With the announcement and addition of two new link attributes by Google, link structure has been enhanced near to perfect. These new link attributes are rel=”sponsored” and rel=”ugc” that will join nofollow, and now its easy for everyone (webmasters, web crawlers and bots) to identify the true nature of the links.
Flashback: Nofollow was introduced to curb the heavy use of the spam links, that were left especially in comments to provide link juice to websites with a motive to gain higher PageRank in search engines. This was considered and still is a very bad approach for online marketing, and websites get panelized/blacklisted for that!
However, with the arrival of these two new link attributes, Google and probably other search engines too are going to evolve their search algorithms and techniques to identify, analyze and treat the links fairly without ignoring them completely like the case was with links having “nofollow” attribute.
Now Let’s understand the new attributes starting with:
rel=”sponsored”: Use this attribute for the links that you created to advertise or sponsor someone on your website. See the picture below to understand how this link attribute will look like when used.
Any link on your website, which is created as a part of an advertisement, or referral for gain, or sponsorship or something that is paying you off, you should use this sponsored attribute. This will help search engine crawlers to recognize and treat them accordingly, while “nofollow” was not a proper solution for paid/sponsored links.
rel=”ugc”: UGC is the abbreviation of User Generated Content, and this attribute value is recommended for the links that lie within the user-generated content such as comments, and forum posts. It’s very clear that Google Webmasters has evolved its technique to recognize and curb spam links with the introduction of UGC Attribute.
Sponsored and UGC attributes might be a revolutionary change in the history of link structure, and this is exactly how a link structure should be. This will change the way how search engines are going to treat the links from now on.
Also, note that it’s really not required to change the structure of your old links that already have “nofollow” attribute assigned to them. But from now on, you can use these new attributes to diversify the distinctive nature of the links for the betterment of your website performance in search engines.