In the month of September, Google announced some new changes in the “No follow” link attributes. Guys, are you aware of Nofollow links? In this blog post, I’m going to tell you everything about Nofollow links and what changes Google made in Nofollow attributes. Before I talk about the changes in Nofollow links, let me first clear you with the concept of Nofollow links. So, let’s get started.
Let me tell you first that Nofollow links were introduced in January 2015 by Google as a way of combatting link and comment span.
What is the Nofollow link?
Nofollow links are those links which are generated with HTML code. These links are basically introduced to reduce some type of search engine spam. The Nofollow tags tell a search engine to ignore that link as Nofollow links don’t pass PageRank and they likely don’t impact search engine rankings.
Additionally, Nofollow links don’t pass link juice and so does not boost your credibility and website ranking.
Let’s see what types of links are Nofollow
Mostly, any link having Nofollow tag is technically a Nofollow link, but particularly, inbound links tend from these sources tend to be Nofollow such as:
- Social media (links in Facebook posts, etc.)
- Blog comments
- Links in the press release
- Certain blogs and news sites (such as Huffington Post)
- Links from ‘widgets’
What announcement Google made regarding Nofollow links
Google announced that changes regarding Nofollow links that it has changed the Nofollow link from a directive to a hint and provide search engine more flexibility to understand the web.
Earlier, Google would ignore the link if you used the Nofollow link attributes on links. It would neither follow nor count those links. Now, Google said it will use the Nofollow link attributes as a “hint” for ranking purposes.
Now Nofollow links will be used as “hints”
As I told you above that Google will use Nofollow link attributes as a “hint” but it will implement from March 1, 2020. The purpose of attributing links as “hint” means Google will be able to see the context, anchor text, the links, use it for spam purpose, use it for ranking purposes, etc. And for crawling and indexing, Google will not follow the link for crawling and indexing purposes at this point in time.
However, after March 2020, Google will expand it for crawling and indexing purposes too.
What more added in Nofollow link attributes?
In addition to the above information, Google has also added two new link attributes which are; rel=” sponsored” and rel=”ugc”, to sit alongside rel=”nofollow”.
Google’s main purpose behind these two attributes is that now they can be used by webmasters to provide additional, more descriptive ways to identify to Google the nature of particular links. Let’s summarize the added links below:
- Rel=” sponsored”: This attribute can be used to identify links on your site that were earlier created as a part of advertisements, sponsorships, or other compensation agreements.
- Rel=”ugc”: User Generated Content (ugc) attribute value is suggested for links within user-generated content, such as comment and forum posts.
- Rel=”nofollow”: You can use this attribute where you don’t want to apply endorsement. You can include passing along ranking credit to another page.
In a nutshell, whatever changes Google has made in Nofollow links are great for web users, but from an SEO perspective, nothing has changed. A no-follow link is now hinted for ranking as Google has provided a more enhanced user experience.
Google has also said that there is no need to use the new attributes; you can continue to just use Nofollow and not update the old Nofollow, but the new changes will provide you more flexibility in how it understands and treats links with attributes in search. So don’t get panic by the changes just enjoy the new experience.
Get in touch with us till then keep reading, keep sharing.