September 11, 2019
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Google provides webmasters with a number of different ways to identify the nature of links within their content. The idea is that the webmasters have some control over which links Google’s bots consider when crawling their content and determine a page’s ranking. Therefore, it’s vital that you stay up to date with any major changes to attributions in order to protect your page ranking. Take a look at the below guide to find everything you need to know about the latest ‘nofollow’ attribution update.
Using a ‘nofollow’ attribute signified to Google that the link should not be treated as a first-hand endorsement of the page it led to, and has been frequently used to signify that a link placement has been paid for. In the past, Google would take a ‘nofollow’ attribute very literally and would ignore the link, thereby not transferring any ranking credit to the linked page.
The search engine giant has recently announced, however, that they are making major changes to how it deals with ‘nofollow’ attributes. By extension, the way in which webmasters treat paid links must change.
From March 2020, Google will no longer take a ‘nofollow’ command literally. Instead, it will consider the attribute as a ‘hint’ towards the nature of the link. This means Google will now follow these links, check them, and make a judgement on the page’s ranking with this in mind.
The biggest impact will be on bloggers, forum posts, and news websites. The changes will not impact historical links, but the process going forward will be different. Google has provided a number of alternative attribute tags that webmasters can use to hint at how the link should be viewed by Google:
The hard effect of this change will be implemented from March 2020, but as always, it’s best to move quickly and stay ahead of the game. Google is already ‘listening’ to this new attribute change from today — make sure your link attributes are correct from now in order to minimise disruption.
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