Recently, Google announced that from March 1 this year, a series of sweeping changes would occur surrounding sponsored content, user-generated content and no-follow links. With the changes now being enforced, what does that all actually mean?
Some might be thinking, “Nothing, continue your life and everything will be fine.”
Well not exactly, as part of the Google changes that have now been implemented, content using the “rel=nofollow” code will be considered as a “hint” to Google Algorithms. Previously, when website users would create this code, it would mean that Google would ignore the link altogether as part of the search listing.
Surprisingly, not all website owners are aware of this and the repercussions of the changes from Google.
With this latest update, Google will now consider whether the content you have should be considered listed in Google search regardless of you having the rel=“nofollow” tag or not. For some, it could be considered a bit of an inconvenience, Google, however, sees this differently.
Google sees this as an opportunity to understand unnatural linking patterns rather than ignoring some of the content associated with each website link. In a way it makes sense, as it provides the flexibility for the algorithm to learn some of the content behind these nofollow links, while respecting the users request (within reason) of not considering using the link in Google search.
To some though, it could be frustrating having their content deemed worthy enough despite the nofollow link, to be listed in Google search based on the updated algorithm. In saying that, if your content should not be seen by Google, should you actually have it on your website live to begin with?
Possibly one of the most basic things to remember in SEO, let alone content marketing is to remember the phrase “if in doubt, leave it out”. The same rule certainly now applies with the latest Google SEO update, so don’t put that website page live if you want to avoid Google from listing it on Google search by accident as it’s no longer a guarantee Google’s algorithm will agree with you.
Now, we have mentioned nofollow links, but what about “rel=sponsored” or “rel=ugc”? Same story, like the “rel=nofollow” code, Google will now take them as hints about the information throughout your website.
Pretty simple stuff, right? If you are still unsure about the latest Google updates or just want to hear more from our team be sure to reach out our team here.