In September 2019, Google announced two new link attributes to help webmasters better understand the nature of particular links. These link attributes are going to be an addition to the ‘no-follow’ attribute introduced by Google in 2005 to help fight comment spam.
Within no-follow, Google has announced rel=”sponsored” and rel=“ugc”, which are explained below:
This attribute will define the link created as a part of advertising, sponsorship or other similar campaigns.
This attribute defines the link present under or as part of user-generated content (UGC) such as comments and forum posts.
Why does it matter?
All these attributes, including the no-follow, will be treated as hints by Google on whether to include or exclude them in user search. With this announcement of Google, here are the key questions that we need to answer as webmasters:
Should you replace all your existing no-follow links?
As mentioned by Google, this is not needed as the no-follow attribute still functions and will be supported.
Can we combine both attributes for a single link?
Yes, you can pretty much do that. If you feel that a link should be classified both as sponsored and UGC, go ahead and put a rel=”ugc sponsored” for the same. And the same can be done for other instances as well.
Why should you bother to add these attributes?
These attributes are an initiative from Google to better understand and analyze the nature of links present on the web.
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