Marketing and Business Intelligence

Google new directive rel nofollow, sponsored and ugc

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Julian Sanchez
The "rel" directive can be included in the links on our website and is used to indicate to the Google spider which links should follow (track) and which should not (follow/nofollow).
New google rel nofollow directives

Recently, Google has updated the directive rel = nofollow adding two new html tags to provide more information about the use of links both on our website and on external links.

New ways to identify natural links

Since 2005 and until a few weeks ago, Google considered links, both incoming and outgoing, as "follow" or "nofollow" only. These labels have been and are very useful in SEO as it tells the crawling spider whether these links should be "followed" and considered for transfer of authority (Linkjuice) or not.

New rel nofollow google directives

It was a measure to try to quell SPAM links. In this way, Google took into account the links that should not be considered by the search algorithm and today, nofollow it still works the same way. However, from September 10, 2019, Google offers two new possibilities:

rel = "sponsored": (Sponsored) This new attribute will be used to identify links on your site that were created as part of advertisements or sponsorships.

rel = "ugc": UGC stands for User Generated Content and is recommended for links to user generated content such as comments and forum posts.

Google makes available in its forum some answers to the first doubts that arise.

Should we update our nofollow links?

According to Google and at the moment no. We must continue treating these links as before.

Can we use more than one value in the rel tag?

The answer is yes. We can indicate, for example, rel=”ugc sponsored” for a link that comes from a forum and is also sponsored.

Should we change nofollow for sponsored links?

Google again recommends that it is not necessary and that we should continue to use it to mark links from sites that can cause penalties on our website, although it now recommends using the tag sponsored.

Do we need to mark ads or sponsored links?

Yes, to avoid a possible link scheme penalty. We will use rel=”sponsored” or rel=”nofollow” to bookmark these links. Now, Google prefers the use of "sponsored" or sponsored but either one is fine and will be treated the same way.

What happens if we make a mistake in the use of an attribute?

There is no problem except in the case of sponsored links. If you mark a UGC link or a non-ad link as "sponsored«, Google will follow that indication but the impact it may have on our link profile would be that we could not count the link as a transfer of authority (nofollow).

Any link that is clearly an ad or sponsored link should use 'sponsored' or 'nofollow' but Google prefers that we use 'sponsored'.

Should we use these new attributes?

Using the new attributes allows crawling spiders to process links from our website better and with more information.

Could these new guidelines encourage link spam in comments and UGC content?

The link attributes of «ugc" Y "nofollow» will continue to be an additional SPAM deterrent. The change in the way of indicating the type of link will not change the nature of how Google has treated these links. usually like nofollow and will not be considered for ranking or web authority purposes.

When do these changes to the rel attribute take effect?

All link attributes, sponsored, ugc y nofollow they are already crawlable by the Google spider. those who depend on nofollow solely to block a page from being indexed (which is not recommended) they should use a more restrictive alternative such as noindex.

How will it affect strategies? SEO of link building?

A priori we will have to wait how Google and Search Console deal with these new tags but, for the moment, we can only continue waiting for Google to give us more information. We will have to create experiments to see if applying these new directives we will obtain greater value in our Linkbuilding strategies.

This is an excellent move by Google to better recognize which links are purchased. In the long run, it is expected that Google will have more control over these Linkbuilding techniques since, on the one hand, it offers “advertisers” to indicate links in a more secure way, but at the same time it provides Google with the information of which sites they are buying. links.


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