Rel=’sponsored and Rel=’ugc’: What are Google’s New Link Attributes?

2019/10/08 20:00

Rel=’sponsored and Rel=’ugc’

Google’s nofollow link attribute has been around for over 15 years and it was introduced in an effort to reduce comment spam. However, Google has recently announced that the nofollow attribute will be changing; ensuring webmasters have additional options for highlighting the nature of different links.

Here are the new link attributes that you should be aware of:

  • Rel=’sponsored’: This can be used to highlight any URLs that are linked to advertising or sponsorships on your site
  • Rel=’ugc’: UGC refers to User Generated Content, which can now also be tagged on your site
  • Rel=’nofollow’: The nofollow attribute can still be used in cases where you want to link to a page but not endorse it in any way or have it pass on link juice to another page

All three of these link attributes will now tell Google, in more specific detail, which links to crawl or exclude from search results. These links attributes have already taken effect, so what should marketers do from here?

Firstly, there is no need for you to change any of your existing nofollow links as these will be honoured as they are. It should also be noted that it is okay to use more than one attribute per link and you can add new attributes to existing nofollow links.

Finally, there really is no wrong way to use these new attributes, except in the case of sponsored links. Basically, if you’re going to add a sponsored attribute to a UGC link or a non-sponsored link, it won’t have a major negative impact but Google may not count the link as a credit for another page.

So, whether you have an existing site or are currently assisting a client with their SEO, it helps to keep these new link attributes in mind.