On March 1st, Google will release an update related to nofollow links. Read this article to stay up-to-date with the latest Google search update. When it comes to SEO, ignorance is not bliss.
After the 2019 Google update there are now four different link types.
- UGC (User Generated Content)
All links by default are follow links. A follow link is a vote of confidence that you give to another site. Google will reward the follow links with an increase in page rank.
Nofollow instructs google that you are not endorsing the site. No link juice (or PageRank) will be passed from one website to the other. You are indicating the the link is not relevant to the user and should not be crawled.
Sponsored links are links that represent an advertisement. It should be set when there is a commercial agreement between the two sites. You mark a linked as sponsored using rel=”sponsored” attribute.
User Generated Content
UGC Link should be used when the link is from user-generated sites like blog posts. You mark a link as UGC by adding the rel=”ugc” tag.
What will change after March 1st?
After March 1, 2020 google will use nofollow links as rank indicators. If you use nofollow tags to limit crawling of links, you should now opt to exclude links in the robot.txt file.
It is relevant to note that always listed “no follow” links in Google Search Console, which means that Google always cared about them in some form.
Having “nofollow” links pointing to your domain shows diversity to google. Google will use “nofollow” tag to detect unnatural patterns.
- Zero nofollow links pointing to your domain raises some red flags
- A large amount of outbound links with “nofollow” is also a bad practice that should be avoided.
It is hard to determine what google will change; however, it is always important to do the proper homework.
Make sure you audit and record “nofollow” inbound and outbound links. It will give you a fighting chance if you detect a drop after the March 1st update.
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Simon Bonello is Co-founder of Gain Changer. His main area of focus is Business Process Automation, Software Technical Architecture and Technical SEO