provides information on Level and Links In / Links Out. More importantly, we visually inspect the site and try to create link maps (usually hand drawn) to help figure out how to ‘sculpt’ the page rank. There are definitely some very scientific ways to do this, but we treat it more like an art and use site: in Google to monitor the result.

  • 8 Andrew Shotland


    The difference between your techniques and the one I am suggesting above is that the only way (I think) to actually prove that Google is associating an internal link with the page it is linking to, is to see it show up in the internal links report on GWT. This still doesn’t mean it is passing PR, but it seems like the best indication available that it is.

  • 9 Tom Lindstrom

    Is there a fool proof way to determine if an inbound link passes page rank? I would like to know.

  • 10 Andrew Shotland


    I don’t think there is a truly foolproof way (except perhaps by doing a very controlled test), but I do think using GWT is as foolproof as you can get.

  • 11 ivan

    i can’t believe this post got 40+ sphinns… huh? What’s your secret man? :)

  • 12 Andrew Shotland


    I try to write posts that are actually useful to people other than hardcore SEM-types. :)

  • 13 Kατάθλιψη

    i have apr3 page and even though i am having links from this page to other sub-pages, pr is not passed. Any ideas on how to resolve this would be helpfull.

    Thanks guys

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