Back in 2005, Google launched a Nofollow link attribute with the objective to stop comment spamming. After being launched for a little while, Google expanded the feature to be used for any links that you didn’t want Google to see and for paid links. Google announced this Nofollow update on the 10th of September.
Before updating their Nofollow link attribute, Google avoided all external and internal links. If you used these links on your site, Googlebot didn’t crawl, index the, or rank them, it simply pretended as if those links did not exist. Any hyperlink or link that included the attribute rel=”nofollow” would not be included in Google’s search algorithms paramters.
But after the update, Google revealed that it would use the Nofollow link feature as a “hint” for measuring your rank. This simply means that Google would use your content, hyperlinks, and anchor text for ranking and spam measurements. However, if we are talking about crawling and indexing, Google will not follow the link.
With this update, Google revealed that link attributes could evolve. New attributes for sponsored content (rel=”sponsored”) and user-generated content (rel=”ug”) joined the league, working in the following ways:
- rel= “nofollow”: Google announced that this feature will be used for cases in which you need to link a webpage but do not want to give any endorsement or pass ranking credit to another page.
- rel=” sponsored”: This attribute will be used for recognizing links on your website that you have added for sponsorships, advertisement purposes, or other kinds of compensation agreements.
- rel= “ugc”: The UGC attribute will be used for identifying user-generated content on the website, such as forum posts or blog comments.
Should I Ignore It or Is It a Hint?
With the Nofollow update, Google revealed that it would not ignore links if they included one of these attributes; rather, each of the attributes would be measured as a “hint” on how to treat the link. The reason for these changes is because Google wants to collect all the data from each link, including words that are anchor text, to better measure and recognize the link scheme.
All SEO experts know that links have essential information with the potential to improve the search ranking of their website/s. Most spammers follow unnatural linking patterns to get a better ranking on SERPs. In order to stop this and better identify unnatural linking patterns, Google needs all the data in these links. And by revealing these features as a “hint”, Google won’t lose any important information and will be able to quickly detect all the data in these links, measuring your rank more efficiently.
What Works Now vs. What Will Work in March 2020
With the launch of these new updates, Google is treating the Nofollow attribute as a hint for ranking measurements. It may count your link as credit for a better rank or possibly as part of a spam analysis. This solely depends on the quality and relevancy of your linking.
But on March 2nd in 2020, Google will start using the updates for crawling and indexing purposes.
How to Properly Utilize New Attributes
Google stated that it’s possible for you to use more than one attribute for a single link. For example, if you’ve added a rel=”ugc” sponsored attribute, it will be great within user-generated content. Google said the link’s impact will be lessened if you mark it as a sponsor and it’s really not part of a sponsorship or advertisement.
Impact on Search Results
This update allows Google to look at how it can use the new information obtained from these features in its search ranking schemes. And with these features being used as hints, Google will be provided with more flexible methods of treating links marked with this attribute in search.
All the updated link attributes — rel=” nofollow,” rel=” sponsored,” and rel= “ugc” — are measured as hints to know which link should be excluded and which should be included in search purpose.
Why We Should Care
Google said that there would be no significant impact on your search results after this update. If Google begins counting Nofollow attribute marked links on bigger websites that employ a Nofollow link policy, you may see those links ranking better; this is if Google changes how it respects the Nofollow feature. For example, all outgoing links on Wikipedia are marked as Nofollow links, you may see improvement if you make a lot of backlinks from Wikipedia and if those links are included.
If you are negatively affected by this algorithmic update, Cibirix is here to help you! A well-known Digital Marketing Agency who is always ready to help in any way we can. Let’s rise digitally together!