Google Starts Counting ‘Nofollow’ Links As Clues
On Sunday, March 1, Google began treating the nofollow link attribute as a guide, not a directive, for the purpose of crawling and indexing. So, should we change the whole connecting strategy?
New Link Attribute
The nofollow attribute was created in 2005 to prohibit click-through by search engine bots. This attribute is important for adding links to non-trust resources, or affiliate hyperlinks and advertisements.
Last year, Google announced new link attributes for sponsored and user-generated content (UGC).
rel = “sponsored” for paid links – created as a result of advertisements, sponsorships, and other paid agreements.
rel = “ugc” for links in UGC content such as comments and forum posts.
rel = “nofollow” for cases when you want to add a link but without giving a credit rating.
Why a New Approach?
From the moment Google introduced the link as a help for webmasters, it has been used for various reasons. Many websites have begun marking as not following many external links. And of course, for Google that uses links for their ranking algorithm, this is a problem.
Google, Gary Illyes and Danny Sullivan said that the new attribute would help Google understand a website better and allow the owner of a site to tag their links if they wanted to.
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Five Basic Facts About New Attributes
• You can also tag advertisements and sponsored links to avoid possible link scheme penalties.
• You don’t need to change existing links.
• There may be more than one attribute for one link. For example, rel = “sponsored ugc” is okay for paid links in user-generated content.
• If you use the wrong attribute on the link, there is nothing wrong, except for the sponsored link type (see next point).
• If the link is classified as sponsored when not, then the impact will be slightly reduced. Google said: “… we will see the clues but the impact – if any – will be the biggest so we might not count and regard the link as a credit to like other pages. In this case, it is no different from the status quo of many UGC and non-link ads that have been marked as nofollow. “
Do We Need a New Link Strategy
Three link attributes – sponsored, ugc, and nofollow – now function in March, 1. The sponsor and ugc attributes are treated as “lead” rankings. Nofollow will work together as usual until March 2020, when it is treated as a guide.
However, if you implement a new type of link, this link is voluntary. If you want to provide that information to Google (and have a secret link for your own reference), don’t hesitate to do it. Whether you do it and implement it or not, it will absolutely not affect your site.
When posting sponsored content or hosting forums or comments on your site, it is all your decision to apply the new attribute or not. If you choose not to do it, that is also entirely your choice.