Latest Google Updates On No Follow Links – What You Need to Know

Google recently brings about new updates on No Follow Links and tries to evolve the no-follow attributes.  It seems that Google is giving much importance to links – Internal, External. No Follow, Do Follow – as these links give much information to Google help improve search.

What are No Follow Links?

No follow links are those links which reside on a website, directing to another website, but do not want Google to pass Google ranking juice to these sites for a variety of reasons like link to a shady product or link to a nonauthorized site by Google.

According to Wikipedia, No-Follow Links are:

nofollow is a value that can be assigned to the rel attribute of an HTML a element to instruct some search engines that the hyperlink should not influence the ranking of the link’s target in the search engine’s index.

Recent updates by Google in No Follow Links will help Google to understand the nature of links.  The new two types of attributes are:

  • rel=“sponsored”: Identifies links on a site that were created as part of advertising, sponsorships or similar agreements.
  • rel=“ugc”: Identifies links that appear within user-generated content, such as comments and forum posts.

People use to panic with every Google update, but the good news about these additional links is that they are going to help you and Google both.

rel=”sponsored” attribute will help Google to easily identify the link as an affiliate or advertising link, also the next attribute rel=ugc will be applied particularly to user-generated content for comments and forum comments on your blog post.

These additional attributes will greatly help Google to better understand unnatural linking patterns.  The good news is that now onwardsGoogle will treat all these three attributes as a hint and no longer will it be ignored.

What You Need to Know About Latest No Follow Updates

It is Important to Link Attributes:

Google wants you to use Link Attributes as it helps Google to better understand the content.  After introducing these two new attributes, Google prefers the “sponsored” attribute for affiliate links but “no follow” is fine as well.

No need to change existing “no-follow” links:

With recent changes in Google’s link strategies, there is a kind of panic in SEOs and site owners, if they need to change all their existing links.

Google made it clear that you do not need to change the existing no-follow links.  For e.fg you do not need to change your any no follow links directing to any affiliate program, ads, and sponsorship.  But Google recommends switching to a “sponsored” attribute whenever possible.

Also there is no need to add “do follow” links if you are not using a no-follow attribute, it will auto-read as a “do-follow” link.

User-Generated Content (UGC) and new attributes:

User-Generated Content like comments on the blog or sponsored blog posts, more than one link can be accepted, for example, “rel=ugc sponsored” will be acceptable for a sponsored link that appears within user-generated content.

Google also adds that there are no wrong attributes to use except in sponsored attributes.  For example, you are using “rel=sponsored” attribute, when it is not a part of a sponsored or of an ad.

In short, any referral, affiliate link or an ad should use “sponsored” or “no follow” link.  WordPress’s latest versions will be included with all these attributes.

On our part as a content creator, we should not worry about manually changing attributes, by the WordPress’s new update of 5.2 it is going to automatically change from no follow to “rel=ugc” and referral or affiliate links to “rel=referral”.

some sites are suffering from No Follow Updates

Yes, some sites are suffering from these no-follow updates, and if unfortunately, you are seeing a drastic downfall in your traffic, it is always better to hire an SEO, who can fix these issues for you.

There is a myth that SEO cost thousands of dollar, but that depends on the size of the website if you are a small businessman nor a solopreneur, you can do your site audit in less than $100.

Another misconception about no-follow links:

There is another misconception about no-follow links that if you no follow all outgoing link it will benefit in rankings.

But John Muller makes it clear that “definitely wrong”.  On the contrary if you link all the outgoing links as no follow, it may harm in long run because it’s an unnatural way of linking to webpages.

I suspect it’s even, on the contrary, that if you have normal linking on your page then you would probably rank a little bit better over time – essentially because we can see that you’re part of the normal web ecosystem.

A very important point which Muller clears is that it is important to know as a content creator, should be able to stand behind what they’re writing about.  So linking all outgoing links as a no-follow link is definitely not a good practice.

Conclusion:

After Google’s new changes in a no-follow link, there is much panic in content creators, but in reality, there is no need to.

Google has added two new attributes to no-follow link, rel= “sponsored” and rel=”ugc”, which ultimately going to help both; content creators and Google.  It will help Google to better understand the content and categorize it and for content creators, it will be easy to tag affiliate links and comments on their website and so as not to worry about if the outgoing link is an authority site or not.

Another good news after these new changes by Google is that now onwards Google will treat all links as a hint instead of ignoring them.

No doubt, some websites are affected by these changes, but I think it is a temporary phase and by the WordPress 5.3 release, all these no-follow links will be added directly.

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