The 10th September marked good news for those in the combined world of SEO and Digital PR.
Google released a news update about upcoming changes to the way that they will be identifying the nature of links, for crawling, indexing and ranking across the web.
These are the new changes being put forward to differentiate the nature of different links online:
The following breakdown from Moz is a helpful indicator to show how the new change will evolve the nofollow tag.
As it currently stands and before this update, Google had implemented little to no ranking factors for all links on the web with the rel=”nofollow tag”. This nofollow tag has existed for almost 15 years and, as mentioned, will continue to be a tag meant for use for any link that you don’t wish to be seen as an endorsement back to the target page.
Links marked with the new tags of sponsored, ugc and nofollow, will now be recognised by Google as ‘hints’ along with their other signals.
Google explain why changes to the way that current nofollow links are being ranked is needed:
“Links contain valuable information that can help us improve search, such as how the words within links describe content they point at. Looking at all the links we encounter can also help us better understand unnatural linking patterns.”
In the era of sponsored and paid content, it is important that we are signalling that 1) there is a difference between a nofollow link and a paid/sponsored link and 2) Instagram is no longer one of the only platforms making changes to identify the difference between sponsored and paid opportunities to its users.
The next steps for those in the SEO and Digital PR industries is to further understand how much ranking ‘worth’ Google will allow for rel=”nofollow” links. More light should be shone on this in March 2020 when the updated will be fully implemented
At Kaizen we are long-standing believers that whilst nofollow links, in the eyes of Google, had little to no credible value, all links back to our content holds value. Here’s why:
For users of Kaizen’s Klipr platform, not only do we report on follow links, nofollow links, brand mentions, syndicated links, social shares, and average DR (yep, all of that!) we also have a built-in ‘Klipr Score’. This score takes into account the value of followed links, nofollow links and brand mentions and totals these to provide a true score of the impact of the coverage a campaign has received.
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Robin L. Newnham
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