In the past, nofollow was often used to identify links related to ads, sponsors, or content that users did not intend to pass the ranking signal.
The nofollow attribute is no longer suitable in some cases.
So Google introduced two new rel values ("sponsored" and "ugc") to better identify the purpose of the link to the search engine:
- rel = ”sponsored”:
Use the sponsored attribute to identify your links that were created for advertising, sponsorship or other compensation arrangements.
- rel = "ugc":
UGC stands for User Generated Content, it is recommended to use with user-generated content such as comments, or forum posts.
- rel = "nofollow":
Use this attribute for situations when you want to link to a page, but implicitly you will not transfer ranking power to it.
Google is also transitioning to use the Viking's "hint mode" to interpret new link properties:
When nofollow was introduced, Google would not count any link marked this way as a signal to use within our search algorithm. 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.
Sort of understood as follows:
In the past, Google will not count any nofollow links, which are signals to use in search algorithms.
This has changed now. All link properties - sponsored, UGC and nofollow - are considered suggestions for links to consider or exclude in Search.
Google will now use these suggestions - along with other signals - as a way to better understand when analyzing and using links more appropriately.
The summary is:
Nofollow can also be considered now a ranking signal Please. It is completely valuable, not "useless" as before.
The notice includes a few noticeable instructions regarding usage.
Although all new link properties are acting as hints for ranking purposes, there is no need to change existing links.
For sponsored links, Google recommends switching to rel = "sponsored" if available or convenient.
Users can also specify multiple rel values (for example, rel = "ugc sponsored").
Google plans to use the suggestions for crawling and indexing purposes starting March 1, 2020.
How to identify new nofollow links, not only affects the way users create links.
It also affects plugins that add nofollow attributes or otherwise.
Plugin manufacturers will have to update their options in the future.
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