For a long time, Google has used attributes to help in ranking websites. The nofollow attribute was launched in the early days of the company’s foray in the web. This attribute has been around for a long time and webmasters have used it to help rank their sites.
Recently though, Google announced two new attributes – namely “sponsored” and UGC. These two new attributes, combined with nofollow will help Google consider which links to exclude or include within search. Previously, the nofollow attributes helped algorithms differentiate promoted content from normal content.
How Ranking Is Handled by Search Engines
Ranking is a topic that is often overlooked due to its technical and dynamic nature. For webmasters, knowing the basics of ranking is crucial to help in ranking pages. In the realm of links, there are two main kinds of links that are widely used by site owners. The first kind is the links that are used as hits for the search engines.
These are often marked by a rel=canonical element in the code. Such links are meant to indicate to the search engine that they are merely a pointer to the main version of a page. The links can be ranked by the search engine depending on their quality.
The other kind of link is a directive. This kind is specified by the site owners to show the search engine what is important to be considered for ranking. Google takes the content marked by such directives as a priority. Directives are always picked up by the search engine unless they are not clearly specified or hold conflicting information. The nofollow attribute was considered as a key hint link before the new updates.
How Crucial Are the New Attributes?
When it comes to the implementation of the new attributes, the pertinent question right now is whether they should be implemented by all website owners. According to pundits, it is not necessary to do this as the new attributes do not bring much change to the ranking. This is especially so for ordinary websites. The UGC attribute might not bring much change to websites that do not record high instances of visitor content. For forums though, the attribute might be important to help search engines differentiate between content.
As for the rel=sponsored attribute, the majority of websites that are neither involved in news or blogging might not be affected by it. The attribute is mainly crucial for informing search engines about sponsored content which might not be relevant to the page when it comes to ranking. Unless the website is involved in news dissemination therefore, the attribute might not be a priority.
The Future of Link Building in Light of the New Changes
A key issue that has come up as a result of the new changes is the future of link building. For many site owners, knowing how the attributes will affect link building is a concern. Experts in the marketing field consider the attributes to be of no impact on current link building strategies. As recently noted by CLT marketing, a white label SEO company, all forms of legit link building strategies are unlikely to be affected. This will however not be the case for those who rely on building links through forums, comments and other ways that are not recommended.
What About Internal Nofollow Links?
Both internal and external nofollow links are a crucial part of SEO. With the new attributes, there is not much change to be expected in the process of creating these links. There will also be no effects on the links for the most part.
According to the information released by Google, the new attributes are mainly a means of giving more control and power to the search algorithms. Even if site owners do not adhere to the new changes, the search engine will be able to determine what content is important for ranking.
The new attributes released by Google have already sparked conversations on the web. Many opinions are being given daily by various stakeholders in the market. The information being churned out is thus varied in nature. Regardless of this, the bottom line is that the new changes made by Google should not worry about site owners and webmasters. The algorithm has improved greatly in recent times and the new attributes can only make things easier and better for legitimate websites.