Scroll Up Get A Quote

Digital Marketing | 10 Min Read

Nofollow, Sponsored and UGC Links Guide

Nofollow, Sponsored, and UGC Links Guide

Article Overview

Post Views: 3714 Views

Posted on: Friday January 29, 2021

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Digital marketing agencies in Dubai have been looking over the changes being made by Google on how the attributes are treated and how Google is identifying the links they post. Moreover, the SEO agencies in Dubai are constantly pondering on the introduction of the new nofollow attributes which are allowing webmasters to add an advertising tag to the links they post to their blog forums or in the comment section to gain reach. Here are the new policies and a brief introduction to old ones.


What are the no-follow links?


A no-follow link is an additional link in the document or website that does not get included as a feature in the page’s support. It also does not raise PageRank and doesn’t encourage a page’s position in the SERPs. These no-follow links do not add up to the page rankings but are of significant importance.


Nofollow, Sponsored, and UGC Links Guide_1


A no-follow link is constructed with the HTML nofollow link tag like this:

<a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Link Text</a>


The nofollow tags inform the search engines and tell them not to count these links.


Well, then why add nofollow links if it is not adding to your page rankings?


The no-follow link HTML tag made the online world a better place. After the introduction of nofollow tags, most SEO spammers will refrain from posting irrelevant links to their blogs or forum posts just for promotional purposes or for an increasing number of visitors. As they now know that they won’t get a follow link published due to this attribute. Even WordPress has made changes, and it automatically designates the no follow link characteristic to the user-submitted links. Wikipedia uses the same criteria for its reference section to avoid any spam link postings.


Why did Google change policies?


Nofollow, Sponsored, and UGC Links Guide_2


Almost now and then, we come across several changes in the ways and algorithms that Google uses to rank the pages and avoid faulty links. With the same intent, the introduction of nofollow links was done in 2005. With the advancement in advertising and due to many malpractices that entered the SEO world, Google decided to put an end to it to a great extent by using these links.


What are the new rules? (Sponsored and UGC links)


Google has now launched two related attributes: the sponsored and UGC. Similar to the original nofollow attribute, the two unique rel values will tell Google that the link is not for parsing PageRank. Nevertheless, the main distinction is that these new rel utilities will provide Google a “tip” about the link’s general use and purpose. Here are the two attributes.


Sponsored Link Attribute 


The initiation of the sponsored link attribute indicates that sponsored links (advertising) will be definitively identified. Previously, untrusted links ought to use the identical (nofollow) attribute as sponsored/advertising links. Both may mean the same to the webmasters and creators, but now Google can render advertisements from “untrustworthiness.”


UGC Attribute 


The UGC (user-generated content) attribute allows webmasters to imply that they do not editorially support explicit hyperlinks on the website. Additionally, the UGC HTML tag will tell Google that the link is inside user-generated content like a user comment or discussion post. Now, this also helps Google identify fake advertisements and prevent trustworthiness.


Should SEO Experts change the ways?


Nofollow links have always been viewed as the conclusive way of requesting to Google that a link is exempted from the editorial endorsement. This suggested that Google probably lost out on more granular learning, such as categorizing those links as advertising, untrusted, and those assigned by the webmaster, and those placed by users. Hence, webmasters can now create several different attributes to tell Google about the site’s user-posted links.


Now, when webmasters are starting to opt for this strategy, SEO experts should also transform their SEO based postings and comments on several websites.


What is the ranking impact of nofollow links?


Before the change in policies, SEO experts usually considered nofollow links went like this:-


  • They aren’t used for crawling and indexing.
  • They aren’t used for ranking, as approved by Google. (Many SEOs have accepted for years that this was not the fact)


There’s a lot of discussion and consideration around the secondary record, and Google has been perplexing on the issue. Preliminary data and anecdotal indication suggest Google has continued to consider nofollow links as a possible ranking sign.

Google’s administration declares the new link attributes—both sponsored and UGC—are handled like this:-


  • They are still not applied for crawling and indexing.
  • All nofollow directives are now formally a “hint” for ranking purposes, meaning Google may prefer to overlook it and utilize it for ranking schemes. Many SEO experts think this is how Google was using nofollow for a longer time.
  • Commencing March 1, 2020, the additional nofollow link attributes are handled as evidence across the board, implying:
  • In some instances, they are utilized for crawling and indexing
  • In some other cases, they could be used for ranking


Weight on the term “some.” Google is specific that in most matters, they will proceed to disregard nofollow links as typical.


Concluding thoughts

Both webmasters and SEO experts must understand the changes these attributes are bringing. However, there is no strict mention of changing your older nofollow rel values or adding new attributes to your website. This claim means that your website won’t be banned or prohibited even if you wish to continue with older practices. Nonetheless, “change is the only constant,” and SEO agencies in Dubai realize the importance of changing and adapting to these strategies to bring changes in the SERP rankings.