What SEO People Need to Know About Google’s Big Change to Nofollow
Updated: Dec 9, 2020
Google is known to bringing changes to its algorithms from time to time. It also makes other big changes in regard to link building techniques which SEO people and site owners should never ignore. Recently, the search giant made another big change by evolving the nofollow link attribute by introducing two additional attributes. This change has been done so that Google can easily understand the nature of links. Its new link attributes that join rel = “nonfollow” are rel= “sponsored” and rel = “ugc”. Out of the two, while the first i.e. rel = “sponsored” is introduced to identity links on sites created as part of sponsorships, advertising or similar agreements, the second will identify links appearing within user generated content such as forum posts and comments. So, from now on Google will treat each of these three attributes as hints about links to exclude as ranking signals. Which means, SEOs and site owners cannot ignore these attributes and Google has valid explanation for not completing ignoring these links now. Google accepts that links contain valuable information and help it improve search. It also explains how the words within links define content they look at which also helps them better understand unnatural linking patterns. Google also makes it clear how shifting to a hint model helps it retain the important information from links together with allowing SEOs and sites owners an opportunity to indicate how some links shouldn’t enjoy the clout and weight of a first-party endorsement. Here are some of key things SEO people and site owners need to know about Google big change to Nofollow – 1. Link attributes will continue to be important SEOs should understand that link attributes are still important. Their utility is intact in terms of flagging ads and sponsored links so that possible link scheme penalties can be avoided. Which means, “nofollow” will be fine as usual even though Google may prefer the use of “sponsored” more. 2. No need to change existing attributes SEOs and site owners should know there is no need to change any existing nofollow links. Google has already explained that it will continue to considerall nonfollow attributes in place at present. So, people into SEO can go about the business without changing the way the use nofollow attributes for flagging links related to sponsorships and ads. But yes, Google advises SEOs to switch to “sponsored” attributes as and when it matters or as when as it is right. 3. Learn to use the new attributes correctly SEOs and site owners first need to learn how to use the new attributes correctly to avoid Google penalties. They can use more than one attribute on a single link and baring sponsored links, there is no wrong attribute to use. There will be less impact in case a link is marked sponsored even when it’s not part of a sponsorship or an add. So, make sure any link that is an ad or sponsored should use “nofollow” or “sponsored.” 4. The changes are into effect now SEOs should know that all the changes to nofollow are already into effect so they should plan and strategize link building activities accordingly. All the three link attributes – nofollow, ugc and sponsored – are working already. While ugc and sponsored are taken as “hints,” the existing nofollow will stay the same till next year March and after that it will be taken as a hint. So, SEOs who rely on the no-follow attribute should think about switching to one of the new attributes. This will add value to their link building endeavours.