The SEO landscape is characterized by the changes that Google has accustomed to us for years. One day we talk about pandas, penguins or hummingbirds but at its core, SEO has a static basis.
Things are as they are. “Good content will help you to rank good”, “links are divided into dofollow and nofollow and are the basis of positioning”.
There are assumed truths that in our SEO brain have never changed and until now we thought that it was always going to be like this. Google has changed the rules of the game again and introduced two new types of links.
Sponsored and UGC Links. What exactly are they? When should you use them and when not? What SEO impact will this have on your page and SEO ecosystem in the short term?
Perhaps we are facing one of the biggest news in the Google world since Panda’s time, so I see myself in the (fun) obligation to create the most complete content that can exist about it here, in Blogger3.0.
Hey what’s up reader! If Google doesn’t stop SEOs, we can’t be left behind. Information is power and I have considered it important to create this post to try to spread my point of view.
And what I have been able to investigate in the last few days regarding what is possibly one of the biggest changes in recent years: the appearance of ” sponsored ” and ” ugc “.
Let’s start. SEO Consultant in Dubai recommends that you get comfortable when you try and try again to focus on reading because it will be interesting and better to gain the latest knowledge.
NOTE: At the end of the post I will leave you a gift. You can download a completely free plugin that we have developed to help you manage the new types of links that Google introduces.
The nofollow, sponsored and UGC links explained in detail.
Google has introduced two new link attributes, which is to say that we have two new types of links with the corresponding SEO implications that derive from each of them. But as a Digitalmarketing expert i’ll try to start from the beginning.
Brief history and evolution of the nofollow link in SEO
The nofollow attribute was created in 2005 to combat spam links and link farms that were proliferating more and more on the Internet in those days, when Google was more sensitive than ever to link manipulation. Much more than it is today.
In this way, Google only had “two colors” when it came to differentiating the transfer of authority: “black or white”/”yes or no”… or what is the same… dofollow or nofollow.
The first are the “normal links of a lifetime”, any link you put from your blog is dofollow by default and transfers authority to the page you link to.
The seconds did not transfer authority (they did not transfer pagerank, although they did divide it) and were not followed by Google or taken into account as a ranking signal.
At the present time, specifically since September 10, 2019, Google has created two attributes of new links (the aforementioned “sponsored” and “UGC”, which we will explain below).
These two attributes of new links can even be combined with the nofollow attribute and also has announced that nofollow links will change their behavior soon.
And here is one of the great innovations introduced by the search engine: from March 1, 2020, Google will take the nofollow links as “clues” and will decide whether or not to follow them and therefore consider that these links go beyond authority or not, according to which cases.
Come on, we’ve moved from “nofollow links do not pass authority” to “nofollow links could pass authority in some cases” and this has strong SEO implications.
As if this were not enough, we are now going to have two new players. The lifelong nofollow attribute evolves and can now be supplemented or replaced by two other new attributes. Let’s talk about them.
How to put a nofollow link? The code with the link already added is the following, just limit yourself to putting the URL that interests you to link where it says TuBlog.com.
<a href=”http://www.TuBlog.com” rel=”nofollow”>
Sponsored links what do they consist of and when to use them?
Google creates the sponsored attribute to qualify the links that have been purchased/negotiated.
From now on you will have to mark with the attribute rel = »sponsored» when you link to a website and it has paid you money for that link.
Here they enter:
- Purchased links (blogs, press etc)
- Sponsors (me for example when I link to Raiola or Don Dominio)
- All types of links that have involved a commercial transaction in some way
- This opens up an immense range of doubts and questions for webmasters.
I will try to deal with some of them below, in this same post, but for now we continue with the quick definitions.
How to put a sponsored link? The code with the link already added is the following, just limit yourself to putting the URL that interests you to link where it says readupone.com.
<a href=”http://www.Readupone.com” rel=”sponsored”>
UGC links what they are and when to use them?
UGC would come to be the abbreviations of «User Generated Content» or what is the same «user generated content». You should use the ugc attribute on links that point to content generated by users themselves.
Blog comments or forum threads are the two most classic examples.
It is the least controversial attribute and while it is true that I get a few “SEO questions” it really is not the most disruptive attribute of newcomers (the palm is taken by the aforementioned “sponsored”).
But speaking of UGC links… Will Google give them some kind of value when influencing the ranking?
For example, now that we are indicating with much more affinity the amount of comments on a blog (WordPress will have to take the baton and introduce this type of default links in the comments in its next updates).
Will you assess how something positive at the SEO level that a blog has many comments and therefore a lot of user interaction?
In this case, blogs like Blogger3cero would clearly benefit from the implementation of this attribute.
How to put a link ugc? The code with the link already added is the following, just limit yourself to putting the URL that interests you to link where it says TuBlog.com.
<a href=”http://www.TuBlog.com” rel=”ugc”>
Relevant SEO doubts that arise after these new appearances
This is really where the “chicha” comes from. Conversations within the sector are at a red-hot point around all kinds of rumor mill about these changes and how they will affect us in the future.
Sponsored is a headache for a few these days. Let’s make a question-answer list to try to make the information more digestible to the reader:
Question 1: If I label my links as sponsored, will I be admitting that I am selling/ (or buying if I am the recipient) of links?
That’s right, you are “admitting it”. But unlike what many think, this could really be even positive… because you would be going legally, in the eyes of Google.
Google technically “does not prohibit” buying links, as is often thought.
What it prohibits is buying dofollow links by posing as “natural links” in order to manipulate your ranking.
But you can buy links to carry traffic referred to your site or because you hire an advertising campaign etc. However, now Google gives you a «tool» to let you know specifically and make your job easier…
Before when you bought a link in Publisuites (to name any one) and bought it dofollow “you were already cheating on Google”, the same as now if you buy a link and they don’t label it sponsored.
Before, when sponsored did not exist, Google’s guideline was that those links you bought should be “nofollow” and therefore transmit authority “0”, now with sponsored it is possible that if they transmit something… although logically they will pass less force than if they were lifelong “dofollow” links.
Question 2: Will a website with a mainly sponsored link profile have problems with Google in the future…?
This question is perhaps a bit trickier. Logically we do not yet have a time history to make such a statement, but personally I find it somewhat delicate that your website has a link profile where all or almost all are tagged with sponsored.
Although they are all « links from authority sites links” they are still sponsored links.
Good SEO Consultant advice that has stood the test of time in excellent health is: naturalness. Diversify your link profile in a way that looks natural, with a good link base dofollow, nofollow, ugc and… sponsored?
We will see what information the SERPs of the future report to us.
Question 3: What is the meaning of buying and selling links such as Publisuites, Unancor, Prensarank etc behave now?
It’s another question I’ve heard of these days. Theoretically, they should mark all the links acquired through their platforms as ” sponsored “, but we all know that reality is not like that.
In the same way, before, “theoretically” they had to mark the links with nofollow and I have to say that for example Publisuites did quite well in this sense, since when you hired a sponsored post, the ” nofollow link ” box was checked by default.
As we have mentioned above, it is foreseeable that a sponsored link has less strength than a dofollow link, in addition to that with sponsored you admit in the eyes of Google that you are buying a link, something that Google will surely take into account in its algorithm to subtract it.
Therefore, I find it difficult for the average webmaster to pay (at least in the short term) for this type of link.
Basically I think that Google wants us to indicate this type of links (sponsored) for a simple matter of resources, either because they cannot or do not want to spend more resources in detecting them and currently they cannot efficiently check when a link is bought and when not.
I think people won’t pay too much attention to the sponsored attribute.
Question 4: Will the sponsored attribute only bring negative things? Isn’t it possible that it brings some kind of positive point when it comes to SEO?
This was something I was talking about the other day with my colleague Juan de Useo on WhatsApp. And what happens to the sites that previously had been penalized for buying links?
It is possible that if these are correctly labeled with “sponsored” this will be considered as something positive in Google’s eyes. To a good listener…
Question 5: Will we do link building again as it was done in 2009, based on spam comments in forums, directories and comments? Does this represent a return to the past, to that type of SEO “bad practice”?
In theory this is the last thing Google wants and I think such ideas derive more from our webmaster head than anything else.
I think that if Google happens to give “a little more value to the nofollow” or “rank in some cases” it will do so under conditions that are difficult to manipulate and it will have cured health in this regard.
Nofollow links that derive traffic? mmm…
Question 6: What attribute should I put on my affiliate links from now on? What about links to the page of a guest author who writes on my blog?
Affiliate links if we strictly adhere to the manual could be classified as “sponsored”, since through them a commercial transaction mediates.
However, the nofollow attribute of a lifetime seems to me just as valid and somewhat more conservative, perhaps even more “secure”. I’d stick with nofollow for sure.
A combination of both could also be used.
Regarding the guest post here, things get a little complicated.
Typically the links to the website of the author of the guest post are “dofollow” as it is usually part of the benefit an author gets for posting to your blog, in addition to visibility.