SEO News You Can Use: Google Adds Two New Nofollow Link Attributes

Brandon George
Published Sep 16, 2019 by Brandon George in SEO News, SEO News You Can Use
The views of contributors are their own, and not necessarily those of SEOBlog.com

Google rolled out a major update last week to its nofollow link attributes. Google has added two new link attributes to help it understand links:

Before, there was only rel = “nofollow” … But now you can use rel = “sponsored” and rel = “ugc” as well.

The rel = “sponsored” attribute identifies links as part of advertising, a sponsorship or something similar. The rel = “ugc” attributed will identify links within user generated content, such as a forum post or comments.

All three of these link attributes will be treated as “hints” about the links to exclude as ranking signals. So, they won’t be ignored.

Google’s official announcement of the nofollow links change:

“When nofollow was introduced, Google would not count any link marked this way as a signal to use within our search algorithms. This has now changed.

All the link attributes — sponsored, UGC and nofollow — are treated as hints about which links to consider or exclude within Search.

We’ll use these hints — along with other signals — as a way to better understand how to appropriately analyze and use links within our systems.”

Google added that there’s no need for site owners and webmasters to change any existing nofollow links because it will abide by those attributes already in place.

More from Google:

“Links contain valuable information that can help us improve search, such as how the words within links describe content they point at. Looking at all the links we encounter can also help us better understand unnatural linking patterns. By shifting to a hint model, we no longer lose this important information, while still allowing site owners to indicate that some links shouldn’t be given the weight of a first-party endorsement.”

Also, Google announced that a Meta Robots Nofollow link will also be treated as a hint.

Google explained further about why it changed Nofollow link to a hint right here.

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Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make SEOblog.com a one-stop shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.

Written by Brandon George

Brandon George
Brandon George became the editor of SEOblog.com in 2019. He manages all of the website's content, editorial staff and guest contributors. Since February 2019, he's also served as the Digital Marketing Editor for Thrive Internet Marketing Agency. Previously, he spent 23 years as a professional journalist. He was a senior writer for The Dallas Morning News for 18 years, which included covering the Dallas Cowboys for eight seasons.

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