What is every SEO expert trying to do? Optimize his/her content for various platforms, including search engines. Which is the essential search engine?
Google. Previously, nofollow attribute used to identifying various links that are related to sponsors, advertising, or content that is not intended to pass along ranking credit.
Google has recently announced two new rel values that are "sponsored" and "UGC" therefore, the nofollow attribute is no longer a catchall for these types of instances. This step further specify the purpose of the link for ranking in the algorithm of search engine.
To identify commercial links on your site, use the sponsored attribute. This attribute will identify the links on your website that are the part of advertisements. If the link is for sponsorship, advertisement, or any other compensation agreement that its relation should be "sponsored."
UGC stands for User Generated Content. It is another rel link that Google recently introduces. For links within user-generated content, the UGC attribute value supported. Such as forum and comments posts.
For cases, where you don't want to imply any endorsement but are willing to link a page, use this attribute. Remember, it includes passing along ranking credit to another page, according to Google.
For interpreting the new link attributes, Google is also shifting to using a "hint model":
Instructions By Google:
Google also gives a few notable instructions regarding usage in its announcement. There is no need to change existing links. For the ranking purpose, all the new link attributes are working today as hints.
Google recommends switching over to using rel= "sponsored" for all sponsored links. Google isn't enforcing this; you can change it when it is convenient for you. By March 1st, 2020, Google is planning to use the hints for crawling and indexing purposes.
Google is also allowing to use multiple rel values, depending on the scenario. For example, a relation could be rel=" UGC sponsored."
How New Ways Will Impact SEO:
Plugins that add the nofollow attribute sitewide or otherwise will be affected by this. These links will also impact how connections are created for sites by users. The option provided in the product created by plugin authors, they want to reevaluate it.
What can you do?
Don't use any blackhat techniques to cheat Google. You can use tips, but the best approach is, to work along Google as Google wants you to work.
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You can buy any paid or get any free training about SEO from Udemy or any other platform to understand the recent changes in Google's Core Algorithms and many other advancements in SEO.
What happens if a wrong attribute used with a link?
"Except in the case of sponsored links, there's no wrong attribute. If a non-ad link or UGC link is marked as 'sponsored' Google will consider it a hint. The difference is, Google will not count the link as a credit for other pages or websites.", according to Google.
Non-ad links and UGC were used as nofollow, it doesn't differ from them. Links which is sponsored or ads should use the rel attribute "nofollow." Which one is better? "Sponsored" or "nofollow."
As explained earlier, you can use any of them for ads, preferred by google is "sponsored," but if you use "nofollow," it is also acceptable.
For now, all the link attributes, UGC, nofollow, and sponsored work as hints. After March 1st, 2020, Google will use it for crawling and indexing purposes.
Should We Care?
To the search results, as a result of this new change by Google, there should be no significant impact, according to Google. It will impact if Google decides, how he will count the nofollow link. Take an example of Wikipedia. If you have so many nofollow links from Wikipedia's page and Google to start counting them your ranking will improve.
For almost 15 previous years, the nofollow link attribute has been a staple to the SEO industry. Now for the first time, it is going to change in a big way.