Google Link Attribute Update! | SEO Update

By | November 5, 2019


What is a link attribute? Are all backlinks equal in Google’s eyes? As we have discussed in our Domain authority
video, there are many factors to consider when looking at obtaining a link from a 3rd
party website and the link attribute is one of them. Hey everybody, my name is Dorian and today,
we will cover in depth the different existing link attributes and their Impact on rankings. In 2005, Google introduced a new link attribute
named « nofollow » to reduce authority being transferred from easily obtained spammy links
such as forum and blog comments. As prior to major Google updates, the main
ranking factors were mostly links and it used to be as easy as running automated robots
leaving random links with comments all around the web to rank well. The no follow attribute was created to help
search engines defer spam links by ignoring the value or link juice transferred from a
site to another. For over 15 years, this link attribute was
used by webmasters, and if the nofollow attribute was used, Google would not count the link,
not follow it for crawling or indexing and not use it for ranking. It is now evolving and the nofollow link attribute
as a “hint” for ranking purposes. It means that Google crawlers will detect
the content, anchor text, link, and use the information appropriately for spam, ranking
purposes, etc – if it is deemed necessary. However the no follow attribute must be considered
as a hint to Google for ranking purposes and not as an explicit directive. But, the no follow attribute meaning will
remain until March 2020 so that it is also a hint for indexing and crawling. Overall, the no follow attribute has already
become a hint for ranking purposes and will be a hint for crawling and indexing in 2020. In addition to the follow and no follow attributes,
Google announced the introduction of 2 new link attributes – Sponsored and UGC or user
generated content. The sponsored link attribute can be used for
any promotional paid link, while ugc can be used in comments, reviews, forum threads,…
additionally, those attributes can also be combined with a follow/no follow. Now that We know better about attributes,
will it have any impact on your website as the implementation of new attributes will
require a lot of work for both small and big sites. The answer is still very unclear as John Mueller
from Google stayed vague in his tweets answers to the community as he indicated that updating
the attribute isn’t a forced decision and keeping your current attribute structure is
also possible and should not have any impact. It isn’t required for webmasters to proceed
with it as it is a choice you need to make and time/risks must be evaluated prior to
rolling out with updating all your external links attributes. This change has for main apparent goal to
help Google on classifying and understanding the vast and complex entirety that the web
represents. It may not be worse to spend money or efforts
on Updating attributes if you have a small site
or for local SEO as the results in terms of rankings or lead generation will not be great. For ecommerce, news sites or wide sites, updating
attributes could have a minor impact on the long term. But as every new update with Google, we can
only predict how minor or vast an update will be. Only time will tell so if you want to discuss
further how it could be implemented for your site, give us a call today!

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