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Introducing the nofollow links version 2.0: UGC and Sponsored

In September 2019, something took place in the SEO world: Google announced the planning and establishment of two new types of links: UGC – User Generated Content links for user-generated content and links (guest posts, etc.), uehaurh, and sponsored links for paid content.


What do the new settings actually look like?

For “regular” external links, the ones we recommend the search engine to use for calculate link value and site rank:

<a href=”https://example.com”> This Is A Trusted Site </a>

For sponsored links:

<a href=”https://example.com” rel=”sponsored”> This Is A Sponsored Link </a>

For user-generated content that the website cannot take responsibility for their content:

<a href=”https://example.com” rel=”ugc”>This Is A User Content</a>

For nofollow links:

<a href=”https://example.com” rel=”nofollow”>This is A Nofollow Link</a>


Why create new links settings?

Over the years, a problem was generated for Google.

More and more websites, afraid of manual or other Google penalties, have overwhelmingly defined all links coming out of their website as nofollow. It was generally known that defining a link as nofollow had two main effects: the first is for calculating the link value and its contribution to the linked site ranking, of course. Second – Google’s crawling and indexing method.

Google, in fact, ignored nofollow links even when integrated in legitimate, valuable, content that was worth crawling and indexing frequently, because Google didn’t have the tool to differentiate spam links created by bots or spammers from legitimate links, that added value to the content.


What will be the impact of the new link types?

The SEO industry believes that when it comes to using the link types for ranking and crawling, the following partition better describes how Google might relate to these types of links:

Until September 2019:

Nofollow links were not used for crawling and indexing.

Nofollow links were not used for ranking.


Starting on September 2019:

Nofollow links (including ugc and sponsored links) will not be used for crawling and indexing.

Nofollow links (including ugc and sponsored links) might be used as a ranking factor.


Starting on March 2020:

Nofollow links (including ugc and sponsored links) can be used for crawling and indexing.

Nofollow links (including ugc and sponsored links) can be used as a ranking factor.


In conclusion

September 2019 opens a new era for websites managers. To overcome the built-in problems of link-tagging as nofollow – including crawling, indexing, and website rankings, Google has added two additional link definitions to better understand the content and relations between contents on the internet web.

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Asael Dreyer
Asael Dreyer

CEO of a SEO and affiliation company with approximately 125 employees and hundreds of clients worldwide, founder of Digipharm - an online store for ordering content and backlinks for SEO professionals, leads the largest group of SEO professionals in Israel on Facebook and WhatsApp.

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