Last week, the Search Engine Journal reported that Google was penalizing guest posts.
A few months ago, Google told the world that its algorithms were changing the way we detect and use link attributes.
And just like yesterday, Google is officially starting to treat nofollow links differently.
What’s going on in the world? And what do webmasters need to know about Google’s new link plans?
What are the “nofollow” links?
Since the early 2000s, blogs have had great potential to earn revenue. If you rank your blog, you can sell ads, affiliate links and all the other wonderful things that make money in your bank.
But everyone understood that if you want to rank, Google’s ranking signals should be strengthened.
One of these signs is links. Then people started spamming content sections of other blogs with links to their products or blogs. So they stole something called a “link juice”.
So, in 2005, Google introduced the nofollow attribute. With this change, you can paste in a link to the nofollow tag (i.e. rel = “nofollow”) and Google will ignore that link and no longer exist as credit passes.
Over the years, nofollow has become an important linking strategy for almost all websites.
Almost all websites have default comment sections for nofollow. You can use nofollows to avoid malicious surprises with guest posts, and you can nofollow paid links to avoid penalizing Google.
As for Google, the paid links are fine, but they are only for clicks – not in the rankings of the signals. A nofollow is in charge of this problem.
But Google had a small problem. As the growing algorithm collects more data, nofollows enter a brick wall.
Because the algorithm rejects nofollows as a classification signal, it cannot use the link data to find unusual link standards or to understand the context within those links.
In other words, the nofollow attribute prevents Google’s algorithm from understanding the link context it can use to grow and evolve.
Google will treat nofollow links as “instructions” as of March 1, 2020
On September 10, 2019, Google announced that the nofollow links would be used as “tips” rather than as directives beginning March 1.
What does this mean?
Google will now take the nofollow link to give the link a credit and not an order. This allows the Google algorithm to process the data of all of these links, and prevents the signal from being increased by many of them.
Now, does that mean that people will start over again by spamming my comment section on my site? No!
According to Google, “In most cases, sticking to an advisory model will not change the nature of how we treat these links. In general, we treat them as we did with nofollow before, and don’t consider them for classification purposes.”
Google has announced two new attribute links for nofollow links
In addition to changing a Nofollow attribute tip, Google introduces two new attributes to help webmasters further clarify the intent of the links.
rel = “protected”: Used for protected links (e.g. ads, sponsors, etc.)
rel = “ugc”: To use user-generated content (e.g. comments, forums, etc.).
In other words, Google wants to apply a single nofollow attribute to each type of link.
How does this affect Webmasters?
It is advisable to start the structure of the new link attribute immediately. You can use this guide to help Google.
You probably won’t notice any immediate changes to your site. But, if you want Google to understand your content better (and your content related to it), we recommend updating your relationship tags.
After all, the more Google knows about your site, the better your ranking opportunities are, as long as you follow the rules and put up great contents.