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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