Google Consider Nofollow Link As A Hint For Crawling And Indexing

Google Nofollow attribute firstly introduced in 2005. Initially, nofollow meta tags are used to fight spammy links that manipulate rankings in search engines. Overnight, it appeared as the best Google’s approach to identify advertising related or sponsored links.

In March 2020, Google announced big changes in nofollow with two new rel link attributes – sponsored and ugc. Now, all these three linking attributes will be considered as hints to identify links to ignore as ranking signals.

It is really important to know when or when not to use the nofollow attribute, if you worry about your website’s performance in search engines. 

Here, in this blog, we will understand how nofollow helps SEO and how to use these nofollow linking attributes in a correct way to avoid Google penalty.

First, let’s cover the basics –

Google’s objective is to make a clear understanding about linking attributes rel=”nofollow” rel=”sponsored” and rel=”ugc”, which are used by google search console to come up with additional and more descriptive information about the type of links. 


Make use of this linking property to link a web page but do not want to pass ranking signals or link juice and ignore the link for indexing. After nofollow update this attribute is working as a hint instead of a directive. 


Analyse the links on websites that are placed for monetary benefits such as promotional, advertisements, sponsored or various paid agreements where one pays another for the link.


UGC represents User Generated content. This linking attribute is advised to use  within user generated content such as blog comments, forum postings, or other ways where websites allow users to create content that carry links.

Nofollow, Sponsored, & UGC Link Attributes Impact On SEO

Linking Attributes Are Still Crucial

To protect your website from the possible link penalties, it is necessary to flag ads and sponsored links. Google favors the use of rel=”sponsored” but rel=”nofollow” will also work.

Changes In Existing Attributes - Not Needed

All these rel link attributes are now treated as hints for google search engine ranking. Anyhow, Google update has confirmed that it is not essential to replace previous nofollow links. 

In case, you have used the nofollow attribute for any important webpage to stop googlebot from crawling and indexing, you can take advantage of “noindex meta tag” or “robots.txt” disallow rule.

Uses Of Rel Linking Attributes

rel Value


No value

Link without any rel value is considered as a regular link by google search engine. Here you don’t need to add rel attribute. 
Example –
I love <a href=””> mozzarella</a> cheese.


Considered links as advertisements or paid placements (generally known as paid links) 
Example –
I love to <a href=”” rel=”sponsored”>Buy Shoes</a>.


Use rel=”ugc” if user generated content carries irrelevant links in comments or forum posts.
Example –
Read more about <a href=”” rel=”ugc”>avoiding content spam</a>.


Use rel=”nofollow” when other attributes are not applicable. Google will not crawl that webpage. If you want to apply nofollow within your website, use noindex meta tag or robots.txt.
Example –
<a href=”” rel=”nofollow”> external link</a>.

Multiple values

One can use multiple rel values with a space- or comma-separated list. 
Examples –
I love <a href=”” rel=”ugc nofollow”> mozzarella</a> cheese.
I hate <a href=””feta_cheese” rel=”ugc,nofollow”>Feta</a> cheese.

Nofollow, Sponsored, & UGC Link Markup Attributes Impact On SEO

We will advise you to follow the new rel linking structure to give Google a better understanding of your web content and links and improve your ranking chances.

These updated rel attributes will create some questionnaires for every marketer, So, here are some FAQs that answer most of your questions.

Can Google Penalize Your Website For Not Marking Paid Links?

Yes, Your website can be penalized under link scheme penalties for not marking promotional links. Google suggests to use either rel=”sponsored” or rel=”nofollow”, but not rel=”ugc” for paid links across the content. 

In case, visitors add their affiliate link or any paid link in their content or comment, you can use rel=”nofollow ugc” or rel=”sponsored ugc”.

Can Nofollow Attribute Control Crawling Indexing?

Nofollow is an extremely poor approach to avoid Google from indexing website’s content. Many SEO persons use nofollow on large websites to avoid long redirection chains, manage site structure, internal linking and preserve crawl budget. 

We recommend you to use some other seo techniques such as “noindex” & “robots.txt disallow”.

Is There Any Need To Change Nofollow Attribute For Sponsored Links?

No. You can use nofollow as a flagging approach to protect websites from viable link scheme penalties. There is no need to change any existing markup attributes. Still, we suggest you change your markup from rel=”nofollow” to rel=”sponsored”.

Why Should I Implement Any Of New Markup Attributes?

New rel markup attributes empower Google for better link processing and analysis across the web. It can also have your web content, if users who add a link to your webpage make use of rel linking methods. 

47 thoughts on “Google Consider Nofollow Link As A Hint For Crawling And Indexing”

  1. Hi there, I found your blog by means of Google at the same time as looking for a similar matter, your web site came up, it appears good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks. Aleece Gayelord Candide

  2. You completed a few good points there. I did a search on the subject and found a good number of folks will have the same opinion with your blog. Fay Benjie Chenay Lizzie Rustie Aggie

  3. You made some good points there. I checked on the web for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site. Lesly Oates Mitchell

  4. Magnificent web site. A lot of helpful information here. I am sending it to several friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you to your effort! Sheila-Kathryn Randolf Marcille

  5. I am very happy to read this. This is the type of info that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc. Bess Rolf Knowles

  6. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how can we communicate? Yolanda Rriocard Kuster

  7. Great blog right here! Also your web site rather a lot up very fast! What web host are you the use of? Can I get your affiliate hyperlink in your host? I want my website loaded up as fast as yours lol| Sam Davidde Mechelle

  8. After looking into a number of the articles on your blog, I truly appreciate your
    way of writing a blog. I added it to my bookmark site list
    and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my website too and tell me what you think.

  9. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic.
    You realize so much its almost hard to argue
    with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a
    new spin on a topic that has been written about for many years.
    Great stuff, just great!

  10. Oh my goodness! Amazing article
    dude! Thank you, However I am experiencing difficulties
    with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I
    can’t join it. Is there anybody else getting
    the same RSS issues?
    Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond?

  11. Greetings! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew
    where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding
    one? Thanks a lot.!

  12. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and
    in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog
    posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your augment and
    even I achievement you access consistently quickly

  13. I’ve been browsing online greater than three hours lately,
    but I by no means discovered any attention-grabbing article
    like yours. It is pretty value sufficient for me. Personally, if all web owners and
    bloggers made good content as you probably did, the web will likely be a lot more useful than ever before.

  14. My spouse and I absolutely love your blog
    and find nearly all of your post’s to be just what I’m looking
    for. can you offer guest writers to write content for you?
    I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects
    you write about here. Again, awesome website!

  15. Hello there! This article couldn’t be written much better!
    Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I’ll forward this post to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!

  16. Great blog here!
    Additionally your web site so
    much up fast!
    What web host are you using?
    Can I get your affiliate hyperlink in your
    host? I want my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  17. Link exchange is nothing else except it is only placing the other
    person’s website link on
    your page at suitable place and other person will also do
    same in support of you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *