What Really Matters in Google's Nofollow Changes, Ask the SEO

Google's news on Tuesday that it considers the attribute nofollow as a "clue" to ranking rather than to a search engine. a directive of ignorance of a link, and the introduction of rel = "sponsored" andrel = "ugc" raised the reactions and questions of SEOs regarding the next steps and the impact the transition to a link attribute that is almost 15 years old.

Judicious choices?

useful if you want a more granular choice. You did not have that before. Now you do. If you wish it.

– Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) September 10, 2019

As Google's Liaison Officer Danny Sullivan said in a tweet on Tuesday, the announcement expands the options available to site owners and to SEOs to specify the nature of a link beyond the singular nofollow attribute. The sponsored extra attributes and ugc are meant to give Google more detailed signals about the nature of the link's content.

There is no real benefit for sites that implement these new attributes instead of nofollow, other than the organizational classification if it is useful. Some see it as a skeptical prospect.

I want to believe it. It's just that I do not remember that Google has published something that does not bring any direct or apparent benefit to its internal goals.

– Alan Bleiweiss (@AlanBleiweiss) September 10, 2019

* We * could find it useful or … * you * might find it useful? 1945

– Lily Ray (@lilyraynyc) September 10, 2019

"Significant Impact", whether or not you adopt it

Recalling that the main change that nofollow is now a "ranking" index " Sullivan said on Twitter, "It's not a directive. As Gary says, it's very useful for our systems that impact a lot of people. The new attributes are a minor aspect. "

C was in reference to Illyes previously tweet that nofollow processing could have a" huge impact on the end user. "

This has the potential to 39; have a huge impact on the end user. While the SEOs implement the nofollow, the results come down to the rankings, which directly affects the end users.

– Gary "理Illyes (@methode) September 11, 2019

It may be difficult to reconcile this, the change could lead to significant improvements in search results for users, while being aware that most sites will see no impact on ranking with the new nofollow processing.

According to the announcement, these changes have already taken effect (save as nofollow is used as a "cue" of exploration and indexing which enter in force in March 2020). "In most cases, switching to an index model will not change the way we treat these links," wrote Sullivan and Illyes. "We will treat them generally as we did before with nofollow and do not consider them for ranking purposes."

Who benefits from the new attributes?

The implementation of more granular sponsored andugc attributes is optional. , and Google made it clear that it was not necessary for SEOs to go back and update existing nofollows. Are site owners going to adopt the new attributes if they do not have to?

But if no one is clear on the incentive to implement, they will not do it.

– Mark Traphagen (@marktraphagen) September 10, 2019

As Sullivan has stated, his goal is to provide options to classify this type of links more clearly. The nuances that Google examines between nofollow, sponsored, and ugc attributes will not impact your own site and the new attributes are optional. "If you want to help us better understand the Web, implement them. If you do not want, do not do it, "tweeted Illyes.

Concentrate on each other: nofollow has become a clue. Ugc and sponsored are the icing on the cake, and that's one of the things you do not have to do if you do not want to. If you want to help us better understand the Web, implement them. If you do not want, no.

– Gary "理" Illyes (@methode) September 11, 2019

Still working?

However, we were also very very very very very very very fooled duper duper concerned about the fact that we did not want to create new work for SEOs and others. We did not want people to think that they must rip their knots, panic that they * need to * use the new options ….

– Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) September 11, 2019

Creating the new voluntary attributes means you do not have to knock on the door of the computer, but this can also mean that the request of change may fall to the bottom of the list of priorities for many companies and never be implemented. As consultant Kristine Schachinger says in the tweet below, even the slightest change in SEO can be difficult to implement.

Do you really think we're going to get the development teams to start doing that, or the content teams? Can you make them write a title or a description? What happens if we ignore it? Seriously, since nobody will do it.

– Kristine Schachinger (@schachin) September 10, 2019

Google seems very good at it. At this stage, the actual work involved should be minimal. If your development teams can not implement code change to incorporate ugc or sponsored attributes for multiple sprints or quarters (and you've implemented nofollow where appropriate), you do not have to worry.

For WordPress sites, the founder of Yoast SEO plug-in and product manager, Joost de Valk, announced Tuesday that support would be available in the next release.

"It's pretty easy," de Valk said. If other suppliers followed suit, this could accelerate the adoption of new attributes.

An opportunity for manipulation?

Now that nofollow is a "clue", some are also worried about spammers who might want to test if their tactics have a new lease for life.

I am sure that this is well tested and prob has been lived for a year now without anyone noticing. This is one of the things you probably should not advertise – it will create a scourge of comment spam for blog owners because "hey, nofollow links could work".

– Michael Curtis (@ mickeyc84) September 11, 2019

Google claims that this should not entice spammers because most links will still be ignored as before, that they use the nofollow, ugc or sponsored. In addition, given the fact that Google has decided not to follow a "clue" to better understand the link patterns, this spam tactic could be riskier than before.

What now?

With this change, you should not have to revisit your nofollow strategy. If you're posting sponsored content or hosted forums or comments to your site, consider implementing the new attributes when you're able to edit the code. If you can not do it, or if you do not want it, there is no problem either.

"In appearance, this only benefits Google," said Chris Silver Smith, president of Argent Media, via Facebook. "But, if you read between the lines, the" tips "mean a passage of the PageRank or equivalent values.They already use Nofollowed links in some cases.They just want it to be easier to choose between links to be used now in more cases. "

About the Author

George Nguyen is the deputy editor at Third Door Media. in content marketing, journalism and narration.

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