Google has released new rel-tags which may affect your SEO. As “Nofollow Evolution”, the new Sponsored and UGC (User-Generated Content) tags are designed to identify the origin of links. It means that from now on you can use these tags to mark your content.
How it works
Rel-attributes are designed to specify the relationship between your website and other websites you are linking to. Rel tags have three different values : “nofollow”, “sponsored”, and “ugc”. Each of them is used for a particular purpose: rel="sponsored" is used for links involving advertisement, sponsorship or any other paid activity, whereas rel="ugc" is used for links within content created by a user.
For do-follow links, there is, still no need to add a rel-attribute, though.
From March 1, 2020, Google will start considering the new attributes as hints and may use them for crawling purposes, which may affect ranking positions.
As Google says officially, you don’t have to change the attributes of your current nofollow links.
From now on, however, you can apply these attributes to freshly created content. Given rel=”nofollow” is still acceptable, Google recommends switching over to the new tags, if possible.
For example, you can implement rel=”nofollow ugc”, if you want to mark user-generated content, but still want it to be backwards-compatible with other services which don’t support the new rel-tags, so far.
You likewise can use rel=”nofollow” along with rel=”sponsored” or use all three at once: rel="nofollow sponsored ugc".
How to check new rel-attributes
SEMrush allows you to track links marked with new tags. In Backlink Analytics and Backlink Audit, you can now find two additional attributes in the “Link Attributes” section: Sponsored and UGC. It looks like this:
Now you can track the way your rivals use new rel tags in Backlink Analytics, and carry out in-depth analysis of your own backlinks containing them with the help of Backlink Audit.
Check your rel-tags now!Backlink Audit